NRM structures elections on Thursday did not go well in Kibaale as police arrested Buyaga West Member of Parliament, Barnabas Tinkansimire, for reportedly bribing voters.
Tinkansimire and his five campaign agents were arrested at around 2pm while distributing money to delegates at Kibaale Resort Hotel where the elections were being conducted.
Kibaale District Police Commander, Patrick Ewan, ordered for Tinkasimire’s arrest, and told URN that the MP would be charged with electoral malpractice and voter bribery.
Speaking to URN shortly after his release, Tinkasimire denied the bribery allegations saying he was only giving transport facilitation to disabled persons who came from his constituency.
Tinkasimire is one of the four NRM rebel MPs who were kicked out of the party only to return home this August.
Tinkasiimire together with Wilfred Niwagaba, Theodore Ssekikubo, and Muhammed Nsereko were expelled from the party in 2013 following accusations that they had contravened various provisions of the party constitution.
He wrote an apology letter to the party upon which Secretary General, Kasule Lumumba, on 20th Aug 2015 wrote to Godfrey Hamujuni, chair person LC 1 Nyabigata village, Nyanseke parish, Muhooro town council Buyaga west constituency, Kibaale district to register and issue a national resistance movement card to Tinkansimire.
Chaotic NRM campaigns
Dan Mwesigwa, a journalist attached to NTV is nursing injuries he sustained in an attack by Ben Maganda, the Mukono District Deputy NRM party registrar.
Maganda attacked Mwesigwa on Tuesday when he went to cover protests by NRM youths at the party offices against vote rigging in the primaries.
During the attack, Maganda also destroyed Mwesigwa’s camera and dragged him to the party offices, where he kept him close for two hours saying he was not allowed to cover the protest.
It took the intervention of Mukono District Police Commander Abraham Tukundane to compel Maganda to release Mwesigwa and apologise for his strange behaviour.
EC covers up irregularities
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission chairperson, Tanga Odoi, recently described as cowards aspirants pulling out of the party primaries.
Odoi claims these are people who have realized they do not have enough support and instead opt to pull out in the guise of becoming independents.
The party is scheduled to hold its primary elections on 25th September to elect flag bearers for parliamentary and district chairperson seats ahead of the 2016 elections.
However, some aspirants in different parts of the country have pulled out of the race, citing irregularities within the party.
Odoi says those pulling out have not officially written to the party Electoral Commission to state their grievances but the party cannot stop them.
The Electoral Commission chairman, Dr. Badru Kiggundu, also reinforced the claim saying no one is providing them or the police with evidence of NRM bribing voters.
Dr. Kiggundu was responding to claims from some presidential aspirants that the ruling National Resistance Movement was using money to bribe voters.
Kiggundu told the aspirants that bribing voters is illegal, but none of the complainants have so far given enough evidence to either police or the commission to cause investigations or have action taken against the aspirant.
The commission also clarifies that it is lawful for presidential aspirants to facilitate organized activities, which is sometimes misunderstood by people.