Hoima: FDC protests heavy military presence ahead of by-election

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has lodged a complaint against the heavy deployment of military personnel in Hoima district ahead of Thursday’s parliamentary elections.

In a September 25 letter by FDC Secretary General Nathan Nandala-Mafabi to the Electoral Commission Chairman, Justice Simon Byabakama, the opposition party wants the commission to investigate the heavy deployment and involvement of military operatives in the polls.

The party says that there are clear indications that the presence of the military is intended to intimidate and scare their supporters.

Nandala says that a number of opposition supporters continue to face repression, harassment, arbitrary arrests and beating by the military in the run-up to the polls, adding that many of them are now living in fear.

He further demanded that the military is withdrawn from the area and be replaced by the Police, the institution which is duty-bound to maintain law and order.

“We know that Uganda Police is adequately trained and informed of all aspects of Electoral law and procedures of a free and fair election,” Nandala wrote.

Last week police used teargas to disperse FDC supporters who took to the streets after their candidate Asinansi Kamanda Nyakato was blocked from accessing radio stations across the district. A few days later, the city witnessed running battles between security personnel and opposition supporters, during a procession to the final rally held in Bwali village.

The Hoima Woman Parliamentary Seat fell vacant after Tophace Kaahwa Byagira, the former Woman MP opted to represent the newly created Kikuube district that became operational on July 1