KAMPALA MAYORAL ELECTIONS HAS BEEN SUSPENDED BY UGANDA ELECTORAL COMMISSION, DUE TO MASSIVE VOTE RIGGING BY NRM MAYORAL CANDIDATE PASTOR PETER SSEMATIMBA. THIS GIVES THE WORLD A TRUE PICTURE OF THE EXTENT OF VOTE RIGGING BY NRM OFFICIALS DURING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS ON 18/02/2011 BECAUSE SAME TACTICS WERE USED BY SAME PEOPLE.(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Police seizes 13 ballot boxes with pre-ticked ballot papers
Opposition supporters in conjunction with police have seized 13 ballot boxes with pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of Peter Sematimba, the NRM mayoral candidate in Kampala. Sematimba is also a born again pastor in Kampala.
Five boxes were found at Public Library polling station on Buganda Road, four at Bat Valley poling station and other boxes were found at Railway polling station and at National Theatre poling station.
Police have also arrested many Electoral Commission officials in Kampala for reportedly aiding in vote rigging.
At Bat Valley poling stations, voting started at night and when the people forced the returning officer to count the votes in one of the boxes, there were 399 pre-ticked ballot papers – all in favour of the ruling National Resistance Movement’s mayoralcandidate for Kampala, Pastor Peter Ssematimba. In the second box, there were 424 ballot papers pre-ticked in favour of NRM councilors.
How mayor election rigging was exposed
Written by Gertrude Tumusiime
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 13:40
By 4am this morning, chaos had already broken out in Kampala.
The city mayoral and council elections had become a mess even before they officially started. A number of polling stations were closed after full ballot boxes of cast votes in favour of NRM mayoral candidate, Peter Sematimba, were found before 7am – the official starting time.
Buganda Road Primary School, National Theatre, Public Library and Railway grounds polling stations were among those closed early in the day. By 6am, more than six ballot boxes with more than 300 votes already cast for Sematimba had been confiscated from different stations.
The Observer has reliably learnt how the ballot stuffing was exposed at such an early hour, leading to the closure of the polling stations and, eventually, suspension of the whole process.
Lukwago task force
Prior to the polls, Erias Lukwago, an independent candidate and one of the front runners for Mayor, had formed an election task force to scrutinize the entire process, starting before commencement and throughout, to the end.
“We set up a task force to monitor our votes because we were sure the elections would be rigged,” said an official that is part of the task force.
A communication base was also established at Sr. Miriam Dugan Primary School in Kamwokya in the outskirts of the city, where all agents were to send information from the different polling stations during the voting process, so that immediate action could be taken where necessary.
The task force was a vast one, led by notable opposition members such as the Democratic Party’s Charles Sserunjogi, who is contesting for LC 3 Chairman in Kampala Central. He was badly wounded at Summit View polling centre in Kololo, while trying to ensure that Lukwago’s votes were safe.
Other members of the taskforce were Lukwago allies, who were ready to take action when called upon. Agents in the task force were divided into teams that were spread at polling stations throughout Kampala to observe the process from the time of arrival of the election materials to their removal after counting and results declaration.
These teams were charged with sending regular reports to the communication base, which would then inform the responsible authorities about the situation on the ground.
The agents had a short night’s sleep on Tuesday. By 4am on Wednesday, they had reported to the different stations to which they had been assigned, awaiting voting to commence at 7am. But chaos ensued long before dawn.
At Kisekka market in downtown Kampala, Lukwago’s agents who had camped in the area at 4am were allegedly attacked by a gang of men armed with whips and clubs (commonly referred to as ‘kibooko squad’), who flogged them while demanding to know what the agents were doing at the polling station at that time of the night.
It was these agents that witnessed the arrival of ballot boxes with already cast votes in favour of Sematimba. They informed the communication team, which contacted the Electoral Commission, prompting the premature closure of various polling stations.
“By 5am, we started receiving calls that elections had been rigged,” said an official at Lukwago’s communication base.
“We informed the Electoral Commission and started deploying more agents to the mentioned areas to make sure those boxes were seized and thoroughly checked,” she added.
According to the official, personnel from the Electoral Commission delayed to get to the scene, but when they eventually did, they acted promptly.