Wednesday, 8 August 2012

FDC cries foul in ‘chaotic’ Kasese by-election

type here The Forum for Democratic Change has said it will not accept results from three polling areas in yesterday’s Kasese Woman MP by-election, citing denial of access to its agents. “Our agents have been blocked at polling stations in army detaches in Hima area,” said the party spokesperson, Mr Wafula Oguttu, in Kasese yesterday. “The army blocked our civilian agents. They even blocked Alice Alaso (party secretary general).” Mr Oguttu added: “At Nyakatonzi Primary School, the Basongora didn’t allow our agents, arguing that there is no FDC in their area so that they could vote multiple times.” He said they had written to the Electoral Commission, asking that it cancels results from the listed polling areas but were yet to get a response. When Daily Monitor contacted the district registrar, Mr Valey Kanzira, he said they had received the protest and referred it to the complaints desk, who are “handling it”. The complaint was just one of the dramatic incidents witnessed in the high-stakes voting that pitted FDC’s Winfred Kiiza against NRM’s Rehema Muhindo and DP’s Rosemary Masika. For example, there was a scuffle at Kahendero landing site at about 4pm when FDC supporters chased away Ms Muhindo, accusing her of allegedly bribing voters. Efforts to get a comment from Ms Muhindo were futile as her phone was switched off. Share This Story What had begun as a calm, wet morning turned chaotic at midday when a group of more than 40 people stormed the EC district offices, complaining that their names had been struck off the voters’ register. Commission officials, however, said those deleted had done multiple registrations. One particular voter, Mr Nason Muhingo, was distraught when he reportedly found someone had voted for him at Ruhwenzori Square Polling Station. The news caused commotion as voters demanded to know who had impersonated him. “I have nothing I can do, let me go back home but I am so disappointed because I have failed to vote for my best candidate,” Mr Muhingo said. There were chaotic scenes at Rusese Polling Station outside the Military Barracks in Bukonjo West, after residents claimed the number of military men queuing to vote exceeded those in the register. FDC officials step in FDC National Mobiliser Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu later came to the polling station and observed the voting. A similar situation was reported at Kavera Barracks in Hima Town Council, prompting the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi, to camp in the area. Another FDC official Salaam Musumba was detained for hours at Kasese Police Station, after she had reportedly gone to inspect vehicles she says were used to transport “Kiboko Squad” members. As she tried to write the car registration number plates, she was accosted by police who then barred her from leaving the station. She was held for hours but released later. An alarm that a prominent businessman’s house in Kasese Town was being used to tick ballots proved false when a police search found nothing. The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, an NGO monitoring the election, reported that polling stations had opened in time although at Rwenzori Square B Polling Station, the appointed presiding officer, Ms Grace Muhindo, was summarily dismissed for late coming. The group, in a statement sent to Daily Monitor last evening, said voters had discovered a ghost polling station called the “Upper Nyakasanga Kizungu Market Polling Station” set up complete with “registers and electoral officials”. It was dismantled.