Not many civilians would want to dare an officer of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF], or in the worst scenario threaten a Colonel with arrest.
With many of the civilian populace always thinking it’s “impossible to dare a serving or a retired army officer with arrest threats”, only one man in Lango sub-region with little-known military record is trying to show his might.
Abacacon Charles Angiro Gutomoi, the Erute North MP is a “civilian” with such vitality.
He is an ex-combatant in the Lakwena rebellion that sought to dislodge President Museveni when he had just come to power by the barrel of the gun.
Now, he has threatened to arrest Defense State Minister, Patrick Charles Okello Engola Macodwogo who also doubles as the Oyam North MP – under the NRM party.
Why does he intend to arrest Defense Minister?
When President Museveni announced his directives that, among others, banned boda bodas, a curfew that restricts movements from 7pm to 6:30am and a ban on both private and public means, Minister Okello Engola Macodwogo was in haste to enforce the boss’ directives, and Lira being the centre of Lango by default, became his command center.
Using several media houses in Lango sub-region, Col [Rtd] Macodowgo accused the people of Lango especially those within the cosmopolitan town of Lira of disrespecting directives issued by Mr. Museveni. Mr. Engola vowed to call the army into action by means of caning to restore sanity.
Indeed, the fire-spitting Colonel mobilized his boys who unleashed their sticks in the suburbs of Lira town such as Kakoge where Lira town-based radio, Voice of Lango FM, reported that a dump and deaf boy was brutally injured by soldiers even before curfew time.
In Kole, the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Yohana Omara Olweny, perfectly copied and pasted Col. Okello Engola’s message and did not only inflict pain on villagers who violated the Presidential directives either by failing to respect recommended social distancing.
He did not only end in his area of jurisdiction, but the “loyal” RDC, heeding the military commands of the State Minister, escalated his highhandedness to Lira district.
Still in Kakoge – Ojwina division, Lira Municipality, Jonal Okot, an activist and NRM supporter is nursing wounds, thanks to the beating allegedly inflicted on him by escorts attached to Kole RDC. But this has since seen the RDC face a disciplinary committee.
Now, it appears that Lango Parliamentary Group [LPG], a loose coalition that brings together MPs from Lango sub-region, headed by Kampala Capital City Authority [KCCA] Minister Betty Amongi, is furious with Okello Engola over his “utterances and actions”.
Jonathan Odur, the Erute South MP, was quick to condemn the beating of the locals by security operatives and said this “tantamount to human rights violation which should not be condoned”.
While appearing on Cross Fire/Wibye Wa, a popular political talk show of TND News’ media partner QFM 94.3 on Saturday, Abacacon Charles Angiro Gutmoi could not hide his sentiments.
“I have heard Okello Engola saying people should not be on the streets by 2pm; is he above the President who said curfew begins at 7pm?” Angiro asked.
Angiro said as LPG they got uptight after listening to threatening words from Col. Engola which were completely in contrast to Mr Museveni’s directives.
“Is he the State Minister of Defence of only Lango or the entire country?” Angiro further questioned, before revealing that: “As LPG, we were alarmed that Okello Engola has forgotten his Oyam North Constituency where locals are busy sharing tubes at marua joints and in total disregard of social distancing measures yet he is busy concentrating on Lira.”
Angiro then disclosed that as LPG, “they will ensure that Col Okello Engola is arrested and charged with attempted murder for violating Presidential directives and facilitating the brutalisation of Lira town dwellers.”
By press time, attempts to obtain a resolution made by LPG to that effect were futile.
Similarly, Mr Okello Engola was not available to react to this arrest threat from his fellow MP, Mr Angiro.