Two Arrested, Others Nursing Injuries in Katakwi Campaigns

“Their plan was to attack and use a spear to assassinate me right in front of my voters. I was tipped off by an old woman who told me that my political rivals had ganged up and are planning to kill me.”
Two people accused of attacking the Information, Communication and Technology State Minister, Peter Ogwang at his campaign rally on Sunday evening are locked up at Katakwi Central police station.

The suspects including Joseph Apunyo, 34 and Karoli Kwees, 22, both residents of Ocorimongin Cell in Ocorimongin Town Board have been charged with malicious damage to property, inciting violence, defacing campaign posters and assault under Vide CRB 13/2021.

They were arrested by Ogwang’s security detail and handed over to the police after a battle that saw the minister’s security discharge live bullets to disperse angry residents in Ocorimongin Town Board.

The suspects are believed to be supporters of Ogwang’s rival, Augustine Otuko for the new Ngariam County parliamentary seat on an independent ticket. Otuko lost to Ogwang in the NRM primaries and opted to run as an independent.

In a brief statement shortly after the incident, Ogwanga alleged that his attackers had planned to kill him at the rally. “I had just started talking to the people after being invited by the Area LCI when a group of hooligans stormed the meeting and started ruthlessly beating up my supporters. Several of my agents and supporters have been injured and are receiving treatment. All my posters in Ocorimongin Town have been destroyed by this small group of hired hooligans who were wielding knives, sticks and iron bars”, Ogwang’s post on shared by his aides reads on WhatsApp.

Adding that “Their plan was to attack and use a spear to assassinate me right in front of my voters. I was tipped off by an old woman who told me that my political rivals had ganged up and are planning to kill me.” However, in his response, Otuko faults the minister for what he described as arrogance and unfounded brutal pride to win the elections.

Otuko claims that it has become a habit from Ogwang to beat his supporters, saying that the minister was angered by a young man taking his photos and recording his campaign. “It has now become a culture for Ogwang to brutalize Katakwi People and run to the media to issue unfounded statements to play the victim. Blood is now clearly encrypted to his Election Agenda”, Otuko’s statement reads in part.

He notes that some of the victims of the Ocorimongin incident were followed to their homes and pulled out of their houses.  David Ongom Mudong, the East Kyoga Region Police Spokesman, says that preliminary information indicates that the scuffle in Ocorimongin ensued when the suspects started taking photos during an open rally of Ogwang.

“This raised suspicion and concern from Ogwang's side hence causing clashes between supporters of both sides that prompted the Minister's escorts to discharge bullets in the air to scare and disperse the already violent crowd”, he said in a statement on Monday.

Ongom says that Police led by the District Police Commander, David Wills Ndaula have visited the scene and recorded statements from witnesses to help in the case. He also revealed that they have recovered some of the exhibits from the scene.  Both suspects were seen receiving treatment at Katakwi General Hospital while another victim, Pastor David Omoding is admitted at VIVA Medical Clinic in Katakwi.  

Omoding told our reporter that he was also listening to the Minister’s message when the scuffle ensued. He explains that in an attempt to divide the warring parties, he also sustained injuries. Ogwang, who is currently the Usuk County MP, crossed to the newly created Ngariam County where he is facing seven challengers.