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Opposition Candidates in Gulu to Seek Legal Redress over Defaced Posters

Posters and banners belonging to contestants such as Presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi of FDC, Robert Mugabi of Alliance for National Transformation - ANT and Lyandro Komakech of Democratic Party – DP, Caesar Rubangakene of National Unity Platform – NUP were defaced and confiscated.
17 Nov 2020 16:29
Some of the youth who were pinning President Museveni’s posters in Gulu City - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 5

Opposition candidates in Gulu plan to seek legal redress against the ruling National Resistance Movement party supporters over allegations of defacing their campaign posters.

Posters and banners belonging to contestants such as Presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi of FDC, Robert Mugabi of Alliance for National Transformation - ANT and Lyandro Komakech of Democratic Party – DP, Caesar Rubangakene of National Unity Platform – NUP were defaced and confiscated.

On Sunday night, several posters of opposition candidates were defaced and replaced with those of President Yoweri Museveni. Several of the posters were also destroyed and sold as wood to local restaurants.

Ronald Latim, an FDC mobilizer in Gulu City West Division disclosed to URN that they trailed the vandals and were arrested in a restaurant along Auma Norah Lane in Gulu City East Division but he was released after they arraigned him to Gulu Central Police Station - CPS.

Latim explains that the posters destroyed belonged to Christopher Acire, the Gulu City Mayoral candidate and Betty Aol Ocan, the Gulu City Woman MP aspirant among others. The case was recorded at the CPS vide SD: Ref 24/16/11/2020.

//Cue in: "All our banners...

Cue out...is done well."//

Ocan, who also doubles as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament indicated they are reaching out to all opposition candidates affected so that they pursue legal redress.

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Tony Kitara, an advocate in Gulu City who is also contesting for Gulu City West Division Parliamentary seat under independent ticket says defacing of campaign posters for candidates nominated by the Electoral Commission tantamount to an electoral offense.

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Francis Okello Odoki, an NRM party official disputed the allegations being levied against his party arguing that such have been the tactics of the opposition politicians to discredit the NRM in search for sympathy votes. 

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Some of the youth who were pinning President Museveni’s posters along Market Street, Airfield Road, Kampala Road and Sir Samuel Baker Road among others admitted to URN that they removed all the opposition campaign materials displayed in Gulu City to create space for the President.

//Cue in "Eni watimo...

Cue out...tye kabino."//   

Gulu District Returning Officer Benson Obette said he was yet to receive any formal complaints from the aggrieved candidates but advised them to report the matter to police for further investigations.

The Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 Section 82 (2) prohibits defacing of campaign posters. The law prescribes one-year imprisonment or a fine of 20 currency points or both for any culprit caught doing so.