More votes than voters in Sembabule

Mawogola North MP-elect Shartis Musherure Kutesa casts her vote at Bishehse Polling Station in Sembabule District last Thursday. PHOTO | WILSON KUTAMBA

Last Thursday’s polls revealed how the votes were rigged in some parts of Kayunga and Sembabule districts. 

In Sembabule for instance, during vote tallying at the district headquarters, Daily Monitor established that the total votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters at about 10 polling stations.

The anomaly, however, was quickly detected and the Result Transmission System (RTS) declared the votes as invalid.

More than 6,322 votes were declared invalid because the number of votes cast were not tallying with the number of registered voters. 

Sembabule has a total of 286 polling stations, but at polling stations such as Kagango A-N in Mitima Sub-county, which has 238 registered voters, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine,  the  presidential candidate for National Unity Platfrom (NUP), garnered 49 votes while President Museveni of National Resistance Movement (NRM) got 233 votes . 

Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde, an Indepedent, and Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) both got one vote each, two votes were invalid while other candidates got zero. 

The number of votes cast at the polling station exceeded the registered voters by 48.

The same anomaly was detected at Kagango N- Z Polling Station, also in the same sub-county, which has 513 registered voters, but 559 votes were found in the ballot box.

Bobi Wine polled122 votes, Mr Museveni (402 votes) , Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu of Alliance for National Transformation, and Independent candidate  Nancy Kalembe got one vote each while other candidates got zero. 

Other polling stations with similar anomalies included Kyebando and Kakoma primary schools and Mihimba Polling Station all in Mitima Sub-county,  Kabukogote Polling Station in Lugusulu Sub-county. At Keirasha Polling Station in Lugusulu Sub-county, the voter turnout was at 100 per cent. 

The number of registered voters were 639 and President Museveni garnered 636 votes. There were three invalid votes and other candidates got zero.

Mr Gerald Karisa, the NUP supervisor in Sembabule, questioned the 100 per cent voter turnout at Keirasha, claiming he knows some people who died in the area, and whose names were deliberately left on the voters’ register.

“Votes exceeding the number of voters is concrete evidence that the election was marred by malpractices and ballot stuffing and those saying it was free and fair have not done thorough analysis,” he said. 

Mr Karisa said the NUP team in the district had gathered enough evidence to challenge the outcome of the polls , adding that they are awaiting to hear from Bobi Wine on the next course of action.

Mr Robert Beine, the district returning officer, wondered how his juniors at polling stations would sign declaration of result forms knowing that the process was fraudulent.

 “How can one person hoodwink the country and the world by signing forms with concocted results? The district police commander is here and we shall  follow up on these presiding officers and action must be taken against them,”  Mr Beine said.  

Ms Catherine Nakayiza, a former independent candidate in the Mawogola North parliamentary race, which Ms Shartis Musherure Kutesa won, cited multiple voting at various polling stations.

“Many eligible voters did not cast their ballots because the people sent by our opponent threatened them, even our agents were threatened and some fled the polling stations,” Ms Nakayiza said.  

Some polling stations which Daily Monitor visited during voting time  had some agents voting for people.

Mr Yosam Katonera, who was President Museveni’s agent at Bisheshe Polling Station , voted for more than 10 people, and when he was asked why he did this, he claimed to be helping some residents who cannot read and write.

“I happen to be the chairperson of this village (Bisheshe) and I am helping my people who are illiterate to exercise their constitutional right,” he said. 

However, Mr Geoffrey Guma, one of Mr Amuriat’s agents, accused Mr Katonera of voting for people without consulting them.  

Similar incidents were also reported in Kayunga District.

At some polling stations, the total number of votes obtained by candidates in the district woman MP race exceeded the total of number of registered voters in the area. 

The district returning officer, Mr Rashid Musinguzi, who had promised to carry out a recount yesterday, declared the incumbent, Ms Idah Nantaba, the winner of  the race, at the weekend.

Opposition gains 

Sembabule, like most parts of the cattle corridor has for long been an NRM stronghold, but the Opposition, mainly NUP has started to make some inroads.

In last Thursday’s General Election, Bobi Wine garnered 32,776 votes (41.92 percent) against President Museveni’s 44,442 votes (56.84 per cent) in the area. In the parliamentary elections, NUP won Mawogola South which has previously been occupied by Mr Dezi Byuuma Oswarido of NRM. The Opposition also gained ground in Kayunga and snatched the Bbale County parliamentary seat from NRM.  Mr Charles Tebandeke of NUP defeated 13 other candidates, including the incumbent and NRM flag bearer George Kumama Nsamba after garnering 12,753 votes. Bobi Wine also defeated Mr Museveni with 63,566 votes (62.57 per cent) against Mr Museveni’s 35,581 votes (35.03 per cent).

Compiled by Wilson Kutamba ,Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa  & Fred Muzaale