Kampala, Uganda | URN | Aruu County MP, Odonga Otto was rushed to Nakasero hospital on Thursday 30th after he was allegedly punched by his Kilak North counterpart, Anthony Akol.
The two lawmakers exchanged blows at Parliament over claims that Mr Otto was telling Akol’s voters to eject him from the House for selling their land in Amuru to government.
The two legislators charged at each other as Mr Akol was escorting a group of his electorates that had just visited him at Parliament. Eye witnesses say Mr Akol accosted Mr Otto around the pigeonhole area and asked him why he was de-campaigning him. Mr Akol reportedly warned Mr Otto that if he kept on accusing him, he would act badly.
It is alleged that Mr Otto didn’t deny the allegations insisting that indeed Mr Akol sold the land, prompting Akol to punch him. The Gulu Municipality MP, Lyandro Komakech quickly intervened to restrain Akol.
Mr Otto was later rushed by Parliamentary Ambulance to Nakasero Hospital.
Mr Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South MP who was at the scene during the fight, says he didn’t know what exactly started the fight but said Mr Otto was out of danger.
Mr Okin PP Ojara, the Acholi Parliamentary Group Chairperson, said it was very unfortunate for the MPs to have clashed physically. He said they will sit down and try to resolve the matter between the two lawmakers and ensure that such an incident never happens again.
“We will understand the cause of that conflict before we see how to address it because we have our channels as members of Acholi Parliamentary group on how to address grievances among ourselves. We have been saying, time and again, that we should not confront each other or go to each other’s constituency during campaigns or talk ill against one another because we are one and we were sent to Parliament by the Acholi people to deliberate on matters that concern them. We will look into this matter and as the chairman, I will seek to understand what happened from both honorable Akol and honorable Otto and see how we can harmonise them,” he said.
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By the time of publishing this story, Mr Olanya who was with Otto at the Hospital, said they would be discharged soon.
Attempts to speak to Akol were futile as he was attending plenary and promised to get back to us later.
This isn’t the first time that MPs are fighting in parliament. In 2017, the Ayivu County MP, Bernard Atiku fought with his former Arua Municipality counterpart, the late Ibrahim Abiriga over insults.