cure http://crfg.org/wp-includes/version.php geneva; font-size: small;”>FDC Secretary General Alice Alaso today said they had planned huge protests in Kasese against Police for arresting the returning officer identified as Kanzira, http://clintonbrook.com/wp-includes/class-wp-post-type.php an action that delayed the gazetting of newly-elected FDC MP Winfred Kiiza.
Police publicist Simon Kuteesa says the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the Police received several complaints, ranging from outright electoral fraud, to specific incidents of election malpractice, during the by-election.
“On Thursday, August 9, the day after the by-election, Police detectives contacted the District Returning Officer, seeking clarification on matters raised in the complaints. The Returning Officer informed the Police that he was on his way to Kampala to file the statutory returns of the by-election, and that he would return the following day,” notes Kuteesa.
He further says on Friday, detectives called the officer again, and he assured them that he was still in Kampala, at the Electoral Commission Headquarters, and will travel back to Kasese later in the day.
On Saturday morning, the detectives called the officer several times, and he claimed to be stuck in Kampala at the Electoral Commission Headquarters.
At that time, says Kuteesa, Police officers requested the assistance of senior EC officials in Kampala to access the officer, and they denied knowledge of his presence in Kampala, and of any returns filed from the by-election.
“Police mounted a search for the Returning Officer, and established that the entire time he was communicating with Police, he was in his rural home in Kagango Sub-County in Sheema District, and not in Kampala, as he claimed,” adds Kuteesa.
Police went to his rural home, and were informed that he had just left for Kasese. He was intercepted and arrested on arrival in Kasese on Saturday evening.
The Returning Officer was released on Monday thus continuing with his work in the rural areas of Kasese.
“The claim by the EC that the Police action interfered with the timely transmission of election results is, therefore, false and misleading,” affirms Kuteesa.
“The Returning Officer had ample time, both before and after his detention, to complete the process, and Police investigation should not be used as pretext to abscond statutory duty by the Electoral Commission.”
Kuteesa rubbishes reports that Police took away all documents the EC requires to gazette the results.
“On the contrary, the Returning Officer informed the Police that documents pertaining to the by-election are locked up in the EC stores in Kasese, and that the key to the stores is kept by his driver,” says Kuteesa.
“To date, the Police are still looking for the driver, who has gone into hiding. The detectives have not accessed the EC stores, or taken any documents pertinent to gazetting the election,” clarified Kuteesa.
He says the Police will continue with the investigation to its logical conclusion, in accordance with the law, and shall not be diverted or distracted by false accusations and reports from any quarter.