Hundreds take to the streets to protest against the February 18th reelection of the Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu.
There is an uneasy tension in Iganga district a day after a large demonstration was staged to protest the recent reelection of the Bugweri County Member of Parliament, Abdu Katuntu.
The demonstration by supporters of the National Resistance Movement and its parliamentary candidate Kirunda Kivenjinja was timed to coincide with Katuntu’s victory party. People carrying placards marched through Igombe, Ibulanku, Makutu, Namalemba, Buyanga and Busembatya calling for a review of the February 18th elections.
Katuntu and Kivejinja are long-time rivals in Bugweri. In 2006 Kivejinja won the vote, but his election was overturned by court which found numerous irregularities and cases of violence and rigging at the polls. The two men met in a by-election which was won by Katuntu in a slim margin.
Abdu Katuntu maintained his hold on the constituency last month when he beat Kivejinja by about just over 2,800 votes.
Jamada Kisasa, one of yesterday’s demonstrators, says the February 18th elections were marred by violence, intimidation, bribery and vote rigging conducted by Katuntu and his supporters. He says he won’t be satisfied with anything less than a reelection.
Kivejinja’s supporters claim their names were removed from the national voters register in Kikuni and Kigulamo villages.
Malinzi Milajani, a voter in Igombe sub-county, says Kivejinja’s supporters were chased away from polling stations by agents of Katuntu’s party, the Forum for Democratic Change.
In Busembatya Town Council, demonstrators protested cases of insecurity around the elections.
The LC3 chairman-elect of Busembatya, Sam Ibinga, displayed his vehicle which he claims was burned on Saturday last week by opposition party sympathizers.
Kirunda Kivejinja did not participate in the demonstrations. Since his defeat at the polls he has not spoken about a planned course of action.
Katuntu’s political assistant, Ayub Kyozil, says the MP is out of the country and unable to comment about the demonstrations.
Kyozila however dismisses the claims and insists the elections were free and fair. He reason that if rigging had occurred, Yoweri Museveni would not have won majority votes in Bugweri and the NRM candidate for District Woman MP would not have come on top in the elections.
Today, the police are patrolling the streets of Bugweri to ensure that no violence emerges in the aftermath of the demonstrations.