Over 30 poll observers arrested on election day

Saturday January 16 2021
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The spokesperson of Criminal Investigations Department, Mr Charles Twiine, confirmed the arrest of the activists, but declined to give details.

By Monitor Team

Security agencies on Thursday raided a city hotel and arrested more than 30 polling observers.
The polling observers under NGO Forum were holding a meeting about the General Election before they were arrested yesterday.

Mr Xavier Ejoyi, the executive director of Action Aid, said the police officers alleged that the activists didn’t have accreditation to operate on the polling day.

“The activists were accredited in August last year. The activists presented the accreditations to the officers, but they said they needed another accreditation for the polling day,” Mr Ejoyi said.
The activists were later forced into a police bus and driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The spokesperson of Criminal Investigations Department, Mr Charles Twiine, confirmed the arrest of the activists, but declined to give details.
In other parts of the country, at least 12 people were arrested during yesterday’s polls which the police and the army described as largely peaceful.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga told journalists at Kyambogo University tally centre that they registered a few incidents of people trying to disrupt elections across the country.

He said they intercepted nine buses carrying people from Kampala to Kayunga District on Wednesday night. “We got intelligence that these people were being transported to cause commotion at various polling stations at Bbale and Galiraya. They spent a night in our cells and yesterday morning, we screened them and ensured that only voters from Kayunga have access to the district,” he said.

Seven supporters of National Unity Platform were also arrested in Bududa District on allegation of planning to disrupt the electoral process.

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The Budduda District Police Commander, Mr Jagger Magyezi,  alleged that the suspects were brought from other districts by the NUP flag bearer for Manjiya County MP seat, Mr John Baptist Nambeshe.

“We have arrested five people who had been imported into the district to destabilise the election. We also arrested two locals who were housing them,” Mr Magyezi said.  Efforts to get comment from Mr Nambeshe were futile by press time.

Compiled by Risdel Kasasira, Damali Mukhaye, Cissy Makumbi, Denis Edema, Patience Ahimbisibwe & Andrew Bagala.

Army speaks

There was generally a thin deployment of security forces in different parts of the country but sources say the military was supposed to deploy heavily last night in urban centres. The deputy UPDF spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, said the army stoped a fight between the supporters of NUP and the National Resistance Movement in Bududa.
“Despite these a few incidents, I want to say this election has been very peaceful,” he said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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