The Electoral Commission is calling for a probe into vigilante groups being formed ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The commission’s chairperson Dr Badru Kiggundu says the groups should be investigated and should not be allowed to disorganize the ongoing electoral process.
According to Kiggundu, any attempts by these groups, which claim that they are protecting their political parties’ votes against rigging, are illegal and could instigate election violence.
Kiggundu was responding to reports that Maj Roland Kakooza Mutale, the head of Kalangala Action Plan is training about 500 individuals in Luweero district to protect President Museveni’s vote in 2016.
Kampala Mayor, Erias Lukwago, in retaliation, formed the Solidarity Group to counter Mutale’s group.
Kiggundu says he has already consulted with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Aronda Nyakairima to investigate these groups and establish their motive.
“I have heard of vigilante groups coming up just like we had in the last general elections but am confident security will handle. We are in discussion with the security authorities about these groups. So they are going to be identified then called upon to talk to them and identify their absolute cause. Let them not disturb the electoral train process which should be left to be peaceful otherwise there is security in the country.”
“I have not yet identified the names yet but there are being identified and we are in discussion with the security to make sure something is done before the general elections”, Kiggundu said.
This is not the first time vigilante groups are being formed ahead of elections.
In 2011, Kikankane, Blue Cobra, Red Brigade, Black Mamba, Bamboo Youth Brigade, Kiboko Squad, 3K Brigade, Mwoyo gwa Gwanga and Black Brigade are some of the groups that were reported and suspected to cause violence during the elections.
Kiggundu says as long as there is adequate security in the country, cases of election violence will be quelled.
Crispy Kaheru, the coordinator of Citizens Coalition on Elections and Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) says such groups need to be nipped in the bud, otherwise Uganda will be dragged into a situation like Kenya, which was plunged into election violence in the post 2007/2008 elections.