“Strange whites” almost denied to vote in Iganga

Meet Mr. Kirunda Magoola. A smiley regretful dad of seven.

Mr. Magoola Kirunda during The Observer interview in Nakassero on February 23, 2011

Mr. Magoola Kirunda during The Observer interview in Nakassero on February 23, 2011

He’s so straight. Speaks his mind but treasures family and community. He hails from Iganga.

On February 18 however, some of his extra characters were exposed. Heavily exposed that is.

Since this story is coming out in The Observer soon, am just gonna cut the clutter and get to the point.

Magoola is a proud successful farmer. His fellow villages know him for that. Actually he talks of being a ‘celebrity’ of sorts because of farming.

He’s married to a Japanese wife.

Rachael Tamaki Magoola listens to her dad during the interview with The Observer on February 23, 2011

Rachael Tamaki Magoola listens to her dad during the interview with The Observer on February 23, 2011

On the election morning, he escorted his three eligible children to vote. Of the three, one was female- Rachael Tamaki Magoola (MUK). The others were: Magoola Moses Menya and Magoola Jacob Aichiro Kirunda (MUK).

On reaching the Polling Station, deep in the village (Iganga), locals (polling agents) saw people they called “whites/Indians” lining up to vote and as you would expect, they got concerned. By the way, these kids have never visited Japan, their “motherland” before.

A photocopy of Magoola Jacob Aichiro Kirunda's passport

A photocopy of Magoola Jacob Aichiro Kirunda's passport

The presiding officer with good intentions of bringing calm to the station asked the three to present their voting cards to which they obliged. Their names were in the voters’ registry. They pulled out their passports too.

Magoola Moses Menya takes a soda as his Dad Kirunda Magoola speaks to the The Observer journalist on February 23, 2011

Magoola Moses Menya takes a soda as his Dad Kirunda Magoola speaks to the The Observer journalist on February 23, 2011

The locals who clearly knew these ‘strange’ children suddenly turned around and denied knowledge ever seeing them. The celebrity dad stood his ground and insisted his children have to vote. The locals too, could not allow that to happen.

Jacob Aichiro Kirunda said he got traumatized by the events but had to exercise his right as a Ugandan.

Jacob Aichiro Kirunda said he got traumatized by the events but had to exercise his right as a Ugandan.

The scuffle that followed left Magoola’s Toyota Saloon hit. The children were luckily whisked away by Magoola’s driver as he battled for his children’s’ right to vote.

Magoola's car is seen with windscreens broken at a Police Post in Iganga on February 18, 2011

Magoola's car is seen with windscreens broken at a Police Post in Iganga on February 18, 2011

Magoola followed his children shortly, made a statement at the nearest Police post and demanded sufficient Police protection back to the Polling Station to help his children vote. Yes, they voted and don’t ask me who coz I won’t tell.

(A detailed story to come in The Observer soon)

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