Gender Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana has defended himself on accusations of removing a gun from his guard during a chaotic incident at his home in Rubaare, Ntungamo on Friday, saying he wanted to “secure myself from armed people.”
“These people were armed. They came to my farm and blocked my family members from leaving our home,” Rukutana told ChimpReports in Ntungamo on Saturday.
“My guards went and urged them to leave but they refused. So I was trying to secure myself,” he added.
A video clip going viral on WhatsApp shows Rukutana picking an AK47 rifle from his police guard and advancing towards a car occupied by unidentified people.
The guard then quickly removes the magazine from the gun, preventing Rukutana from shooting people.
— ChimpReports (@ChimpReports) September 5, 2020
In the background, one can hear voices of men in the car.
“Stop driving recklessly. Be careful,” one of the men charges at the driver, who responds, “Don’t put me under pressure. I know what I am doing.”
Rukutana said he was protecting himself from people who invaded his farm.
But his rivals say he was bribing people at his home which they raided to collect evidence.
There was no evidence to prove the men in the RAV4 car had guns.
The incident came against the backdrop of unprecedented violence in the the area where Rukutana is battling Naome Kabasharira in the Rushenyi NRM MP primaries.
Voting in some parts of Rushenyi, Ntungamo District, Western Uganda, were on Friday postponed over violence.
In Rubaare sub-county, elections were not held after unidentified men ran away with the register.
The area is the birthplace of area MP, Rukutana.
This raised fear that the men who fled with the register were possibly supporters of Rukutana’s rival, Kabasharira.
In some villages in the Town Council, elections could not be held due to violence.
The NRM Electoral Commission Registrar, Maria Mirembe Baitwa decided to postpone elections in that sub-county, saying a new date for polls in the affected areas will be communicated.
As things stand, the party’s Electoral Commission is assessing the situation on the way forward.