People Power's Henry Lubowa accounts for a day before the Arua tragedy - Whisper Eye

People Power’s Henry Lubowa accounts for a day before the Arua tragedy

That Saturday night was joyful, but hectic. We had started training poll watchers.

Myself, Samuel Walter Lubega Mukaaku, hon. Michael Mabikke and Sulaiman Kidandala handled one team.

While Hon Mwiru Paul, Johnmary Ssebuwufu, Derrick Mutema, Kawooya Mubarak also handled another.

We had three sets of poll watchers and each was as set. We finished training early that day for two reasons.

One, we were getting information that the security was rounding up our people and had to let them return home early, but secondly, our affordable eating place closed by midnight.

There was a joint where we did our meals. Very Nice hajat. She gave us food at Ug Shs. 4,000/= per plate and that night our fundraiser Mr Ssebuwufu had run out of money.

If we missed Hajat’s, it meant we would go hungry. We reached there 5 minutes to mid night.

We found comrades Ssebuwufu and Mr Mutema completing their meals, but again food had been finished. I nearly fainted.

My senior comrade Mukaaku looked at me. He knew I was starving. I had slept on dry tea the previous night, and hadn’t found time to do any meals that day, despite running up and down.

He held my hand and said, Lubowa, lets go. I think he had some money on him. Now we were walking with Kidandala and Mutema for any eating place and who do we find? Hon Munyagwa Mubarak.

He was emerging from some Luwombo restaurant. He is a generous guy.

He bought us supper, we had not had any where in Arua. We only restrained comrade Mutema from eating again. He had already had his share at Hajat’s.

MP Munyagwa also gave us one hundred thousand shillings. Its at the place that an excited young man found us and promised to be bring his caterpillar.

We thought he was the usual excited youth but directed him to our Hotel.

We met for the final brief at Pacific Hotel and let Hon Wadri have some sleep. It was coming to 2:00am.

Henry Lubowa

That Sunday morning I was woken up by the high sound of Bobi’s freedom song. It was coming from the caterpillar.

The man was at my door. I looked at my phone, it was 6:49 Am. The guy wanted red ribbons to decorate his machine.

He didn’t ask me for fuel, and when I gave him ribbons, he was off.

Another early riser was Asega. He came to tell me that our rally venue had been sealed off within the SFC prohibited areas.

Without even a shower we jumped on a bodaboda and started hunting for alternatives. We only managed to get a place near the prison.

It was a private land owned by an Ejiku supporter. She was very rough, but that was the only option. And it was getting late.

I had not gotten a platform, not even public address systems. It was not easy to get since it was a Sunday. It was not until 1:30pm, that we managed to get a platform from a Pentecostal church.

We headed for the rally spot to do a final set up.

Meanwhile Samuel Lubega had called me over 15 times. He was concerned that I was not updating them on the status of the rally yet Hon Kyagulanyi, Wadri, and other had already began waking to the rally.

It was now about 3:00pm. The whole rally ground was nearly full, despite being random.

The two sound systems were not anough, and before I could think about what to do, Hon Kyagulanyi arrived with Wadri, Zaake, Karuhanga, Alaso, Mwiru.