By Faustine Odeke
At least 15 people are under medical care at Tororo Hospital following Tuesday’s clashed between supporters of West Budama South MP Mackson Jacob Oboth and his opponent Lazarus Oketch.
Three vehicles belonging to Oketch – including the music system – were damaged in the clashes at Pawanga trading centre in Nabuyoga sub-county.
The clashes occurred when the two rival groups met at a junction and immediately had sharp verbal exchanges – which unfurled into a physical confrontation.
Oketch’s group was headed for a campaign in Pawanga parish – his rival’s home village.
Police from Nabuyoga Police Post intervened moments later to quell the situation.
Micheal Odongo, the Malaba Police spokesperson, said both parties recorded statements after opening cases of assault and malicious damage to property.
“We are going to carry out investigations into the matter to establish the truth – since both parties are claiming to have been attacked by their opponents – and the culprits will be produced in court,” he said.
Odongo appealed to the aspirants to control their supporters to avoid causing any further such violence.
“We condemn all the aspirants who are reportedly buying alcohol and Waragi to their supporters, which has resulted into violence.”
The police spokesman said all those that were assaulted and witnesses recorded statements with the Police.
Oketch (above)said about sh50m worth of property was destroyed in the clashes and wants his opponent to repair his cars and the music system.
He said he was waylaid and Oboth’s supporters assaulted him using weapons including spears, clubs and swords. He appealed to his opponents to promote the spirit of reconciliation and unity, adding that he is going to continue with his rallies till the end.
However, Oboth said he was surprised when his supporters and convoy were pelted with stones. He appealed to the supporters to remain calm and peaceful throughout the campaign season.
Also in the race is Phibby Otaala.
Meanwhile, residents in the constituency have petitioned the district security committee to remove the military truck that is used by Oboth to ferry supporters in the constituency, saying it torments supporters of other aspirants.
The committee chairperson, Martin Orochi, has warned all candidates against increasing cases of violence in the district, especially in West Budama North and West Budama South, saying the security is prepared enough to deal with them.
He directed all the aspirants to disband all their recruited youth groups before they are dealt with accordingly.