Anti-riot police have today been deployed to Kigumba Township in Masindi to monitor campaigns for the Kigumba LC3 chair.
Diana Nandaula, the Midwestern Uganda police spokesperson, says 50 anti-riot police were sent to Kigumba at the request of the Resident District Commissioner. She says they will guard against violence and hooliganism in the run up to the local council by-elections.
John Otim, the Forum for Democratic Change candidate for the Kigumba seat, claims the deployment is intended to intimidate his supporters. He says government has realized that the National Resistance Movement candidate is too weak to win the elections and is now attempting to rig the vote.
//Cue in: iThe purpose #i
Cue out: i# rigging definitely.i//
Otim also claims that the NRM is illegally using government resources to support its candidate, Jacob Karubanga.
The Deputy Resident District Commissioner of Masindi, Jack Odur, insists that there is nothing wrong with the deployment of anti-riot police. He says FDC supporters have been causing mayhem at campaign rallies and there is a need to prevent an escalation of the violence.
//Cue in: iSome people#..i
Cue out: i##we are calm.i//
The deployment of anti-riot police in Kigumba comes a day after Information and National Guidance Minister, Kabakumba Masiko, visited the township to campaign for Jacob Karubanga. During a campaign rally Masiko lashed out at Steven Birija, the Masindi district chairman, for allegedly siding with FDC candidates.
Birija says he has no favorites in the by-election. He says he is willing to work with whoever is elected.