Thursday April 6 2017

Aruu North by-elections start with violence, one injured

Ms Margret Aciro receives treatment at Agangura

Ms Margret Aciro receives treatment at Agangura Health Centre III. Courtesy Photo.  

By JULIUS OCUNGI & ROBERT OWOT

Violence has broken out in Agangura Sub-county, in Aruu North where by-elections are underway for the area Member of Parliament.

According to an account by Citizen Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) coordinator, Crispin Kaheru, a group of youth from Kitgum entering Aruu North was intercepted by residents before violence ensued.

“The youth were moving in four trucks whenthey were intercepted after theresidents suspected them oftrying to access the area and vote illegally. The group then started beating people. One person has been injured and is now admitted,” Mr Kaheru saidon phone from Aruu

The injured person has been identified as Ms Margret Aciro,and is currently receiving treatment at AganguraHealthCentre III.

Meanwhile police has arrested the youth.

Some of the suspects being taken to the police

Some of the suspects being taken to the police post after they were arrested.

Speaking to Daily Monitor, the Electoral Commission spokesperson, Jotham Taremwa confirmed the incidence, adding that he was yet to confirm the cause of the violence.

"I have heard that some people were fighting, they have been reprimanded and I am heading there to find out what was the exact cause," he said.

"I can confirm now that the voting so far is generally progressing peacefully, and the number of voters in gradually increasing," Mr Taremwa said.

Voters in 95 polling stations in Aruu North County in Pader District go to the polls today to elect a member of parliament.

The electoral process started at 7am and is expected to close at 4pm. Security and man power has been heightened by arrival of police officers and Electoral Commission officials from neighbouring districts. 
During the February 2016 polls, 24,300 people voted while approximately 2,220 new voters were registered. Voting materials which arrived in the district on Wednesday afternoon were received by agents of candidates and some voters.

LOW TURN UP

Most of the polling stations visited opened at 7am, but few voters had turned up for the voting exercise.
At Papaa Primary School polling station in Lapul Sub-county, by 7:20am, no voter had tuned out to vote out of the 150 registered voters.

Mr Daniel Rukama, the presiding officer said because no one had turned up, they could not cut open the seal of the ballot boxes.
"We are still waiting for the first five voters to witness the opening of the ballot box before we can begin the voting exercise," Mr Rukama said.

He said the no-show could be because voters had first gone to attend to their gardens before coming to vote later in the day.
At Abdallah A-Z in Lapul Sub-county polling station, voting began at 8am.

Mr Richard Oryema the presiding officer said all the voting materials were verified adding that no irregularities were found.

At Bar-Odilo Polling Station, only 15 people had cast their votes by 8:45am.

In Pajule Sub-county, Busia polling station, by 7:25am, only one voter had cast the vote while 10 were waiting in line to vote.

The polling assistant Mr Bonny Okello, said they received all the, materials on time.
“The turn up is low at the moment. We have 489 voters at this polling station,” he said

At Ogan polling station and Paiula by 7:3am, voting had not yet started because no voter had turned up yet.

In Acholibur Primary School, voting started at 7:48am, with a turn up of about 50 people had cast their votes, 31 of whom were men and and 19 women out of the 489 registered voters.
One of the contestants Justin Boswell Oryema, Independent, who voted at Ogom Primary School in Angagura Sub-county, said the voter’s turn up is very low.

“I have voted but there is a deliberate move to rig the votes,” he said

Pader District EC registrar Joseph Omona said the turn up of voters is fair as some people have preferred to attend to their gardens before they could come for voting.
There are 48,492 voters in Aruu North, 95 polling stations across the seven sub-counties.

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