Busia Resident District Commissioner Hussein Matanda has denied claims that Teso South Member of Parliament (MP) Mary Emaase Otuch escaped arrest in Amagoro-Maero, Uganda after she allegedly gathered a crowd of people she intended to register as voters in Kenya.
The Jubilee MP reportedly went into a homestead in Amagoro-Maero with her bodyguard to ask residents to register for IDs in Kenya.
Ugandan police, acting on a tip off, are said to have moved in and surrounded the compound.
Unconfirmed reports claimed some women gave Emaase clothes to disguise herself, enabling her to sneak out of the compound with her personal assistant.
Her bodyguard however was disarmed, arrested and taken to Tororo Police Station where the MP’s vehicle, a Toyota Fielder, was towed to and impounded.
Commissioner Hussein Matanda has, however, clarified that Emaase’s bodyguard was apprehended for being in possession of an unregistered firearm, contrary to Ugandan law – and not over voter poaching allegations.
According to the Ugandan law, every foreigner entering the country should declare their firearms and ammunition at the nearest Ugandan police station – at the border.
Upon declaring their firearm at the port of entry, the hosting authority can decide to: give the foreigner a temporary license if he or she is a VIP or allocate him or her a bodyguard, which comes at a fee. This is because the firearm regulations in Kenya are not the same as those in Uganda.
Matanda has said that they are in the final stages of processing Emaase’s bodyguard release.
Speaking to EDAILY reporter in Busia, Uganda, after a meeting between Ugandan officers and Busia security agency, Matanda said the suspect unknowingly entered Teso South which is largely a Ugandan territory.
“We have not arrested any Kenyan MP. What happened is that there was a Kenyan MP from Teso South who had gone to visit her relatives living in the Kenya-Uganda border, but because of the unclear boundary, she crossed over to Uganda with her bodyguard – and because the bodyguard was armed and he did not surrender his weapons when he was crossing, we arrested the bodyguard to investigate and see why he did not surrender his weapons. We have him in the cells.”
Busia County Commissioner John Chelimo also refuted claims that MP Emaase was poaching voters from Uganda.
Writing by Brian Okoth.