Heavy Military Deployment as Uganda decides 2016
The Assistant Commissioner of Police who is also the Regional Police Commander (RPC) Elgon region which comprises all districts of former larger Mbale namely Mbale, Manafwa, Bududa, Mbulambuli, and Sironko James Rhuweza has urged the residents of Elgon to turn up in large numbers and vote.
Rhuweza has told West Media reporters in Mbale that the purpose of heavy military and police deployment is mainly to maintain law and order and not to intimidate the public not to turn up and vote as perceived by others.
He says it’s a democratic right of any Uganda aged 18 years and above to exercise his or her democratic right by voting for a candidate of their choice.
He further added that the police is working with other organs of security namely the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) Internal Security Organization (ISO), Chieftain of Military Intelligence (CMI) among others to secure the elections.
ACP Rhuweza says as members charged with the responsibility of securing Ugandans, they cannot allow any person to infringe upon the rights of others by causing chaos or otherwise.
Meanwhile he has appealed to all men and women in uniform to ensure that even as they maintain law and order they must at all times respect the human rights of the citizens.
According to residents we talked to, they say the heavy deployment is meant to instill fear in the population so that they don’t turn up and vote for a candidates of their choice.
A resident who did not wanted to be quoted said “ if President Yoweri Museveni is loved by the people as he claims why the heavy deployment” He adds that Mzee meaning president Museveni has senced defeat hence using the Military and Police personnel to intimidate them.
Commenting on heavy deployment of security personnel, Lydia Wanyoto a resident of Mbale, Uganda Representative to Somalia, former EALA MP and one among President Museveni’s campaign agents, said there is nothing wrong with the deployment.
She adds that in the event people’s rights are violated the wananchi will solely blame no one but the president who is also a candidate in this election. Wanyoto says towards the last days of the campaign there has been a lot of excitement which needs to be controlled thus the deployment. She cased her vote at North Road Primary School Mbale and shortly left for Namboole, the National tally centre.
Meanwhile Rashid Musinguzi, the Mbale district Returning Officer has urged the residents of Mbale to turn up in large numbers and vote for candidates of their choice.
In Tororo district, voters turned up in large numbers and some missed their names in the register but they were none the less referred to their actual stations after being identified biometrically.
The voting went on well save for a few skirmishes in Kasoli a Tororo suburb following the clashes between supporters of the incumbent independent MP Sanjay Tanah Tororo Municipality MP and those of NRM flag bearer Yeri Apollo Ofwono who was dethroned from the seat by Sanjay an Indian of Ugandan origin in 2006 and has since held onto the seat.