Five MPs arrested in Bukoto South for alleged election violence have been finally released amid rising tension.
Five legislators arrested in Bukoto South for alleged election violence have been finally released amid rising tension.
Also released are 45 Democratic Party supporters who had been detained together with the MPs.
MPs Betty Nambooze of Mukono Municipality and Muhammad Kawuma for Entebbe Municipality were the first to be arrested together with their supporters on Wednesday night at Kinoni town board. On Thursday morning shortly after voting started, police arrested three more lawmakers including Bukomansimbi MP Deogratius Kiyingi, Susan Namaganda, the Bukomansimbi Woman MP and Moses Kasibante of Lubaga North for allegedly intimidating NRM supporters in Kinoni and Nkoni trading centre.
Their arrest, however, sparked off protests on Thursday from DP supporters who threatened to burn Kinoni central police station police station where the MPs were being held.
As a result of protests, police was forced to transfer the suspects to Masaka central police station, a decision that led to more protests.
Police eventually released them on bond. At around 11am, Mathias Nsubuga, the DP candidate in the by-election, suspended casting his vote at Ngereko village and rushed to Masaka to secure their release.
Nsubuga went to Masaka central police station and protested arguing that the arrests at the polling station are a clear testimony that, it was clear Electoral Commission and police were conniving to rig the elections.
Nsubuga also petitioned Lt Gen. Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police demanding the immediate release of his supporters. Kayihura ordered the release of these officials.
Noah Sserunjogi, the Southern Region police spokesperson, says the officials have been released after recording statements.
Speaking shortly after their release, MP Nambooze said their arrest was intended to stifle their plans of protecting votes. She, however, says they are still hopeful no votes will be rigged.
At the time of filing this report, voting was going after an earlier delay that the election officials blamed on transport problems.
Three of the four candidates—John Alintuma Nsambu of NRM, FDC’s Julius Ssentamu and Dan Katula, the independent candidate, had already cast their ballots.
Nsambu had cast his vote at Kasambya Kakunyu polling station in Kingo Sub County, while Ssentamu voted at Kakunyu polling station close to where Nsambu voted from. Katula also cast his vote at Nkalwe polling station in Kingo Sub County.
The Bukoto seat fell vacant following a May 2012 Court of Appeal ruling that nullified the election of Muhammed Muyanja Mbabaali for lacking requisite academic papers.
bukoto south by-elections
fdc candidate julius ssentamu