By David Oduut
Bubulo East Member of Parliament in Manafwa district, Simon Mulongo has been accused by fellow aspirants of using his escorts to intimidate opponents during the ongoing NRM primaries campaigns.
Supporters of George William Wopuwa, one of the NRM aspirants seeking to unseat Mulongo, say they are concerned about the MP being armed and using his police escorts to intimidate voters while campaigning.
Five candidates are vying for the Bubulo East seat in the coming NRM primaries: Moses Soita, Apollo Masika, Dickson Wamamera, incumbent Simon Mulongo, a one Nanongo and George William Wopuwa.
In a meeting that brought together all NRM aspirants from Manafwa district, Wopuwa claimed that MP Mulongo has been moving around with armed bodyguards intimidating and harassing his supporters.
Wopuwa, a former two-time legislator for Bubulo East, in his letter to the RDC Manafwa, cried foul over the incumbent’s use of police cover to rough up his opponents’ supporters.
Base Maumbe, the deputy RDC of Manafwa who chaired the tense meeting, read the petition filed by Wopuwa to the rest of the aspirants that had gathered at the NRM party offices in Manafwa town council.
“Wopuwa has complained that Mulongo uses his police escorts to intimidate supporters of the other candidates in the race,” Maumbe said as she reviewed the letter.
Maumbe said a report has been forwarded to the Police.
“I have already alerted the regional Police commander on this matter,” he said.
Elgon Regional Police Commander, James Ruhweza (pictured below), said they have summoned Mulongo to record a statement in regard to the claims raised.
Ruhweza, however, condemned the alleged misconduct of police officers attached to Mulongo for allowing the legislator to turn them into “political tools”.
“Police has a very clear code of conduct on its officers, so if those attached to Mulongo have made a mistake, appropriate action will be taken against them.”
However, in response, Mulongo said that basing on the position that he holds as an MP and a member of the security committee of Parliament, he is allowed to possess a gun and two escorts.
He retaliated that Government is fully aware of his personal security, but said if there are any claims of misuse, Police can come in to take action.
On his part, Mulongo accused Wopuwa for supporting his rival in 2001 while he was the returning officer Mbale at the time.
“So he is fighting the battle he lost time back.”