EC: We are investigating army involvement in election rigging, pre-ticked ballots claims

EC chairperson Simon Byabakama (PHOTO/Daily Monitor).

KAMPALA — The Electoral Commission (EC) has pledged to make thorough investigations and iron out the underlying issues on videos circulating on social media alleging vote rigging in favor of President Museveni who was declared winner of 2021 Presidential election.

The videos that show motion pictures exhibit pre-ticked ballots in favor of President Museveni and army officers involved in ballot stuffing.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, had earlier accused Museveni of fabricating the results and called the poll “the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda” while security forces surrounded his home.

The vote was fraught and many observers said it was hindered by the actions of state forces – an internet shutdown across the country – that undermined transparency.

In a Facebook post, Bobi Wine said that “This particular video was sent to us by a member of the UPDF who was disgusted by what they were commanded to do!”

“He told us they spent days pre-ticking ballot papers in favor of Museveni because they knew there was no way they could beat us in a free contest! Up to now, it is difficult to believe that a one time prized revolutionary is going down as one of the world’s most despised despots! Did he claim to have gone to the bush because of a rigged election? How despicable! Keep the evidence coming in comrades,” he added.

In a statement, the electoral body said “The Electoral Commission took all measures as per the Electoral laws to ensure that Electoral process is conducted with integrity. Nevertheless, we consider these allegations seriously and we’ll investigate to ascertain their veracity.”

The results followed one of the most violent election campaigns in Uganda, which included killings, the arrest of campaigners and civil society groups and intimidation by the security forces. Ugandan authorities also shut down internet networks across most of the country. Turnout was 57%, the lowest since Museveni took office.

The aftermath of the general elections has been dominated by social media meltdown rotating around the transpirings of the actual event since there was an internet shutdown on voting day.

Several videos have been making rounds on social media platforms demonstrating how illicit the electoral process was.

Deputy army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Deo Akiiki confirmed that in some parts of the country, including Mukono military took over the tally centers

Lt. Col. Akiiki told reporters that the institution had already arrested some of the officers that involved themselves in messing up the EC’s work.

According to Akiiki, these officers will have to face the army court martial and answer the charges that will be preferred against them.

President Museveni was announced the winner in a widely dispute poll. His party, however, suffered significant loses. About 30 MPs, including many cabinet ministers and the vice-president, lost their seats, largely to candidates from Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP).

The Electoral Commission is working tooth and nail to verify any flaws and keep the motion in steady flow with all parties on a leveled path.

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