Breaking: Military Takes Over Kasese Streets As By-election Heats Up


click geneva; font-size: small;”>Police boss Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura and Electoral Commission (EC) boss Badru Kiggundu are expected to brief press on Monday on the possibility of violence in the hotly-contested election.

sales geneva; font-size: small;”>The race is heating up with hundreds of military personnel taking over Kasese streets.

more about geneva; font-size: small;”>Dressed in military uniform and wearing rounds of ammunitions around their necks, the soldiers are heavily-armed with AK 47 rifles. political reporters say this could be the bloodiest by-election in the history of the country.

Kasese is a renowned FDC stronghold and any attempts by the military to create a tense atmosphere could spark violence.

For the better part of the weekend, FDC top shots led by Col. Besigye and Muntu have been training opposition youth on how to protect their votes and “overcoming fear.”

Chimp Corp Junior Rwambagye estimates that at least 2,000 troops are now patrolling Kasese streets by foot and trucks.

The deployment comes hardly a week after EC boss Kiggundu warned he would cause the arrest of opposition leaders if they mobilized vigilantes to “guard” votes.

Kiggundu last Tuesday told press in Kampala that the commission had noted that some candidates form and deploy vigilant groups, also known as youth brigades, to ‘protect’ their votes and results at polling stations on polling days.

Kiggundu noted the increasing participation of groups of individuals claiming to be agents representing interests of their political parties and independent candidates participating in the by-elections including MPs and Cabinet Ministers was interrupting the smooth flow of the election process.

“These mobile ‘agents’ designate themselves as observers; the commission does not regard them as such, because they are not accredited by the Electoral commission,” said Kiggundu.

He added: “While the commission recognizes the place of agents in enhancing transparency in the process and giving credibility to the final results, the commission hereby draws the attention of all political parties and candidates participating in the ongoing by-election to observe the electoral law for accreditation of political parties to observe electoral activities.”

“The commission notifies everybody that other than the voters, polling officials and official Agents, no one is authorized to enter into polling station and tally center without prior accreditation from the Electoral Commission,” warned Kiggundu.

The opposition have in the past deployed hundreds of youth in by-elections to protect what they have termed as the rigging machinery of the NRM which has sparked chaotic scenes in the polls.

Campaigns for the MP seat that pit FDC iron lady Winnie Kiiza and NRM flag bearer Rehema Muhindo end today. Elections kick off on Wednesday morning.


In a related development, President Museveni on Sunday camped in Kasese district to drum up for votes for NRM MP candidate Rehema Muhindo.

The president addressed a rally in Katwe town council and was accompanied by among other Ministers Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Dorothy Hyuha and Crispus Kiyonga.

The president expressed confidence that Kasese had many NRM supporters who would hand victory to Muhindo on the pulling day.

He said people should not refuse a good candidate because of other people’s previous errors especially in the NRM party.

According to Chimp sources in Kasese, the ministers strategically encouraged Museveni to stand next to the magnificent Katwe Salt processing factory which was built by departed President Idi Amin Dada in early 1970’s.

Speaking to the crowd, Museveni said he had been waiting for private investors to get interested in the factory up to today.

He noted that he refused to engage government because he knew they would swindle the money for the factory project.

Kule Habbib, a resident in Katwe town council told us it was a shame to see Museveni talking about the salt factory which has been idle for over 40 years.

Kule said that this shows how negligent the government has been to Kasese people.

“This is a facility which should have employed a good number of our children who leave school. Even it should have boosted the economy of the country and improved the livelihood of the people in the region,” Kule said.

Lake Katwe is known as one of the lakes in East Africa where salt mining is carried out.

But up to now people still use rudimentary methods in mining it and a multi-million processing factory that was built in 1970s stands a few meters away.


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