Tororo Tension: Museveni orders Investigations on Minister Sarah Opendi, Leaders Sanjay Tanna and Asuman Odaka over Reports of Influence Peddling

Former MP Sanjay Tanna, Asuman Odaka and Minister Sarah Opendi
Former MP Sanjay Tanna, Asuman Odaka and Minister Sarah Opendi

TORORO, Uganda. Heads are set to roll in Tororo district after a directive by the President to investigate the ‘people’ behind tension that is threatening to tear the eastern border district apart.

The Investigator has established that President Museveni has instructed the security organs, (CIID, CMI, and ISO) to investigate reports that the growing tension and rift between the Japadhola and itesots is being fueled by some selfish politicians, some of whom are political losers in the recent 2016 elections. According intelligence reports, security minister Gen. Henry Tumukunde is set to head the investigations. The former spy chief was however cagey about the investigations.

According to highly places State Houses, the petition to investigate the Tororo saga followed a petition and complaint by the Chairman General of National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) Usher Wilson Owere.   Owere, a renowned NRM cadre and known fighter of workers’ rights feels the innocent youth are ‘just being used’.

The Internal Security (ISO) Boss Frank Kaka Bagyenda as well as his counterpart in the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Col. Abel Kandiho were locked up in meeting and couldn’t pick our calls when contacted.

The Investigator also established that also to be investigated is East FM based in Tororo and owned by Sanjay Tanna the former Tororo Municipality MP. Godfrey Mutabazi the Executive director has always warned that he will scrap off licenses of radio stations that spread hate speech and fuel ethnic violence. ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze vowed to crack the whip. Reports are rife that East FM has been hosting scores of Itesot who have been accused of spreading hate speech using its airwaves.

Last week the President had meetings with the Tieng Adhola His Royal Highness Owor Moses and the Itesot faction at Kisozi and the Jo’padhola cultural head told the President that the Jo’padhola don’t want a split of Tororo. President Museveni reportedly told the delegation that he would sort out the issue. The Investigator has established from top State House sources that the president will make his announcements on the Tororo matter any time this month, adding that the issue of splitting of Tororo is out of the way.

When the Investigator contacted Owere on Monday, he acknowledges petitioning the president and reechoed similar calls to have the people behind investigated. When pinned to reveal the names he suspects, Owere was not cagey, he said some political losers and ‘selfish’ politicians such Health State Minister Sarah Opendi (Tororo Woman MP), former Tororo LCV district chairman Emmanuel Osuna, former Tororo Municipality MP Sanjay Tanna, and former Tororo municipality MP loser Asuman Odaka as those among the people misleading the youth and fueling the tension. “As far as I know, as an elder, there is no war between the Jopdhola and the Itesots. It is just a few politicians using the youth to cause tension, and scare the masses,” he said.

He noted that this is a repeat of a similar tribal conflict between the jo’padhola and the Itesot of 2001. “What we are seeing is similar to what happened during the 2001 elections. Where sections of politicians ganged up to cause confusion between the two tribes. What happened, votes were split amidst a very bitter voting between Apollo Yeri Ofwono and Sanjay Tanna for Tororo Municipality,” said Owere. He explained that though Yeri emerged winner, the rift didn’t end until 2006 when it culminated into election of a non indigenous MP, Sanjay Tanna as legislator for Tororo Municipality. He said similar hate fliers and poster were dropped during the 2006 elections.

“Tanna served for two terms (2006-2011- 2016) and lost in the 2016 elections to his bitter rival Apollo Yeri Ofwono in 2016 the voters seemed to have realized that they were being used and voted Yeri back,” said Owere. Adding: “the current fliers and leaflets going around calling for wiping out of Itesot is a work of some politicians whom I want investigated and prosecuted.”

“These are their continued machinations in preparations for 2021. And to cause confusion ahead of the Tororo LCV chairperson by elections.” Owere named the politicians fueling trouble in Tororo as Sanjay Tanna, Hon Sarah Opendi the state Minister for Health and Tororo Woman MP, who is battling election rigging case in court, Emmanuel Osuna, the former Tororo district chairman, Asuman Odaka from JEEMA who lost in the Tororo Municipality MP seat, a one Opata of GO- Forward camp, James Opondo who stood for West Budama South MP under the UPC ticket and was floored by the current MP Oboth Oboth as well as a one Lazaro, a brother to Emmanuel Osuna who also lost in the West Budama South MP seat. Efforts to get a comment from the above listed were futile as some deliberately refused to pick our calls, why others just rubbished the claims.

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Patrick Jaramogi is a trained Crime, Financial and Fraud investigative journalist. He is a senior writer and Editor at the Investigator. He can be reached via email: [email protected] or watsup +256772426211​​​