One killed as Bugiri campaigns get hotter

Police on Thursday opened fire at a supporters of Asuman Basalirwa, a candidate in the ongoing parliamentary campaigns for Bugiri Municipality, killing one man and injuring scores more.

The deceased has been identified as Asuman Walyendo, a 28-year-old boda boda cyclist.

According to Basalirwa, Walyendo was one of his bodyguards and at the time of killing, Walyendo was standing close to Basalirwa.

Basalirwa is the president of Justice Forum (JEEMA), one of the active political parties in Uganda.

Violence broke out after police used teargas and live ammunition to break up a procession of Hajji Siraje Lyavaala, the Bugiri NRM chairman who was marching with supporters to formally join Basalirwa’s camp.

Despite being the NRM chairman in the district, Lyavaala had stood as an independent but was persuaded to pull out of the race and back the NRM candidate, Fred Oketcho.

The deceased Asuman Walyendo

Lyavaala instead shocked his party bosses when he announced his withdraw from the race and encouraged his supporters to rally behind Basalirwa.

Plain clothes security personnel whisked away Lyavaala to an unknown destination.

STRAY BULLET

Police Spokesperson Emillian Kayima said that Walyendo was accidentally hit by a stray bullet fired by the police.

According to Kayima, the police were called in to handle Basalirwa’s riotous supporters who had allegedly forced themselves into Busoga University and started vandalising property.

“So, police was called to handle the situation and unfortunately, they started pelting police with stones. In a bid to quell the violent riotous situation, the stray bullet hit and injured the young man who was part of the rioters. He was rushed to Bugiri hospital and later died,” Kayima said.

He said the police are going to conduct an inquiry to establish deeper details of the incident.

Basaalirwa however dismissed Kayima’s narrative.

“Stupid response. We never entered the venue and out rally was outside those premises until police came” said Basalirwa.