2,000 Cops Fail to Contain Electoral Violence in Sembabule

The deployment of more than 2,000 security personnel in Sembabule district was not enough to avert acts of violence as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) chose its parliamentary flag bearers in Mawogola North and Mawogola West.

Truckloads of police and army officers were driven into the district on Sunday, September 27, to enforce strict adherence to security guidelines ahead of primary elections which were held on September 30.

According to the deployment plan each of the nine sub-counties where the polling took place was manned by a District Police Commander and a force of at least 200 personnel. 

Anti-riot police personnel on patrol in Sembabule

However, acts of violence were reported in Kannunga, Rushese villages and Kizaano polling station in Rugusulu Sub County, Mawogola North Constituency where supporters turned rowdy as they engaged in bitter exchanges that resulted into fighting.

 The violence was reportedly instigated by disagreements between supporters of Shartsi Musherure Kuteesa and Godfrey Aine Kaguta aka Sodo over the inclusion of underage voters in the process.

The other incidents were recorded in Kiganda village polling station in Lwebitakuli sub-county in Mawogola West where the incumbent Mawogola MP, Joseph Ssekabiito and Sembabule Woman MP Anifa Kawooya were fighting for the NRM flag.

Much as the NRM electoral commission Chairman, Dr. Tanga Odoi claimed that all the registrars he deployed had cameras to capture videos and pictures of any cases of violence to be used as evidence against the perpetrators, the police has no recordings of the violence.

Muhammad Nsubuga, the Greater Masaka Regional Police spokesperson told journalists that the police are still waiting for reports from their field officers.

FIGHTING ON

Musherure who lost the primaries in Mawogola North has disputed the results and vowed to fight on.

“I believe that we were not defeated, we were cheated but many times, the world over, we know that we should pick up our pieces to live on and fight another day to serve our country,” Musherure said.

According to the results released by William Katokoozi, the NRM returning officer in the district, Godfrey Aine Kaguta polled 17, 343 votes beating Shartsi Musherure Kutesa who polled 16,104 votes and Salim Kisekka 4,274 votes.

Musherure is however contesting results of six villages where she recorded zero votes.

“It is impossible that at an entire village, there was no one to vote for me. For example at Kikoma, I had got 345 votes but Dr Tanga came and nullified it, directed that the vote be repeated when our supporters had left,” Musherure said.

In Mawagola West, Kawooya polled 15,923 to defeat Ssekabiito who garnered 13,143 votes.

The party primaries in Mawogola North and West Constituencies were cancelled on September 4 after acts of violence and chaos left many people injured and property vandalized.      

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