NUP cries foul in Omoro by-election

NUP party President Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine addresses supporters of party candidate Simon Toolit Akecha (C) during campaigns for the Omoro County by-election in May 2022. PHOTO/LOOKMAN

What you need to know:

  • However, the EC yesterday responded to the allegations, saying that those who were arrested were not part of the team that had been cleared as observers. 

The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has decried the manner in which their supporters were allegedly tortured and arrested during the recently concluded Omoro County by-elections. 

Mr Mathias Mpuuga, the NUP deputy president in-charge of central Uganda, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, yesterday said many of their members and agents were tortured and held for hours without trial in police cells.  

The stand

“We have declared Omoro a crime scene because of all the things that happened during this election. We are going to take on individuals who were involved in the arbitrary arrest, detention without trial and torture of our supporters and agents in the watch of the so called Electoral Commission,” Mr Mpuuga said yesterday. 

However, the EC yesterday responded to the allegations, saying that those who were arrested were not part of the team that had been cleared as observers. 

“Five observers per sub-county were accredited but there are those who wanted to come in with force and yet the security had the list of the allowed people. That is how some of them could have ended up being arrested,” Mr Paul Bukenya, the EC spokesperson, said in an interview. 

The EC on Thursday last week declared the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party candidate, Mr Andrew Ojok, winner after he garnered 14,224 votes (83.3 percent), while his closest contender, Mr Simon Toolit Akecha of NUP, got 1,633 votes.

Mr Terence Odonga (Independent) finished third after polling 532 out of the 17,069 valid votes to place third. 

Mr Justine Odong, who was handed the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) flag at the 11th hour, scored 529 votes to come in fourth.

During the election, Mr David Kalwanga, the Busunju County MP and Mr Moses Kibuuka, also a supporter of NUP, were separately arrested and released shortly after the election on Friday morning. 

Yesterday, without giving evidence, NUP party secretary general Lewis David Rubongoya said they have the Declaration Forms that they gathered from their agents and according to them, they won the election. They also accused the EC of refusing to give them the tally sheets which provided the final figures of the election results. 

Mr Bukenya said: “All the people who were at the tally centre received the tally sheet and the reason NUP doesn’t have the tally sheet is because they did not show up at the centre. This is a public document and whoever asks for it would definitely receive it.”

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