13 June 2012

Uganda: Tight Security Ahead of Bushenyi By-Election Today

The Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, has camped in Bushenyi district ahead of today's by-election for the Bushenyi/Ishaka municipality MP seat.

Kayihura has also beefed up the Police force in the district, whom he is directly supervising with the director of operations, Grace Turyagumanawe.

Addressing journalists at the Electoral Commission offices in Bushenyi town, Kayihura cautioned candidates against bribing the voters.

"We want people to express their will without influencing their conscience through bribery," he said.

The candidates in the race are Nasser Bassajjabalaba (NRM), Odo Tayebwa (FDC), Robert Bwarare and Ismail Kikurwe both on the independent ticket.

Among the issues that caused the Bushenyi/Ishaka municipality by-elections is bribery, where the Court of Appeal pulled Bassajjabalaba from parliament, accusing him for bribing voters.

Tayebwa petitioned the Court of Appeal, challenging Bassajjabalaba's election.

Kahiyura also urged the youth not to be used by rival groups to cause violence or intimidation.

"We don't want to see a situation similar to the one in Jinja where hooligans were hired to disorganise the election exercise. Anybody who has hired kanyama will face it because anything to do with security is our mandate," he warned.

The Electoral Commission boss, Badru Kiggundu, warned candidates, their agents and the voters against malpractices.

Addressing journalists at the Electoral Commission's offices Tuesday, he said: "We have made ample arrangements to ensure that all required electoral materials are delivered in a timely manner to all polling stations."

He added that the commission was working closely with the Police to ensure that the elections take place in a calm and peaceful atmosphere.

A total of 22,902 voters, including 1,451 newly registered ones, are to participate in the polls.

The district electoral commission registrar, Barbra Murimira, said 33 presiding officers, 66 polling assistants and 33 polling constables had been recruited to man the exercise.

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