Uganda: Gulu Mayoral Aspirant Arrested for Leading Procession

26 September 2020

Police in Gulu City in northern Uganda are holding one of Gulu City mayoral aspirants for allegedly defying Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health guidelines on Covid-19 amid nominations.

Mr Alfred Okwonga who went through NRM primaries unopposed was arrested along Ring road in Gulu West division on Friday afternoon on allegations that he was leading a procession.

At the time of his arrest, he was from the nomination venue at Gulu district council hall, where he showed up with three people while others were waiting for him outside.

His driver, Mr Alex Odonyo said during the time of the arrest, Mr Okwonga was waving to his supporters from the top of the lead car.

He said there were three occupants in his car but nine other hired cars were following the procession before they were intercepted by the police.

Mr Okwonga's campaign manager, Mr Michael Okidi Okech said police intercepted their convoy at Olailong market while returning to Cubu A&B village, Gulu East Division in Gulu City.

"After nomination we were told to go back home but police appeared from nowhere and blocked us before commanding us to drive to Gulu central police station", Mr Okidi said.

Aswa region police PRO Jimmy Patrick Okema said Mr Okwonga was arrested together with Lucky Anywar and Charles Oyet. All the 10 vehicles in the procession were also impounded.

"He defied the Ministry of Health SOPs and EC guidelines that allows a candidate to be accompanied by only three people," he said.

Mr Okwong will be taken to court and charged when investigations are complete, according to police.

"Anyone who tries to violate Covid 19, guidelines will be dealt with as the law permits," Mr Okema warned.

Others in the race Zeru Abukha Ominawiny (Independent), Rock Menya (DP) and Christopher Acire of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

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