*As voters in Uganda’s West Nile town of Arua head to the polls on Wednesday, president Yoweri Museveni has issued a statement explaining the clashes in Arua’s by-election that caused the death of a legislator’s driver.
Several MPs including popular musician and government critic, Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine were arrested following Monday’s deadly clashes, as police explained that opposition supporters had attacked the president’s convoy as it left the NRM rally in Arua.
Kassiano Wadri, an independent candidate in the Arua municipality race, was also arrested and is still detained, even as the Electoral Commission confirmed that he is still one of the candidates that voters can select in today’s poll.
The stones they threw broke the rear glass window of the car where we transport luggage. That window glass is not armoured. There was no harm on the old man with a hat.
Museveni, in his statement, blamed the chaos that claimed the life of Yasin Kawuma, Bobi Wine’s driver on ‘weak management by the police and criminal behaviour by some opposition leaders’.
‘‘The stones they threw broke the rear glass window of the car where we transport luggage. That window glass is not armoured. There was no harm on the old man with a hat,’‘ explained the president.
Museveni said his security detail restrained from responding to the opposition attack because ‘we were not equipped for anti-riots’.
‘‘Our intervention could have resulted into people’s death because we only had live bullets.’‘
The president concluded by squarely saying politicians who organise rowdy supporters are responsible for their actions, and will be punished according to the law.
Arua is holding a by-election to replace the previous MP for Arua, Ibrahim Abiriga, was shot dead in June in still unexplained circumstances.
The opposition in Uganda has long accused President Museveni of using the military and police to influence the outcome of elections. He denies the allegation.