The Electoral Commission has written to the Inspector General of Police, Kale Kayihura, asking him to investigate incidents in which NRM supporters entered an epic clash in Ntungamo town over the weekend.
The letter dated December 14, 2015 and signed by the EC boss, Badru Kiggundu, describes as “unfortunate” an incident that occurred on Sunday where supporters of President Yoweri Museveni and those of Amama Mbabazi engaged in a fight.
“Video details of this incident depict stick wielding groups of men mercilessly beating and kicking people in various parts of the body,” Kiggundu writes to Kayihura.
“This is to kindly request you to expeditiously investigate this incident and also, to ensure peace and security of all stakeholders at all campaign rallies during the 2015/16 general elections.”
“We have also received reports that some of the presidential candidates are not strictly observing the closure of campaign rallies at 6:00pm as provide for in the law.”
He added: “Kindly also accordingly advise your field officers to ensure that election campaign rallies stop by 6:00pm.”
Kiggundu copied the letter to the candidates requesting them to ensure that campaign rallies are not disrupted and to ensure there is no violence to the public by their supporters “some of who display kanyama style”.
When Mbabazi complained that NRM supporters were defacing his posters and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde disrupting his rallies by buying off his fans, EC condemned the incidents but never penalized anyone.
Anti-Mbabazi demonstrations were held in Masaka and Mukono towns; his posters were defaced and rallies disrupted in Hoima, Kasese, Fort Portal, Arua, Iganga and Bushenyi among other towns.
EC said it had banned parallel rallies yet the same would re-occur in Ntungamo as police watched.
Mbabazi even threatened to drag them to the International Criminal Court [ICC] but Kiggundu said they were not intimidated.
Speaking earlier after the incident, Kayihura who personally visited Ntungamo, threatened to arrest Mbabazi men who he described as “militias”.
“If we can disband Kakooza Mutale, how can we let others have such militia, we will arrest them, Mbabazi must disband his militia,” Kayihura cried out.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the police had arrested some people and was already investigating the circumstances that led to the clashes.
Watch the video by NBS TV
As Mbabazi entered Ntungamo town on Sunday, people dressed in NRM T-shirts started chanting NRM slogans.
Ntungamo District is the home of First Lady, Janet Museveni.
According to The Observer, people in NRM T-shirts first assembled at Rwashameire, the venue of Amama’ first rally.
They moved around the village distributing the party’s campaign material.
In Rubare, a youth was arrested and survived being lynched for defacing Amama’s posters.
In Ntungamo town, the group waylaid Mbabazi’s convoy armed with sticks and singing NRM songs.
They threw stones at his convoy prompting Mbabazi men to swing into action.
With canes, blows and kicks, Mbabazi men sent NRM supporters scampering for their lives.
A police chopper was reportedly used to evacuate injured supporters to hospitals.
After his men had won the battle, Mbabazi called on all NRM members “to take it easy and know that we are in serious competition of who has to rescue the suffering Ugandans”.
“They (NRM) should desist from whatever they are doing. In my time in NRM this never happened,” he said.
“This was our rally. What happened was uncalled for. The NRM should take these elections calmly.”