Jinja- Whoever will be found disrupting the February 18 elections in Jinja District will be shot dead, the deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Erick Ssakwa, has warned.
Mr Ssakwa said the decision to use live ammunition against election saboteurs was taken during a recent meeting of the Jinja District Security Committee.
“Some people are preparing their groups to cause confusion but we have prepared security of both police and military to shoot anyone who will be involved in this ,” Mr Ssakwa said.
He made the remarks last Thursday during the launch of the Citizen’s Manifesto in Jinja Town.
He said some politicians in the municipality were training militias to sabotage the elections and force the Electoral Commission to organise special elections in which people from other areas can come in to influence the outcome of such an election.
He claimed the same groups had begun stocking up pangas and bows and arrows to commit crimes. Such a scenario, he said, is likely to spark off chaos and bloodshed which has to be stopped by shooting those who will be involved.
Jinja RDC Rex Achila did not contradict his deputy’s comments. “For us, we are preparing for any eventualities. If those ones intending to cause confusion use a gun, we shall also use a gun, if they use a panga, we shall also use a panga,” he said.
However, the FDC candidates in the races for the Jinja Women MP seat, Ms Hadijah Namubiru, and that of the Jinja District L5 seat, Mr Tom Muzito, who were the only politicians at the function, described Mr Ssakwa’s remarks as bizarre.
“If they know who is training militias and who is stocking up weapons, why haven’t they arrested them? This is only aimed at intimidating the populace,” said Ms Hadijah Namubiru.
The Jinja District police commander’s representative at the function, Mr Godfrey Kainamura, however, allayed the fears of the public, saying Mr Ssakwa’s remarks were only a word of caution. “This wasn’t a threat aimed at people going to participate in the elections.
The police are prepared to use minimum force, including tear gas to avoid injuries on people,” he said.