Violence, Missing Names, Taint South Buganda Polls

Violent clashes, Missing names, delays, Bribery and confusion on the part of the presiding officers have been major feautures of the just concluded elections in South Buganda region. In the districts of Kalungu, Lwengo, Sembabule, Masaka and Rakai, several people including candidates and Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogere, the former Katikiro of Buganda where shocked when they found their names missing. Ssemwogere says he had to move to about five polling stations in Kinoni-Kiseeka Sub County Lwengo district, until he located his name at Kaboyo church of Uganda. He says his names could have been messed up to stop him from voting his candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye. He explains that he has always voted from Kinoni Catholic Church but was suspicious his name was transferred to Kaboyo to frustrate him. In Sembabule, Dr.David Mushabe, the Mawagola county parliamentary independent candidate, was shocked when he found his name already ticked by unknown voters at Lutunku polling station, in Lugusulu Sub County. Dr. Mushabe, who is contesting against Sam Kuteesa, the foreign affairs Minister says he had to demand an explanation from Latif Ngonzi, the Sembabule returning officer who after more than four hours of negotiation, allowed him to vote. But in Masaka, Kalungu, Rakai, and Bukomansimbi districts, several voters were turned away and many shed tears due to missing on the voters registers. Peter Mutesasira, the Masaka Municipality independent parliamentary candidate, says five of his five family members and wife have not voted because they did not appear anywhere on the voters registers. // Cue in: "Three women...." Cue out: "....Masaka Municipality."// But Immaculate Namazzi, the Kalungu district returning officer, explains that some voters names went missing due to spelling errors. She claims that several voters had misspelt their names and had been given wrong codes which could not be detected by the computer. Namazzi also attributes the problem to transfer of voters where some people failed to fully transfer from their homes to their work stations. In some parts of Kalungu district, voting was suspended for sometime due election violence. Lukaya, Natitta, Lwabenge, Lwemiyaga, Lyantonde, are some of the areas which have registered violence. According to police, some 7 supporters of Fred Badda, the Bujjumba county NRM candidate have been arrested for their alleged involvement in bribery and trying to stuff fake ticked ballot papers in favour of Badda. But Fred Badda denies the allegations. Irene Nakazibwe, the Kalungu Regroup election observer says although many people turned up for the polls, cases of violence marred the otherwise calm polls. Polling has officially ended in this region and counting has begun.


Tagged with: election malpractice

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.