Reports of voter bribery, ballot stuffing and arrest of opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) polling agents have dominated the first half of voting time in some polling stations in the Soroti City East byelection where competition is said to be tight between Moses Okia Attan and Herbert Edmund Ariko of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Okia complained that officers of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) had teamed up with officials of Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama’s Electoral Commission (EC) to make the election unfair. The FDC candidate accused security of arresting several of his polling officials and bundling them in vehicles without number plates.
The NRM camp is also being accused of ferrying supporters from Kumi and Bukedea Districts. For example, at Omalera Mango Tree Polling Station, there were reports that three people said to have been brought from Bukedea and Kumi Districts had were reportedly engaged in ballot stuffing.
Alleged ballot stuffing was also reported at Omalera Polling Station in Opuyo Ward. Here, an FDC mobilizer identified as Ayub Ssegawa was arrested after he reportedly protested acts of ballot stuffing at the station.
The FDC also claimed that a one Ramathan Bogere, a Councillor for Kengere Ward, was “smoked out of his Muzigo where he was stationed distributing money with Pre-ticked ballots to those going to vote” and that “when vigilant people stormed his Muzigo, M7/NRM Police hurriedly came in and took him [Bogere] away.”
Meanwhile, the FDC has released a list showing some of the names of its officials arrested during a night raid at the home of MP Anna Adeke.
PARTIAL LIST OF FDC LEADERS ARRESTED IN SOROTI BY ELECTION
- Hon. Eng. Patrick Oboi Amuriat, Party President
- Hon. William Nzoghu, Deputy President
- Hon. Centenary Robert, Mobilizer
- Hon. Nyanjura Doreen, Deputy Lord Mayor and NEC member
- Micheal Emorut – Amuriat’s driver
- Augustine Ojobile, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
- Omer Paul, Mayor Soroti East Division
- Denis Nono
- Oboi Rajab
- Elenyu John Calvin
- Okwi Justine kokas
- Kassim Ogwang-PA to Hon. Attan
- Jafar -Attan driver
- Ojakol Moses
- Eigu Daniel – Chairpersons FDC Soroti
- Acen Jane
- Wanyera Simon
- Mama Kevin -Opuyo coordinator
- Erongu Moses
- David Eguru
- Ekou Robert
- Edatu Joseph
- Donge Pius
- Okwii Emmanuel
- Ramazan Rajab
- Kakeeto William
- Counsel Buyondo Henry Patrick
- Hakim Bukenya
- Ms Wokuri Madanda
- Turyatemba Norman
- Darlington Baryabarema Western Coordinator
- Joan FDC Eastern Coordinator
- Chagga Oyat.
The FDC has meanwhile made allegations on the people behind the arrests. “This operation was commanded by an ordinary hired goon Karangwa from Jinja/Kayunga and Ssegujja. It’s appalling that Commissioners of Police, RPC, and DPCs are getting instructions from these goons who have taken over security in Soroti. All men, save for women, were driven to Dokolo CPS,” the party said in an update to its members.
Earlier, we reported about how suspected military and police officers broke into MP Adeke’s home, reportedly beat up and pepper sprayed a number of FDC officials. (Read Story Here).