February 8, 2013

Butaleja By-election: Police Hold 10 Over Campaign Violence

Florence Nebanda Andiru is considered the favorite to win the seat
Florence Nebanda Andiru is considered the favorite to win the seat

Police in Butaleja district is holding 10 supporters of Florence Andiru Nebanda, the NRM flag bearer in the Butaleja by-election, for alleged campaign violence.

The suspects were arrested on Thursday from Napologoma trading centre about seven kilometers away from Butaleja town council after they were found armed with stones and sticks with intention to cause violence on the supporters of rival contestants.

Godfrey Odongo, the Malaba Regional Police Spokesperson said the suspects were apprehended at Napologoma trading centre as they were moving around with several sticks and stones loaded in a pick-up truck registration number UAS 240 Y.

He identified some of them as Rogers Walugo, Ishma Mpande, Bashir Mundu, Robert Edude and Mohammed Guloba. Others are Musa Arunga, Eriesa Wewuto, Hassan Ssebagala and Alli Lwasi among others.

The suspects have been charged under CRB 12/2013 with being armed in public contrary to section 76 of the Penal Code Act. Odongo said they are being detained at Butaleja Central Police station waiting for advice from the Resident State Attorney – RSA on Friday.

Mamble Wahakabi, the Butaleja District Election Commission Registrar has said her office has registered several cases of campaign violence since the exercise kicked off two weeks ago.

The camp for NRM flag bearer Florence Andiru Nebanda has been on the spotlight for alleged electoral violence.

The most recent one was on last Tuesday, when two supporters of Betty Hamba, the independent candidate, were allegedly beaten into coma. Hamba was in the entourage of her supporters from a campaign rally from Busolwe Sub County, when they reached Butaleja town council at around 7:00pm.

Andiru’s supporters waylaid them and stoned them seriously smashing two vehicles including the one Hamba was travelling in. Two people were also beaten into coma.

The Tuesday’s skirmishes extended to Nabiganda trading centre after Hamba’s supporters in a revenge attack raided the trading centre pulling down and burning Andiru’s campaign posters. They again engaged in serious clashes that reportedly went up to past midnight when police managed to disperse them.

Two houses were burnt down in the Tuesday clashes. One belongs to Hamba’s supporter identified as Bumali Hifunda, a resident of Nabiganda B village; the other belongs to Ramasahan Muyangu, the driver to one of Nebanda’s campaign vehicles.

A week ago also Andiru Nebanda’s supporters were also accused of attacking and assaulting another Independent candidate Sarah Logos and her supporters.

Logose claimed she was attacked by a group of supporters of NRM candidate Florence Nebanda at Kaiti trading centre on January 28 as she went to attend a radio talk show on a local radio station Bugwere FM at around 3pm.

She lost more about 1 million shillings in the clash in which she claimed they tried to strangle her before she was rescued by the Bunyole East MP Emmanuel Dombo and Busia Resident District Commissioner Imran Muluga who is also the NRM chairman for Butaleja district.

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