Cases of voter threats, arrests and bribery yesterday rocked the parish youth elections in Kabale Municipality in Kabale district.
The election for the 9 member committees as per the Electoral Commission guidance was by lining.
At the end of the exercise however, the youth voters from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party protested against what they called intimidation and arrests by district security officers.
These alleged among others that the Kabale DPC Brian Ampeire and the RDC, Darius Nandinda stormed Kigezi High School primary playground polling station and arrested the Northern division FDC Mobilizer, Conrad Tumuheirwe Kimonge who was also contesting for the Lower Bugongi ward Finance Secretary seat.
Kimonge says he was arrested at around 9:00am and kept in the police patrol vehicle until at around 1:00pm when he was later released without any charges.
At St. Andrews Church of Uganda Nyabikoni, one Martin Magunda of the FDC says after he defeated NRM’s Obei Namanya on ward chairpersonship seat, the rest of the NRM youths boycotted voting for the other committee seats and walked away. Magunda says he was shocked after the Kabale District Electoral Commission returning Officer, Ahmed Naduli Musisi said that the election exercise has been halted until 3:00pm, when NRM youths returned.
At Kakabano polling station, Moses Ahimbisibwe, an NRM youth who won the chairperson seat for the ward attributed his victory to support from Nandinda
Ahimbisibwe got 22 votes while his competitor Alexander Nyakahimba of the FDC got 17 votes. NRM won all the nine seats.
The Kabale District FDC Special Mobiliser in Charge of Youths, Julius Tituryebwa says in different parishes where FDC was defeated, it was largely because of the influence of Kabale security officials who were arresting and intimidating FDC supporters instead of being neutral.
The Kabale District Electoral Commission returning Officer, Ahmed Naduli Musisi however stressed that the election process in the district was free and fair apart from few cases such as at St. Andrews Church of Uganda Nyabikoni.
When contacted, DPC Ampeire said that the FDC supporters who were arrested were trying to incite violence. He said that they were later released.