NRM Party Cited In Kasese Voter Bribery

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In short
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in Kasese has been cited in voter bribery, as the by-elections for the district Woman MP get closer.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in Kasese has been cited in voter bribery, as the by-elections for the district Woman MP get closer.
Christopher Kibazanga, the chief mobiliser of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in Kasese district, alleges that two billion shillings has been brought to the district especially in Kasese Municipality, to bribe voters today and on the eve of the elections. Voting is slated for August 8th, with FDC’s Winfred Kiiza and Rehema Muhindo of the NRM as front runners.

On Monday morning, a Uganda Radio Network reporter saw unidentified members of the NRM party giving out money at Sandton Hotel in Kasese town.  

The men who were dressed in yellow t-shirts and caps were giving out money in the denominations of 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 shillings. It was being given to women, youths and some boda boda cyclists.

At some point the members had to stop giving out the money as some NRM party supporters became rowdy, demanding for more money. There were more than seventy people in the room.

When the URN reporter gained access to the room pretending to be an NRM supporter in Kasese town, he was told to line up and receive the money.

However when one of the officials realized he was a journalist, the reporter was chased out of the room, with some officials threatening to arrest him.

When contacted, Kaluma Matovu, the NRM party Vice Chairman in Kasese district denied that the party was bribing voters. According to Matovu, the party was giving money for lunch and transport to its agents who will be deployed at the polling stations on polling day.

He says that there is no need to bribe voters and yet the party is sure of winning the elections.

But URN spoke to Bernard Kagenda, a boda boda cyclist who was given money. Kagenda, who isn’t a polling agent, said that he received a telephone call last night from an NRM party official, who told him to go to Sandton hotel with seven people from Kasese town.  

Aidah Akello, the head of Electoral Offenses desk at Kasese Central Police station, said she wasn’t aware of the voter bribery allegations but promised to investigate the matter.

Kibazanga says that some of the FDC supporters have been bribed, but they have vowed to vote their candidate, Winnie Kizza.

Meanwhile the FDC has said that it will deploy more than 1,000 youths as vigilantes to protect their votes at each polling station, despite warnings from Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police. 

Last week Kayihura warned the party against deploying youths, whom he said will cause chaos on polling day.

 But Francis Mwijukye, the FDC National Youth coordinator, says that Kayihura’s statements are meant to intimidate FDC voters. He says that the vigilantes will be deployed in all the sub counties. 


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.