By Zalimon Basighalha (Goodluck)
The Police in Kasese district on Wednesday engaged themselves in running battles with the supporters of Hon. Jackson Mbaju Kathika, the former Busongora County South MP who recently won an election petition against Hon. Gideon Thembo Mujungu in the court of Appeal.
Like Mujungu, Kathika’s supporters had lined up at Kinyamwenge in Hima Town Council to receive their aspirant as he returned from Kampala to prepare for the forthcoming by-election to fill the now vacant parliamentary seat for Busongora South.
The seat fell vacant after the court of Appeal threw out Mujungu from Parliament after losing an election petition that was filed against him by his rival Jackson Mbaju Kathika who asserted that the January 14, 2021 parliamentary elections were marred by irregularities.
Now, a member of the National Unity Platform, the party leadership in Kasese led by Mr. Bryans Basisa had earlier told the press that the former MP would be received at Kinyamwenge before being led through many areas in the constituency including Karusandara, Rukooki and Mbunga among others but police couldn’t allow him to do so.
Kathika’s entourage that was supposed to head to Karusandara first observed that police had blocked all roads leading to the area and so he decided to go to Kasika in Rukooki sub-county.
But real drama was witnessed when the former legislator wanted to come from Kasika via Kasese town heading to Mbunga. Police could hardly allow him to pas via Kasese town but instead directed him to follow the Buhaghura route.
Kathika who moved out of the car and walked on foot before getting a boda-boda heading to Kasese Town, was along the way blocked by police before reaching the main road leading to Kasese town.
At that point, Kathika exchanged words with the Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander, who advised him to make a u-turn and use the Buhaghura route.
After exchanging words, Kathika accepted and moved back from where he was seen jumping off the boda- boda and started moving on foot heading to Buhaghura and thereafter police allowed the vehicles belonging to Kathika’s entourage to move to Kasese town one at ago.
Speaking to the press shortly before moving on foot enroute Buhaghura – Mbunga road, Kathika wondered why police blocked him and yet they had agreed on the routes he would use in advance.
Mr. Ernest Kasoke, Kathika’s Political Assistant, said it was not good for police to disrupt their movement but did not block their competitor and NRM’s flag bearer, Gideon Thembo Mujungu who had done the same over the weekend.
ASP Joackim Bwakya, one of the police officers in the operation told the press that they couldn’t allow the former legislator to conduct campaigns before the Electoral Commission releases the road map for the by-election.
A section of Kathika’s supporters said they were disappointed with police for its actions against their aspiring candidate.