The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party candidate for Bubulo West MP in Manafwa district has asked Police to return the hand hoes confiscated from his home last week.
Mr Chriss Matembu Wetaka, said police last Friday raided his home in Bumufuni cell in Manafwa Town council and confiscated 9,268 hoes.
Police accused him of planning to bribe voters. However, Mr Matembu denied the allegations saying the hoes belonged` to his brother, Mr Saul Wetaka, who is planning to set up a hardware shop at Kufu trading centre, Manafwa District.
According to him, Police have failed to prove that he was going to distribute the hoes to voters.
“I was in the field campaigning and I received a call that military and police officers had raided my home. When I came I met a regional CID who told me that they wanted. Police said I had hoes and money in boxes in my houses. My brother wants to put up a hardware shop at Kufu trading centre, Manafwa district. He bought the hand hoes and decided to keep them in my home,”Mr Matembu said.
The acting Elgon region Police Spokesperson, Mr Robert Tukei confirmed the development, saying they’re still investigating Mr Matembu.
"It's true the search was done by police led by District Police Commander (DPC) Manafwa and the district criminal investigations officer (CID). Our preliminary investigations indicate that the hoes were for voter bribery,"Mr Tukei said.
Mr Tukei said they impounded 382 cartons of hoes valued at Shs92 million.
He told Daily Monitor that no arrests had been made yet but the hoes were taken to Manafwa central police station as exhibits.
Mr Tukei said Mr Matembu will likely be charged with voter bribery depending on the outcome of the police investigations.
However, Mr Matembu insists the move was instigated by his political rival to frustrate his parliamentary bid.
The distribution of hoes has become synonymous with Politicians in the Bugisu sub region. Recently the Budadiri West MP, Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi was also reported to have distributed hoes and pangas to the electorate.
Section 68 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2005, a person who, either before or during an election with intent, either directly or indirectly to influence another person to vote or to refrain from voting for any candidate, gives or provides or causes to be given or provided any money, gift or other consideration to that other person, commits the offence of bribery and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding seventy two currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both. Each currency point is equivalent to Shs20, 000.