There was drama and tension inside the NBS TV Frontline Show studio on Thursday night after Zephaniah Ofwono Opondo stood up to punch Kampala Lord Mayor and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Vice President for Central Uganda Ssalongo Erias Lukwago.
Front liner Ofwono Opondo and Lord Mayor Lukwago were in studio to discuss the chaotic Soroti City East by-election, which Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama’s Electoral Commission (EC) claimed had been won by Herbert Edmund Ariko of President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Lukwago insisted that the Soroti East byelection had not free and fair. “Thuggery has happened today. There was no election today. The whole of Soroti was turned into a battlefield. It’s been horror, nothing else but horror, and it’s regrettable,” submitted Lukwago.
Trouble came when he attempted to punch holes into Ofwono Opondo’s statements as the government spokesperson attempted to sanitize NRM’s win in an election that seemed like a one-man race and war in some areas where FDC polling agents were harassed and arrested.
Ofwono Opondo argued that he had listened to Lukwago’s submission and that the lawyer, who doubles as opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye’s deputy in the People’s Government and People’s Front for Transition (PFT), should listen to him also, without any heckling or interruptions.
This as Lukwago attempted to interject to inform Ofwono Opondo that FDC agents were arrested and forced to sign declaration of results forms.
Things got out of hand after the government spokesperson told the Lord Mayor to “shut up,” to which Lukwago fired back: “Please, you will not shut me up.”
“This man likes shouting. You can shout and we push you out of here. I can push you out of here, Lukwago.”
“Yes, I know you have the powers,” replied Lukwago.
He further infuriated Ofwono Opondo when he said: “I know you have ever shot someone dead.”
At this point, Ofwono Opondo stood up, ready to punch Lukwago and throw him out of studio, as the Lord Mayor continued to say: “You shoot me!”
This is not the first time there is chaos to the extent that guests nearly punch each other. In February 2022, legal rebel Isaac Ssemakadde was engaged in a bitter exchange on NTV Uganda, nearly ending in blows. (Read Story and Watch Video Here).
There was also trouble inside NTV studios in July 2020 as former Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala and FDC secretary general Nathan Nandala Mafabi nearly thumped each other. (Read Story Here).