Mbale

David MafabiThe winner of Budadiri West seat, Mr Nandala Mafabi, has said the bullet which shot a journalist during a scuffle that ensued in the area during the parliamentary polls was meant to kill him. “I was shot and injured in the leg which is now swollen and the bullet that hit the journalist was intended to finish me. My people are still in the hospital nursing injuries. We shall see, because the person who deployed is the one who caused violence in the constituency,” Mr Mafabi said.
Mr Mafabi, also Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chairman says despite rigging and ballot stuffing, his supporters guarded his vote which saw him defeat minister for presidency Beatrice Wabudeya.

“There was bribery of my voters with a lot of money. There was violence orchestrated by the military and NRM supporters who were also armed and driving RDC’s vehicles but my supporters ensured nobody tampered with the votes amidst the fighting. Although I emerged the winner, to me they are the ones who won,” Mr Nandala yesterday during an interview with Sunday Monitor.
He said out of all the districts in the country, it was only supporters of FDC in Sironko who followed the plan laid down by the party to protect their votes.

According to correspondences seen by this newspaper, the FDC leader Kizza Besigye laid down a plan of protecting the party’s vote by deploying 9,500 agents across the country in a ‘Vote protection work’ drive. “Although some people are making false accusations to blackmail my supporters, the truth is that the military and armed civilians led by Mr George Nandege beat my supporters and we have recorded statements with police for investigations to be made,” he said.

The parliamentary polls in Budadiri was one of the most chaotic in the country with voters engaging in running battles with the police over alleged election malpractice. Witnesses say trouble started when a car carrying Mr Mafabi from Busamaga where he voted, was blocked by military personnel and policemen. Photojournalist Julius Odeke, then started taking photos of the incident and that is when bullets were fired.

As Odeke took refuge in Mafabi’s car, he was shot in the knee and ribs and the car windscreen was shattered. Other people who people who were injured in the fracas included Ms Ketty Nafuna, Mr Charles Mugoya, Mr Micheal Nidoi, Mr Patrick Gogo, Mr Micahel Gizamba, Mr Edward Mafabi.

Mr Nandala, who was also shot on the leg and dislocated his shoulder, said they fought running battles with the army who had planned to beat people and disorganise them to offer opportunity for rigging for minister Wabudeya. The Resident District Commissioner, Mr Hussein Matanda Kato, acknowledged that there was violence being inflicted on civilians in Budadiri West by soldiers and police officers.

“There was violence true, but the army and police was shooting to disperse the violent crowds that were fighting,” Mr Matanda said. “The police have started investigations into the matter and if it is found that the military intended to kill him, (Nandala) then they will be prosecuted. “There are even people who beat others and have now fled to Kampala to claim they are unsafe. Sironko is safe and they should come back and answer for their misdeeds,” Mr Matanda added.