How Jinja by-election caused problems for Jinja RPC, DPC

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Exclusive

The Kiira Regional Police Commander Gerard Twishime, and the District Police Commander, Superintendent of Police Martin Mbabazi have been sent on forced leave, the Nile Post has learnt.

Their woes according to source who preferred anonymity stemmed from the recently concluded Jinja East by-election in which Forum for Democratic Change candidate, Paul Mwiru trounced ruling NRM party’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta and six others.

In January, the Constitutional Court ordered for fresh elections in the constituency over irregularities and in the March by-election the Electoral Commission declared Mwiru the winner after garnering a total of 6,654 votes while his closes challenger, Nabeta polled 5,043 votes.

The ruling party later disputed the results saying they would challenge them in courts of law.
“The election was riddled with various electoral malpractices like multiple voting, voter bribery and intimidation of voters,” NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba told a news conference on March 16, a day after Mwiru had been declared winner.

Police report
This website has exclusively learnt that following the election, the Political and Electoral Reforms unit of the police force compiled a report in which it faulted police for mismanagement of the election.

“They are accused of siding with the opposition during the election,” the source told the Nile Post.
It is said that police led by Twishime and Mbabazi are accused of not stopping Mwiru and the opposition from ferrying supporters from nearby districts as well as not being able to stop alleged election malpractice.

According the source, the report was shared with the Inspector General of Police, Okoth Ochola before the team together with the IGP met President Museveni over the same.

It is also alleged that Museveni was furious over the findings in the report and asked that the two police officers be suspended.

When contacted, police spokesperson Emilian Kayima confirmed the two police officers had been suspended over incidents related to the by-election.

“It is true our officers, the RPC and DPC of Jinja were suspended after being implicated in electoral offences,”Kayima told the Nile Post.”

Consequently, Superintendent of Police, Onesmus Mwesigwa who was the deputy RPC has been appointed as the acting Regional Police Commander for Kiira region.

Scores arrested
Meanwhile over 40 people mostly Forum for Democratic Change supporters have been arrested by police since last week over charges related to malicious damage and threatening violence during the election.
According to police, over 10 Electoral Commission officials have also been apprehended over the Jinja by-election and Jinja Municipal council Speaker Morrison Bizitu.

Mwiru recently accused police of arresting his supporters and coercing them to pin him on election malpractice.

“I have learnt from my sources that they(police) are under pressure to persecute my supporters and make up a case for the NRM,”the newly elected MP said.

“I am reliably informed that my supporters are being arrested, charged and asked to confess trumped charges in exchange for money.”

Mwiru, a lawyer later wrote to the Director Public Prosecutions, Mike Chibita over harassment of his supporters by the police in the name of looking for evidence in regards to election malpractice.

“Suffice to mention, over 50 of my campaign managers were arrested on 13th March and incarcerated in various police stations and charged with trumped up offences,”Mwiru says in his letter to the DPP.

“The purpose hereof is to seek your indulgence to halt any sanctioning of political files rising out of Jinja East Municipality constituency by-election without consent from your office.”

The FDC legislator says what is going on is continuous politicking by the ruling NRM party and can only be stopped by the DPP’s office.

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