President Museveni has branded Opposition supporters as “terrorists” and “hooligans”, saying they pelted his vehicle with “projectiles” on August 13, triggering the violence that erupted following the bitterly contested Arua Municipality by-election.
In an August 31 letter responding to demands by the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, President Museveni said supporters of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, attacked the car he was being driven in from a campaign venue en-route to board a helicopter and pelted it with projectiles on August 13.
“It was just after passing the grader that I heard two bangs on my vehicle. I was then informed by my ADC that my vehicle had been hit by projectiles thrown by those groups in the Opposition procession. I instructed my convoy to ignore those hooligans and proceed to the helicopter which they did without firing a single bullet,” Mr Museveni’s letter reads in part.
The President’s account to the Speaker contradicts the narrative he gave in a statement he published on social media in which he said the luggage carrier in his convoy was the one that was hit by a stone on that fateful day.
In his statement issued last month Mr Museveni said: “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.”
He stated that he had wanted to voice his concerns to the Regional Police Commander but had to inform the Brigade Commander because the RPC was not present at Pokea Primary School, where he took a flight from Arua.
“Upon my departure, members of the SFC went back toward the town to assist the police to disperse the crowd which was clearly so intoxicated that they saw no problem in stoning the vehicle of the President of Uganda,” the President wrote.
He also claimed that Mr Kyagulanyi’s supporters had acquired a “road grader to maybe, blockthe road that I was using to get to my destination” and said the Opposition ferries “terrorists” from Kampala to upcountry constituencies.
“As part of the allegations [in court], it is said that terrorists are transported from Kampala areas to these upcountry constituencies to beat, injure and intimidate the voters as well as damage citizen’s property of our citizens. Even in Rukungiri, there were verbal threats, attacks on individuals and damage to property,” Mr Museveni’s letter further reads.
Mr Museveni also told the Speaker that it is “factually wrong and premature to suggest that no action has been taken against the wrong-doers in the security agencies” because the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martin Okoth-Ochola have instituted a committee to investigate errant officers.
Mr Museveni also told the Speaker to “refrain from using the word torture” until the investigations by the CDF and IGP are concluded.
In a related development, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah yesterday refused to read Mr Museveni’s letter to MPs, insisting that that the “Deputy Speaker is not a letter reader of the Speaker.”
Mr Oulanyah was last week forced to adjourn Parliament as MPs insisted that any definitive debate about the fallout triggered by the Arua Municipality by-election has to be guided by Mr Museveni’s response to demands made by Ms Kadaga in her August 27 letter.
He, however, rejected demands by MPs to formally divulge details of the letter, saying Ms Kadaga, who is currently attending the Uganda North America Association (Unaa) convention in the United States, will present it when she is back.