My Team Need Critical Treatment for Campaign Violence Injuries – Amuriat

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The former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential flag bearer Patrick Amuriat Oboi says the violence that dominated 2021 election campaign season left him and his team with permanent injuries.

Amuriat in an interview with URN said they are mobilizing funds to fully treat his campaign team. This he said may involve flying some people abroad for comprehensive treatment. But he did not tell how much is needed and when its likely to happen.

“I have a very unhealthy team, some with permanent injuries, me also my sight was highly affected,” Amuriat said. “l also have a chest pain with a continuous cough especially in the night which I never had before.” 

Amuriat explains that he got into direct confrontations with security agencies—mainly police and the army—on several occasion. For instance, he says he was arrested 13 times, confined in different places, taken to court three times. 

According to the election violence data collected by Uganda Radio Network, the FDC team got involved in 44 incidents, majorly tear gassing of Amuriat’s team.

The opposition politicians were often teargassed  for disregarding COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures and attempting to hold rallies in areas that had not been agreed on, especially in towns.  

Despite all the brutality meted on the team during the campaigns and discontent of the election results, Amuriat says they have no intentions to use violence as they try to dislodge Museveni from power.  

‘‘There are many ways of dealing with Museveni and his character, but one way that we are not going to choose is the way of violence, picking up arms to fight Mr. Museveni,” Amuriat said. “We are not going to do that. There are civil ways by which change can be brought to this country without having to resort to violence.” 

Amuriat also argues that confrontations curtailed his team’s movements during the campaigns, hence minimizing the time they would have spent interacting with voters. 

“If we have to put together the times we were able to interact with people we could say we had cumulative interaction of just one week and a half of the 65 days when we were supposed to meet with people” he claimed. 

He also argues that COVID-19 was just used as an excuse to limit reachability of candidates to voters. Three weeks to elections, EC banned campaigns in Kampala, Mbarara, Kabarole, Luwero, Kasese, Masaka, Wakiso, Kabarole, Jinja, Kalungu, Kazo and Tororo due to COVID-19 surge.

Amuriat had several confrontations in which his security guards provided by police came to his rescue. 

Asked if he developed a friendship that has continued past campaign season, he said, “I must say that my security team was very supportive, we do not know whether there some who may have had a hidden agenda, but this never showed in their actions.  So we developed a relationship with them.”

Amuriat doesn’t think the bodyguards who were with him “would be comfortable to extend this (friendship) beyond” for fear of being asked “what they are doing” with him.

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