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Detained Kassiano Wadri wins Arua by-election

Detained independent candidate Kassiano Wadri has won the Arua municipality parliamentary seat.

Wadri who was not able to cast his ballot as he's still detained some 200km away in Gulu district, beat 11 others, among them, Nusura Tiperu, a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party who finished second in the race.

He polled 6,421 while his main challenger Tiperu polled 4,798 votes. Another independent candidate Robert Ejiku had 2,694 and Forum for Democratic Change's (FDC) Bruce Musema had 1,369 votes. Wadri was declared winner by the returning officer Ruth Angom Ococ at Arua Public School. 

Kassiano Wadri (L) with his chief mobiliser Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi 

The former Terego county legislator now takes the seat previously occupied by Col Ibrahim Abiriga who was gunned down in June this year. The total number of votes cast were 17,089 while invalid votes were 613.

TREASON 

Meanwhile, police in Arua today displayed items including two guns they say were recovered from the hotel room that was occupied by Wadri's chief mobiliser also Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine. Kyagulanyi's driver, Yasin Kawuma was gunned down on Monday evening at Hotel Pacific parking yard and has been laid to rest today at his ancestral home in Buwama, Mpigi district.

Among the exhibits police displayed before journalists as items allegedly recovered from Kyagulanyi's hotel room; include two rifles with 30 rounds of ammunition each, a pistol with 8 rounds of ammunition, several mobile phones, T-shirts and several red caps. 
 
While exhibiting the items before the media, Josephine Angucia the police spokesperson for West Nile said, police recovered the two guns from the hotel room of Kyagulanyi while the pistol was found with Wadri.

However, when asked in which room the police recovered the items and whether the hotel was aware of the exhibits, Angucia referred journalists to the hotel management.
 
Luigi Candia, the proprietor of Hotel Pacific dismissed the police allegations against Kyagulanyi as untrue - aimed at covering up the "vandalism and robbery" done by the presidential guards. Kyagulanyi was arrested on Tuesday morning allegedly from the ceiling of the hotel where he'd been hiding. Wadri and several MPs were arrested on Monday. 
 
Luigi said his hotel was besieged by the army who beat up hotel staff, vandalised guest rooms, destroyed furniture and went away with over Shs 80 million. He said the money belonged to the hotel and their guests.
 
Luigi added that he's documenting all the losses incurred as a result of the destruction caused by the army which besieged the hotel from Monday night till Tuesday afternoon. According to some of the hotel staff URN spoke to, more than 20 rooms were vandalized and their locks destroyed, three hotel staff including the watchman were beaten and are still receiving treatment. 
 
First deputy prime minister Gen Moses Ali told parliament today that Kyagulanyi will tomorrow appear before the General Court Martial in Gulu to face charges of treason. Ali told the MPs that Kyagulanyi was found in possession of a gun.
 
He also said that Kyagulanyi is receiving treatment at Gulu Military hospital. He said that the other MPs; Francis Zzake, Gerald Karuhanga, Paul Mwiru and former MP Mike Mabikke are under custody and will appear in the Gulu Magistrate's court tomorrow.

The MPs face tentative charges of obstructing the president's motorcade and inciting violence in Arua. The MPs were arrested by the presidential guards from Hotel Pacific on Monday.
 
Parliament selected six MPs; Jacob Oboth Oboth, Allan Ssewanya, Medard Ssegona, Andrew Baryayanga, Dolly Amulle and Jovah Kamateka to travel to Gulu to attend the General Court Martial.  
© 2016 Observer Media Ltd