Ntungamo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ntungamo police have arrested 400 people believed to have been ferried into the municipality to participate in the National Resistance Movement-NRM party primary elections. The suspects were picked up in an operation that was conducted on Sunday night and this morning in different parts of Ntungamo Municipality.
NRM party members are voting candidates for municipal mayors, LC 111 chairperson and councillor’s seats. The Rwizi Regional Police Spokesperson, Samson Kasasira, says the suspects were ferried into Ntungamo municipality by some of the aspirants vying for NRM party ticket for the mayoral seat.
The aspirants are Ronald Bukenya, Ronald Hakimu and the incumbent, Jacob Kafureeka.
“We got intelligence that the number of new people within the town was increasing so we decided to carry out an operation last night and arrested about 200 people from hotels and lodges. This morning we again conducted another operation and arrested more people,” he said.
According to Kasasira, the suspects were ferried from Sheema, Mitooma districts, Kafunjo, Nyamukana, and Ruhaama, and Kajara. Miria Mirembe, the Ntungamo District NRM Registrar, says there are 6000 registered voters in the municipality but the number suddenly increased to over 50,000 people.
“We suspected that there must be something wrong from Saturday evening on the number of people around town. So we asked police to help us and investigate the situation,” she said. The previous NRM party primaries in Ntungamo district were marred by electoral violence, malpractice and voter bribery.
One person was shot and injured during the Rushenyi County NRM party primaries leading to the arrest of the incumbent MP and Labour state minister, Mwesigwa Rukutana. The legislator was slapped with a string of charges including attempted murder and malicious damage to property and is currently on remand in Mpigi district.
By the time of filing this story, elections were yet to start as the security team led by Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner and NRM party Western Region coordinator, Dr. Dickson Kamukama were still locked up in a meeting with the candidates.