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By Our Reporters

On Wednesday early morning, something that went unreported conspicuously happened at Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga’s home located in remote Kirinyabigo village on the outskirts of Kawanda Township along Bombo road. A police patrol pick up (UP 2403) stormed the MP’s home. The mission was to disarm and apprehend one of the MP’s five Counter-Terrorism (CT) body guards who got drunk and strayed into people’s shops in Kirinyabigo trading center and started beating up female shopkeepers. The body guard, a renowned drunkard in the trading center’s small bars, had spent the entire night taking Waragi and fighting with fellow drunkards. It was 7am when he stormed the shop of a one Martin and demanded that Martin’s wife (shopkeeper) gives him stuff on credit (Martin is a former primary school teacher at St. James Kawanda P/S and now is employed as a driver Kawanda Research Station). The woman (shopkeeper) refused saying the body guard was too irresponsible to be trusted taking her sugar on credit. “Besides its morning it’s too early. I have just opened and haven’t sold to anybody and can’t start my day selling on credit,” she politely told the body guard who was clearly knackered having spent the entire night drinking. The body guard forced his way into the shop, dragged out the woman and started thumping her. She made an alarm that attracted the youths who were gathered in small groups in the trading center as they always do. The crowd gathered and physically manhandled the body guard who kept singling out mostly women for thumping under the guise of defending himself. The crowd assured him he was going to be lynched and burnt if he doesn’t return to Abiriga’s boy quarter and rest. The unrepentant body guard escaped from the crowd and run to his house to bring the gun and shoot them. It was at this time that residents ran to the area police post which sent for the patrol on which 10 policemen travelled to storm Abiriga’s home. They found the heavily intoxicated body guard returning to the shops with his gun and they disarmed him. In the process the body guard assaulted the policemen until they overpowered him and pushed him under the patrol pick up. As Abiriga powerlessly looked on, the other body guards assured the arresting officers they would storm Kirinyabigo police post and free their colleague. This forced the Kirinyabigo police post bosses to take the errant body guard to Kawempe police station where he remains detained. His arrest excited other residents who said they lived under constant fear that this Abiriga’s specific body guard would any day go on rampage and shoot the MP’s neighbors.


Eye witnesses say that Abiriga, who settled here 7 months ago after buying the house from Kasangati town clerk (Edward Senteza) at Shs200m, is generally apprehensive and always keeps a low profile fearing to be attacked by the community that he believes has never forgiven him for his role in the scrapping of age limit in the Constitution. “He prefers to live incognito and that is why he chased away guys on the police patrol that used to guard his home. He clearly lives under fear and alone with the body guards. He fears that fellow residents are very bitter with him and they can invade his home. That is why he lives very quietly. He never buys anything in the nearby shops or super markets fearing to be poisoned and doesn’t socialize with anybody because the youth have made it risky for him to conspicuously go out of his house. This is why his wives and children don’t live here. He says it’s risky. He doesn’t want them to be attacked by the youths here,” said a young man who until recently served as Abiriga’s shambaboy. The young man adds that until the last Wednesday pandemonium, many of the residents didn’t even know that the much loathed Abiriga lives in their neighborhood. Inside, it’s a very big home with 6 huge rooms including 4 bed rooms, sitting and dining rooms. Each bed room has a bath room attached and Abiriga’s compound is well paved. The tile-roofed property also has a huge garage attached and Abiriga has only one car-the famous tiny yellow Volkswagen that we all know. There is one single mango tree in the compound and on moving in, the very anxious Abiriga ordered for the fence to be raised way beyond what original owner Edward Senteza had constructed. The compound size is half acre but Abiriga remains insecure and very depressed feeling that fellow residents can harm him anytime. Senteza got his money and relocated to Matuga where he bought a bigger place. Abiriga’s sense of insecurity intensified recently when he bitterly fell out with his driver. Sources close to the psychologically much tormented Abiriga told us that the driver left saying he was tired of being enslaved after the MP refused to pay his salary. He went unpaid for months and quit the job in protest, leaving the MP even more vulnerable. “Many of us thought Hon Abiriga was a very powerful man but we were surprised seeing him looking on helplessly as police disarmed and arrested his body guard. He was there just looking and never said even a word,” said one of the neighbors adding that the Wednesday events further corroborate reports they have been hearing that Abiriga has lately not been on good terms with his body guards who are sympathetic to the driver who quit. That each time, the body guards demand for some material support, Abiriga tells them “I’m also broke leave me alone.” Efforts to get Abiriga for a comment proved futile as each time we called his phone number, a voice speaking exactly like him picked but said “wrong number I’m not Abiriga.” For comments on this & other Mulengera news stories, reach us (whatsapp inclusive) on 0703164755!



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