By Jane Kisha
The Just concluded NRM primary election have been marred by widespread claims of irregularities
Reports from across the country indicates that several aspirants have recorded cases of alleged electoral fraud and other forms of irregularities with both the police and party’s electoral commission.
The cases recorded include abuse of COVID -19 Standard Operating Procedures, opposition alleged participation in elections, deleting off voters’ names from registers among others.
Some Aspirants on the losing side reluctantly conceded defeats but attributed the loss to malpractice.
So severe are the claims that President Museveni who is the chairman of NRM weighed in vowing to bring all those who participated in the irregularities and the violence to book “Those who beat People, like in Bukono, are all in jail or on the run. Minister Rukutana is in jail and will be prosecuted. They will be fully accountable with robust charges: assault, attempted murder, murder, etc” remarked Museveni a day after the elections.
“Those who altered results will go to jail on forgery, fraud, subversion etc. and their forgeries will not stand. We do not even have to repeat the elections, except where they were not held. We simply need to audit what happened in each village” said Museveni in a social media post
Museveni revealed that the NRM will end rigging in Uganda by the digitalized biometric voter registration and by transparency through lining behind candidates or their photographs within the NRM. Another first for the NRM.
In a related development, the party’s Electoral Commission Chairperson Dr. Tanga Odoi revealed that Western Uganda recorded high levels of violent confrontations in the just concluded elections.
Dr Odoy said it was only Mbarara that was peaceful as the rest of the districts exhibited violence.
“Right from Hoima, up to Fort portal, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa. You go to Sheema, I had to stock myself here for a long time and Bushenyi too,” he said.
Dr. Tanga, who was recently in Mbarara to defuse tensions announced that, he had cancelled the Kiruhura results after malpractices. He also suspended elections of Mawogola West and North, where President Museveni’s younger brother Sodo Kaguta, is running against Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s daughter Shartsi Musherure.
Dr Odoi explained that Rushenyi Sub County, where Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana ran into trouble did not vote because the registrar ran away with the forms.
A picture circuiting on social media shows Minister Rukutana grabbing a rifle from his guard during a fracas that resulted in one person getting seriously injured
In the districts of Dokolo and Kwania, a section of NRM supporters have also accused the party registrars of conniving with some candidates to manipulate voters’ registers and in Luwero town, Opposition voters from other parties i.e. National Unity Platform (NUP) allegedly sneaked in and voted in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries election.
This mixed-up followed the last-minute guidance issued by the NRM party chairman Yoweri Museveni allowing persons whose names did not appear on the voters register to participate in the elections.
Museveni in his statement said all unregistered party supporters could be added in the register if they are aged 18 years and above, as long as they can be verified by the village executive.
Analysts fear that the violence witnessed in NRM party elections will likely be replicated in the general elections government takes steps t address it