A parliamentary candidate in Kanungu district was yesterday chased away from his rally venue by irate villagers.
Gad Rugaju, an independent candidate for Kinkiizi East, had planned to hold a rally in Muko Parish in Kihiihi sub-county. The 36-year-old Rugaju had planned to continue with his campaign for change and accountability and was expecting a good hearing from residents.
However on his arrival, instead of support, he received loud boos from the crowd.
It all started when a man in the crowd, only identified as Turyamuhika, shouted that Rugaju should leave. Turyamuhika pointed out that Rugaju had lost the National Resistance Movement primary elections to the incumbent MP, Amama Mbabazi, and he should take it as a sign that he was not wanted there.
The aspiring MP was also heckled for losing a petition to overturn the results of the primaries.
Rugaju attempted to explain himself, but he was ordered to leave. As the crowd grew rowdier, he fled in his car to report the matter to the Kanungu Electoral Commission office.
He was not available after that to comment on the incident.
Gad Rugaju, who is better known to the people of Kanungu as a pastor and evangelist, is the underdog in the Kinkiizi East race. His rival, Amama Mbabazi, has served in the NRM government as a cabinet minister since 1986 and with considerable wealth and influence within the party, is expected to win next week's elections.
Rugaju maintains that any vote for Mbabazi will be a vote for political illegitimacy. He accuses the Security Minister of using his radio station, Kinkiizi FM to decampaign him and sully his reputation.
Prior to his involvement in politics, Rugaju was one of Mbabazi's protégés. He says the Mbabazi abused this relationship by giving him 12 million shillings to pursue a Masters degree. Rugaju claims that although he took the money in good faith, it was intended as a bribe to convince him to drop his political ambitions.