MPs probe election violence in Mayuge

The parliamentary committee on Human Rights this week commenced investigations into human rights violations that marred elections in Mayuge.

The committee chaired by Agnes Taaka, the Bugiri Woman MP,  noted that security personnel in the district failed to control the chaos that marred the presidential and parliamentary elections in Mayuge district leaving over 250 people injured.

The committee heard from witnesses that many people were beaten up by external forces loyal to some local politicians as police and other security personnel simply looked on.

Taaka said the testimonies from witnesses indicate that majority of the aggrieved politicians alerted the police after realising that their supporters were being roughed up but no action was taken.

"There was reluctance by the local police to take action on some individuals who were causing chaos at polling stations," she said

She said the committee has the responsibility to compel police to take action on people believed to have violated the rights of an individual in case they are reluctant to do so.

"There are people we have heard in other areas also who claim to have been seriously assaulted by supporters of other candidates during the elections or before but claim no action has been taken by police," she said.

Bunya East MP, Robert Ntende said many of his supporters were tortured by agents of his main rival Idd Isabirye at Namoni and Namadhi polling stations in Mpungwe sub county but no action was taken despite reporting the matter to police.

Ntende said after realising that his life was in danger he decided to seek protection of soldiers from Bwondha landing site but even then, he was beaten up at Nsona polling station in their presence where he had gone to supervise the voting process.

"I was surrounded by four armed soldiers who just looked on as supporters of my opponent beat me up and tore my coat," he said.

The LC 5 chairman Mayuge Hajji Dakturi Bongo said politicians who involve themselves in election malpractices should be banned from contesting any political post for a period of at least 20 years.

The DPC Mayuge, Bashir Isooba said they have always avoided carrying out arrests of suspects in villages to avoid being branded collaborators of politicians.


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