VIDEOS and PICTURES: Ballot stuffing allegations mar start of voting in Kayunga LC5 poll

Some of the ballot boxes alleged to be bearing pre-ticked ballots in Kayunga (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAYUNGA —Several voters in Kayunga District have boycotted voting in the LC5 by-election, alleging that they found several pre-ticked ballots in boxes.

At Namavundu Church polling station, Kayonza and Seeta Nyize polling station in Kangulumira Sub-county, several voters reported pre-ticked ballots in favour of the ruling NRM candidate Andrew Muwonge as early as 6am on Thursday, 16 December 2021.

“We came here at around 6:00 AM and found ballot boxes with pre-ticked papers, we even found one person still pre-ticking others,” a NUP leader told journalists at Sseeta Nyinze polling station, Kangulumira sub-county.

The NUP candidate, Ms Harriet Nakwedde, also claimed that several of her polling agents were reported on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

“Security operatives have been arresting our polling agents in Kayunga since last night ahead of today’s by-elections, picking them from hotels and homes. We have also received reports of already pre ticked ballot papers at some polling stations in favour of the NRM’s candidate,” she said.

“More NUP polling agents being arrested from polling stations in Kayunga. There has been massive ballot stuffing. By 6am, at many polling stations, ballot boxes were full,” she added.

NUP president Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and party spokesman Joel Ssenyonyi also posted a video of polling officials at a polling station appearing to display pre-ticked ballots.

“Our agents arrived at this polling station at 6:30am (before 7:00am when voting is meant to start). They got this man red handed, stuffing in these ballot papers at Namavundu Church polling station. We are seeing in Kayunga what happened in January and why Museveni switched off internet,” Bobi Wine tweeted alongside videos and pictures.

We could not independently verify the claims.

NUP Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya also accused NRM leaders, including the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, of bribing voters with as low as Shs4,000 to vote the NRM candidate.

NUP Registrar Margaret Nakitende, who is in Kayunga, told journalists: “Electoral commission officials have admitted to being behind the pre-ticking of ballot papers which we found in the ballot box at 6:20am, they say it is an order from above.”

We also could not independently verify the claims.

Meanwhile, NRM candidate Andrew Muwonge has cast his ballot at Light College Kayunga polling station. Addressing journalists, Muwonge denied ballot stuffing allegations, saying he is assured of victory.

On Thursday evening, several politicians and journalists, including Daily Monitor’s Michael Kakumirizi, were arrested while heading to the district.

They are yet to be released.

Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake and NUP candidate Nakwedde were on Tuesday beaten up by security agencies during the last day of campaigns in the by-election for the Kayunga District chairperson seat.

Witnesses said that two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) squeezed the vehicle of Mr Zaake before a soldier at the rank of Colonel dragged him out at Total Petrol Station in Kayunga.

“It was sort of a movie. Guys played it rough but interestingly, unprovoked. Everyone saw this happen at Total Petrol Station in Kayunga,” Mr Dan Mugambe, an aide to the MP, said.

He said after Mr Zaake was pulled out of his car by the unidentified Colonel, another soldier reached for their pickup truck car from where he fetched sticks.

“They beat him ll over the body, some concentrating on the head…the MP was in the company of five others but I remember the candidate (NUP candidate Nakwede) was also badly beaten,” Mr Mugambe said.

Voters in Kayunga District are picking their favourite candidate for the Kayunga LC 5 chair in a hotly contested by-election.

The seat fell vacant following the death of the late Mohamed Ffeffekka Sserubogo in June, after one month in office.

The race has attracted six candidates that include National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate Harriet Nakwedde who is running a tight race with NRM’s Andrew Muwonge.

Others are DP’s Anthony Waddimba and independent candidates Majid Nyanzi, Jamir Kamoga and Boniface Bandikubi.

The campaigns which ended on Tuesday were characterised by scenes of violence that left mostly the NUP supporters injured

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