It is a show of military might in Sembabule district as the members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) prepare for the parliamentary primary elections due on Friday, September 4.
The situation in the district is tense especially in Mawogola North which has left members of the first family divided.
Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kahamba Kutesa is fronting his daughter, Shartis Nayebare Musherure to replace him in Parliament. She is facing a tough challenge from President Yoweri Museveni’s brother, Godfrey Aine Kaguta Sodo.
Simply put, Sodo is Musherure’s father-in-law being that her twin sister, Charlotte, is married to first son, also senior presidential advisor on security, Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba.
Muhoozi is standing with Musherure, his sister-in-law, which has given her access to facilities such as cars attached to the president’s office as well as guards.
On the other hand, Sodo is also enjoying similar facilities, thanks to his brothers notably, Michael Kaguta Toyota and Shadrack Nzeire Kaguta who have pitched camp in the area to drum up support for their brother.
“Each came with at least 15 guards which translates to about 45 guns at Sodo’s disposal,” a local analyst said.
The two camps are already trading counter-accusations of violence. Sodo for instance accuses Kutesa of using the police against his supporters.
On the other hand, Musherure has filed cases at the police accusing the Kaguta brothers of bringing guns into the district and assaulting her supporters.
In one case, she claims that her agent, Leo Kayiwa, was assaulted at Mabindo village where he had gone to deliver Shs 500,000/= she promised to a youth group to buy piglets for their piggery project.
Salim Kisekka, one of the NRM contenders in Mawogola North asked the party’s vice chairman, Hajji Moses Kigongo to prevail over Musherure and Sodo whom he accused of using their security detail to unleash violence against other candidates and their supporters.
Kissekka told Kigongo that for purposes of restoring sanity in the party’s internal democratic processes, the duo must withdraw their guns from the district.
In Lwemiyaga, the incumbent MP Theodore Ssekikubo is also in a fight with the state minister for Transport, Joy Kafura Kabatsi who wants to end Ssekikubo’s dominance of the Lwemiyaga politics.
Ssekikubo recently acquired guards from the counter-terrorism unit of the police to beat off a threat of armed men whom he claims have been trailing him for the past two weeks.
The gunmen, Ssekikubo says, move in two vans with private registration number plates but under the command of a soldier at the rank of Major.
The Greater Masaka regional police commander (RPC), Enock Abaine told journalists on Monday, that the police had called for the support of sister security agencies after recording several cases of violence and misuse of guns.
“We have got reinforcements from sister agencies to beef up security in the district ahead of the primaries because we are increasingly getting reports of violence,” Abaine said.
Abaine said that outgoing Woman MP, Anifa Kawooya had also registered a case of assault after a gang connected to Mawogola South MP, Joseph Ssekabiito with whom they are competing in the newly created Mawogola West, raided her residence to pick NRM membership registers.
This was after Ssekabiito picked information that Kawooya had hid the registers in her house at Mitete to delete party members known to be against her.
At least three people were arrested by the police in connection to the incident.