Violence has marked the start of LC5 elections in Sembabule district.
Early this morning, an agent of the incumbent LC5 chairman Herman Ssentongo was severely beaten up by a gang of unidentified men at Bisense polling station. The agent, Atanansi Kisekka, says he was beaten up for questioning the men who were attempting to stuff ballot boxes with pre-ticked ballot papers at Bisense polling station in Lugusuru sub-county.
Thomas Karugaba says he witnessed the event. He claims that the presiding officers at Bisense polling station refused to display the sealed ballot boxes. Suspicion grew when the gang arrived on the scene with ballot papers in polythene bags, which they attempted to place within the boxes.
Karugaba says police constables and a small crowd of voters on the scene did nothing to prevent the assault.
Atanansi Kisekka has been rushed to a nearby clinic for treatment for injuries sustained to his chest, head and back.
Herman Ssentongo, who is standing for election as an independent candidate, says the incident is part of a plan by his NRM rival Elly Muhumuza to rig the elections and cause violence in the polls.
Ssentongo claims that a group of youth armed with sticks, headed by a man called Fred Kalakule, is going from one station to another beating up his agents and preventing them from observing the votes. He accuses the police of participating in the rigging by deploying an insufficient number of constables in the villages.
Elly Muhumuza says allegations that he orchestrated the violence in Bisense are untrue.
The Sembabule District Police Commander, Steven Tanui, says he is rushing to the scene to address the situation personally. He expects to speak to the media about it in the next three hours.