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NRM Aspirants Asked to Disband Vigilante Groups in Luweero

The Aspirants formed the groups to allegedly protect their votes and mobilize for support ahead of elections for NRM party candidates on September 4. But the police in Luweero says it has received complaints that the groups are already engaging in criminal activities like defacing posters of persons from rival camps.
Some of the posters defaced in Luweero town. Police say the vigilante groups are responsible for the crime

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Police in Luweero district has ordered aspirants in National Resistance Movement party primaries to immediately disband vigilante groups. Those who fail to disband them will be held liable for all crimes committed by the groups, according to a warning issued by Luweero District Police Commander Abraham Tukundane.

The Aspirants formed the groups to allegedly protect their votes and mobilize for support ahead of elections for NRM party candidates on September 4. But the police in Luweero says it has received complaints that the groups are already engaging in criminal activities like defacing posters of persons from rival camps.

Tukundane says that such acts are likely to disrupt the party primaries and plunge the area into electoral violence. He advises all aspirants to utilize police services adding that the Police have enough manpower to guard the polling stations.

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Shafik Ntege, the Luweero District NRM Administrator says that they have not authorized any aspirant to form a vigilante group because there was no need for it. Ntege says that during elections, each aspirant will be allowed to appoint one agent at each polling station and these will be able to oversee the process, together with polling officers and police personnel.

But Phoebe Namulindwa, an aspirant for the Woman Parliamentary seat says that her group is intended to protect her votes without engaging in any criminality. Namulindwa adds that the vigilante or mobilizers engaged in committing crimes do so on the instruction of aspirants, and should be apprehended.

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Ali Ndawula, the Bamunanika County Parliamentary Aspirant says that what he has, is a network of supporters at villages to guard his votes.

Sam Mulwana, the campaign agent for Katikamu North MP Abraham James Byandala asked the Police to walk the talk and arrest the youths involved in defacing posters since they already have clues on who is behind the crime.

The Parliamentary Election Act sets a fine of 600,000 Shillings or a one-year jail term for any person who maliciously defaces election posters of any nominated candidate.

Recently unknown persons defaced posters of several aspirants. The most affected aspirants were Abraham James Byandala, his main contender for the NRM ticket Gaddafi Nasur and the Democratic Party aspirant for the same seat Charles Ssebyala.  Others who have suffered a similar fate are Ssebayiga Vincent, Abbey Ssozi, and Disan Kikabi, who are eyeing the LC5 Chairperson's seat among others.

Police have now linked the act to vigilante groups associated with rivals.

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