Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has accused police for arresting their candidate’s supporters ahead of the Jinja East Constituency by-election slated for tomorrow (March 15, 2018).
According to one of the FDC campaign coordinators, Mr Chula Philemon, their supporters were raided last evening as they held a post campaign evaluation meeting for the FDC candidate, Mr Paul Mwiru at Old Booma grounds.
He claims that shortly after their arrest, three trucks came to the scene and police started screening the people.
The Jinja Regional Police Commander, Mr Gerald Twishime told this reporter that they had arrested more than 40 people over charges of malicious damage and threatening violence.
The campaigns which ended yesterday have been tense especially between the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta and the FDC’s Mwiru.
Museveni, Besigye in last-minute push for votes in Jinja by-election
President Museveni and former FDC presidential candidate Kizza Besigye yesterday pitched camp in Jinja Municipality to drum up support for their party flag bearers who are contesting for the Jinja Municipality East MP seat.
President Museveni campaigned for NRM candidate Nathan Igeme Nabeta, while Dr Besigye canvassed for votes for FDC candidate Paul Mwiru ahead of tomorrow’s elections.
During the campaigns, Mr Museveni remarked that a sick MP from the ruling party is better than an active one from the opposition.
During the campaigns, Mr Mwiru’s supporters severally accused Mr Nabeta of being dormant in Parliament.
“Even if the NRM MP was sick and sleeping, he is still better than a very active opposition MP,” the President told a rally in Masese/Walukuba Division.
He added: “When an NRM MP is sleeping and it is time for passing a resolution in Parliament, he wakes up and votes for NRM. He can be weak at other issues but when he votes government policies, he is putting a brick of peace on our country.”
Dr Besigye, on the other hand, rallied residents to vote for Mr Mwiru, saying he has proved to be a capable and distinct legislator.
“Mwiru won the February 2016 election with a big margin, only to be cheated yet he won the election,” he told supporters at Busoga Square.
“So, come and show solidarity on Thursday by demonstrating to the whole world that the 2016 winner was Mwiru,” he added.
He hailed Mr Mwiru for being a dependable legislator that has turned down NRM perks unlike some leaders who are money hungry. “The major cause of problems in the country is leaders who are fearful and greedy for money and end up being compromised. Mwiru decided to go to court, which is expensive. But he managed to win at the highest court though the ruling party wanted to bribe him but he turned down their offer,” Dr Besigye said.
FDC party president Patrick Amuriat described Mr Mwiru as a competent, brave and articulate leader who will ably represent them in Parliament.
The former FDC party president, Gen Mugisha Muntu, said voting Mr Mwiru will be an indication that President Museveni cannot bribe all Ugandans
The Jinja Municipality East seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal in Kampala nullified Mr Nabeta’s February 2016 victory on grounds that he connived with the Electoral Commission to alter results at Danida A-D polling station, which put him at an advantage.
About 28,000 voters across 47 polling stations are expected to participate in tomorrow’s poll where eight candidates are vying for the seat.
They include Mr Faisal Mayemba, Eng Francis Wakabi, Ms Christine Monica Abuze, Mr Richard Henry Nyanzi, Mr Paul Mugaya and Mr Isabirye Hatim Mugendi– all Independents.