By Candia Stephen
Arua-Fear has gripped members of Arua Municipality MP Ibrahim Abiriga’s family after their home was attacked last night at 11 pm by unknown people at Anyafio village, Mvara ward.
The suspected arsonists took advantage of the heavy down pour in the night to cut a wire mesh at the window way and attempted to push in a five liters jerican full of petrol.
According to Aminah Sijali, the wife of MP Abiriga, who was sleeping in the house with 10 other people mainly children, the attackers first cut the wire mesh and attempted to push the petrol in to the enclosed sitting arena but after they realized they were being noticed, they decided to hang it on the door but their attempts to light the match sticks failed as they were wet by the rain.
MP Abiriga has been at the helm of supporting the controversial amendment of the Presidential Age Limit, which some voters in the municipality also vehemently oppose.
“I was already sleeping with my five young children when my sister in-law called on me asking whether I was the one opening the door, but when I checked, I found part of the wire mesh was already cut and the people had fled,” said Aminah.
Aminah added that she immediately called the police officer guarding their home only to find the five litres petrol abandoned at the door way.
Meanwhile MP Abiriga, who is in Kampala in a telephone call said he is not worried of the incident since he has nothing personal with anyone.
Currently two police officers have been deployed to guard MP Abiriga’s home in Anyafio village but one reportedly fell sick and is undertaking treatment at his home.
The police officer (names withheld) says by the time the arsonists came through the front part of the house, he was guarding a vehicle parked behind the house, whose tyres were recently stolen by suspected thieves.
The wire mesh that was destroyed by the suspected arsonists. All photos by Candia Stephen.
Police detectives led by the Soco Francis visited the home, recorded statements and have opened a file of attempted arson under CRB ARU 2952/2017 as investigations continue in to the incident.
Aminah says since Abiriga took up the controversial position of removing the Presidential Age limit from the constitution, their home has suffered stone throws on many occasions at night, vehicle tyres removed and pictures of their yellow painted house taken by passers-by.
She says because of their five children being in school, she has been forced to stay in the house given to Abiriga since he was RDC Arua, which is now unsafe for them.
Many sympathizers to MP Abiriga stormed his home today with others demanding that UPDF be deployed to guard Abiriga’s home and the two police officers be removed.
According to one identified as Khemis, if the petrol exploded, the whole house and its 11 occupants would have been reduced to ashes.
Similarly, the home of Dravu Stephen, the father of MP and state minister for investment Evelyn Anite in Mvara was recently attacked by unknown people but no one was injured.
The home is now tightly guarded by police and private security officers.