The National Unity Platform (NUP) leaders in Masaka City have petitioned the Electoral Commission ( EC) over intimidation and interference of security personnel in the ongoing exercise to compile the voters’ registers ahead of women’s elections.
The NUP leadership has asked the Electoral Commission to reign over what they describe as disruptive conduct of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party agents and security operatives whom they accuse of manipulating the voters’ registration exercise.
Joseph Kasirye, the NUP Party Registrar for the Masaka sub-region says that the NRM party agents backed up by security operatives have hijacked the exercise in many areas where they are blocking known opposition supporters from being registered.
According to Kasirye, some of the local party mobilizers who have stood up to resist the irregularities have suffered arbitrary arrests and violence by security officers including police and the army which is frustrating women from participating in the process.
Michael Mulindwa Nakumusana, the Nyendo-Mukungwe Division Chairperson has also blamed the Electoral Commission for abdicating its roles of civic education and monitoring of the ongoing voters’ registration exercise.
He is concerned that if not contained, the ongoing intimidation will scare away women from participating in the entire election process hence disenfranchising them.
Florence Namatovu, a female youth representative to Nyendo-Mukungwe division has in the meantime recorded a case of assault with Masaka Central Police Post, in which she accuses three NRM party mobilizers of kidnapping and subjecting her to torture as she resisted their attempts to confiscate Electoral Commission registers.
Sam Agaba, the Masaka City Electoral Commission Returning Officer declined to comment about the allegations raised in the petition because he was out of office.
Muhammad Nsubuga and Major Ninsiima Lwemijuma, the greater Masaka Regional Police and Uganda People Defense Forces Spokesperson respectively have denied allegations of security personnel being used in harassing the voters.
They challenged the NUP leaders to adduce evidence to support their claims such that they are investigated.