BUKIMBIRI BYE-ELECTION; PARISH PRIEST NARROWLY SURVIVES DEATH
By Kweronda Ambrose
The Gatete Parish Priest Fr. Emmanuel Safari has filed a filed a complaint at Kisoro central Police station after he was allegedly attacked by angry voters, while moving in his vehicle heading to Birara Hika in Bukimbiri County, Kisoro district.
Bukimbiri County today its next Member of Parliament in a by-election that saw NRM candidate Eddie Kwizera Wa Gahungu ejected from Parliament following a High Court order.
Rev. Fr. Safari, while addressing the media at Police says, he was driving in his vehicle, Toyota Harrier registration number UBJ 266G in the company of a two people, male and female heading to Birara Hika, at the request of the priest there.
Fr. Safari claims he was being tailed by a motorcycle carrying two people whom he overheard, yelling, “this is the notorious father who supports Asgario Turyagyenda instead of his the NRM candidate”, explained Fr. Safari
Asgario Turyagenda is an independent candidate in today’s election and a closely rated rival of NRM’s Eddie Kwizera Wa Gahungu.
According to Fr. Safari, with minutes of hearing those words, he had a loud blast behind his car, only to realize that his back windshield had been completely destroyed.
Fr. Safari says the two occupants in his vehicle recognized one of the people on the motorcycle as a Parish Chief in the area identified as Sunday Steven.
“I immediately drove my car to the Police and reported the case. I do not understand why they would do this to my car and these accusations about me supporting Asgario are unfounded”, Fr. Safari said
The two witnesses and passengers in Rev. Fr. Safari’s car confirmed the incident and identified the main perpetrator as Sunday Steven.
Kisoro Police declined to comment on the matter, saying investigations were still on-going.
Recent studies have shown that over 75% of the population in Bukimbiri subscribes to the Catholic faith.
As luck would have it, during a live phone with our reporter the accused, got an opportunity to speak about the incident claiming that Fr. Safari’s claims are all false.
According to Sunday Steven, he allegedly met Fr. Safari and the two occupants of the car distributing monies to people and at the time, his car was still in good condition.
“I saw him and the two other people giving voters 2000 Ugandan shillings each to vote for Asgario Turyagyenda. When I approached the car to confront them, the male occupant punched me in the face and they drove off”, Sunday explained
Cases of electoral violence, voter bribery and intimidation are allegedly being reported have at various polling stations across Bukimbiri County