Three NUP MPs, coordinators arrested on election eve| Three National Unity Platform-NUP legislators together with several other people deployed to protect the votes of Harriet Nakwede, the NUP candidate for the Kayunga LC 5 chairperson by-election are in police custody.
They are Aloysius Mukasa, the Lubaga South MP, Charles Tebandeke, Bbaale County MP and their Busujju County counterpart, Lukyamuzi Kalwanga. The trio was reportedly arrested on Wednesday by unidentified security personal while transporting polling agents to various polling stations within the district.
Among other individuals arrested is Daily Monitor journalist Michael Kakumirizi, who had traveled to spend a night in Kayunga but was picked upon arrival, Julius Mutebi, the Mayor Kira municipality, and Nakwede’s campaign manager Ben Kyobe.
Alex Kimuli, one of the NUP coordinators in Kayunga says that the whereabouts of the legislators are not known up to now. “This is intended to disorganize our camp, NRM wants to use such inconveniences to create room for vote-rigging,” Kimuli told our reporter. Ben Moses Ojambo, the NUP party chairperson says that they are yet to establish the exact number of those missing.
According to Ojambo, they have been receiving distressing calls reporting illegal arrests of main coordinators since last night. “We are going to police to follow up and establish the reasons behind their arrests. It is surprising that none of the police commandants is picking our calls despite the fact that they gave out their numbers to people to report inconveniences,” Ojambo said.
Our reporter tried to call the numbers of some of the missing people but there was no response despite the fact that the calls could go through. Hellen Butoto, the Ssezibwa Regional Police Spokesperson couldn’t also be reached for comment as she could neither pick nor return calls from our reporter. The Kayunga District Police Commander, Felix Mugizi could neither confirm nor deny the arrests.
“I am currently busy in the field contact the PRO for a briefing,” Mugizi said. During a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday evening, the Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama said they will not allow voter protection groups to move in the district since they are not provided for anywhere in the electoral laws and guidelines.
Today, voters in Kayunga are casting their votes in a by-election to replace the late Muhammad Ffeffeka Sserubogo, whose lifeless body was found dangling on a tree a month after occupying the office. The candidates in the race include Harriet Nakwede (NUP), Andrew Muwonge (NRM), Anthony Waddimba (DP), and Boniface Bandikubi, Jamir Kamoga, and Majid Nyanzi, all independents.