Two Beaten into Coma In Butaleja Campaign Clashes

2079 Views Butaleja, Eastern Region, Uganda

In short
Two people have been hospitalized at Busolwe Hospital in Butaleja district after they were beaten to coma during a clash between the rival supporters of the NRM party last night.

Two people have been hospitalized at Busolwe Hospital in Butaleja district after they were beaten into coma during a clash between the rival supporters of the NRM party last night.
The victims are all supporters of Betty Hamba, the NRM sympathieser who is contesting as an independent candidate in the Butaleja by-elections.
One of them has been identified only as Edilizia, while the identity of the other was not readily available by the time of filling this story.
According to the candidate, Betty Hamba says she was in an entourage of her supporters from a campaign rally from Busolwe Sub County, when they reached Butaleja town council at around 7:00pm last night. She claims they were ambushed by supporters of the NRM flag bearer, Florence Andiru Nebanda.
She said they started stoning her supporters including the vehicle in which she was in. Her supporters retaliated in self defense. Hamba said the incident took more than 20 minutes before police intervened yet the incident happened a mere 10 metres away from Butaleja Central Police station.
Hamba says she escaped unhurt but the windscreen of the vechile she was in and that of a bus belonging to Ntinda View College that was carrying her supporters were smashed. She also says  two of her supporters where seriously beaten tino coma and were rushed to Busolwe Hospital where they have been admitted with multiple body injuries.
Fred Kidima, the Butaleja District Police Commander, confirms the incident saying only one supporter of Betty Hamba was seriously beaten and injured. He insists that police intervened immediately and fired teargas to disperse the clashing supporters.
Kidima goes on to say that shortly after they were dispersed, in a revenge attack, at about 8:30pm the supporters of Betty Hamba raided Nabiganda trading centre which is believed to be a stronghold for Florence Andiru Nebanda and pulled down and burnt all her the campaign posters belonging to Andiru.
Police were then again forced to intervene and disperse the group with teargas. By around 10:00pm when Uganda Radio Network (URN) communicated to Kidima, Kidima confirmed police was in control of the area.
Betty Hamba has accused the Bunyole East Mp, Emmanuel Dombo for allegedly instigating Anduru’s supporters against her supporters. She claims that Dombo accuses her of being supported by his NRM rival – Dorothy Hyuha, the Ugandan Ambassador to Tanzania, also NRM deputy secretary general.
There has been serious disagreement between Emmanuel Dombo and Dorothy Hyuha, both considered NRM bigwigs in Butaleja district. It is widely believed that Hyuha backs Betty Hamba against Florence Andiru Nebanda who enjoys Dombo's endorsement as well as her party's.
The disagreement between the two stems from the 2011 general elections in which late Cerinah Nebanda who was supported by Dombo beat Hyuha for the Butaleja woman parliamentary seat.
President Yoweri on Friday last week rushed to Butaleja to reconcile the two and other members who have since been divided following of Nebanda’s death.
Hyuha and Dombo hugged each other before President Museveni and other NRM supporters in a show of reconciliation with Dombo apologizing to the President and Hyuha. Meanwhile Hyuha also agreed that she will now support the official NRM flag bearer-Florence Andiru Nebanda.
Those who attended the meeting called it “pretentious” and that they will go ahead to support their respective candidates.
The Tuesday night clash is one of the several incidents of violence that Andiru’s NRM supporters have been accused of instigating against supporters of other candidates.
A week ago they were also accused of attacking and assaulting another Independent candidate Sarah Logos and her supporters.
Logose claims she was attacked by a group of supporters of NRM candidate Florence Nebanda at Kaiti trading centre on January 28 on her way to attend a radio talk show on a local radio station Bugwere FM at around 3pm.
She says lost more about 1 million shillings in the clash in which she says her opponent’s supporters tried to strangle her before she was rescued by the Bunyole East Mp Emmanuel Dombo and Busia Resident District Commissioner Imran Muluga who is also the NRM chairman for Butaleja district.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.