Polls are closing in Kagoma County Parliamentary by-elections, where voters today elect a new Member of Parliament but the voters are complaining of feeling intimidated by much Police presence at the polling stations.
The voter turn-up is reported to be high with over 40,000 voters estimated to have cast their ballots by press time.
James Mugabi, 41, a resident of Butagaya sub-County told TheUgandan on Thursday that several supporters of Timothy Lusala Batuwa of the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC were not comfortable with the massive presence of mean looking Police officers in neigbouring areas of Nawanyago, Magamaga, Buyabi and Butamira among others.
“This is so intimidating,” Mr Mugabi said adding, “It is unusual to the extent that every after two metres, you find about five Police officers.”
“People are saying that some supporters of Moses Muwanika Walyomu have voted more than three times in Nakakulwe polling station, Butagaya Sub County,” Mugabi claimed. Walyomu, the NRM flag bearer voted from Nakakulwe polling station, Butagaya Sub County at exactly 10:00am.
Forum for Democratic Change-FDC strongman, Dr. Kizza Besigye had earlier in an interviewed voiced his fear about the situation. “I was in Kagoma to campaign for our candidate but you would think there was a war there. There was a heavy police deployment.”
At Kiranga-Busoba Polling Station in Butagaya, voting was suspended for nearly two hours following the breakdown of election machines. Only 19 people had voted before the thumb-detecting machine stopped working.
The Kagoma MP seat fell vacant in March 2017 after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Moses Walyomu over voter bribery.
There are four candidates in the race; NRM’s Walyomu , Batuwa of the FDC, and independents Muhammad Bizimack Bidondole and Alex Brandon Kintu.