Electoral Commission officials held hostage


Tororo. A team of members of the National Electoral Commission led by their Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama were whisked away by police from charged residents of Tororo County who were demanding for a separate district citing marginalization and oppression by their Jopadhola counterparts of West Budama.
During a rowdy meeting that ended pre-maturely at Mukujju county headquarters in Tororo North, Tororo District, the officials were held hostage for over 20 minutes.
It took the intervention of area MPs Angura Fredrick, Nyakecho Annette and the security team from the region to disperse the already blood thirsty crowd before whisking the EC boss and his team to their cars before speeding off.

Carrying placards reading “Enough is enough’ No District no vote, Tororo county is tired of marginalization by West Budama, give us our constitutional right as per 1947 colonial boundary, we are tired of empty promises “among others, the residents some of whom had live rats in their mouths said they would not participate in the LC5 by-election until they are granted autonomy.
They also vowed to continue beating any electoral official who will dare defy their election boycott resolution by stepping foot in their area with any electoral materials effective Monday when NRM aspirants will be holding their primaries to choose a flag bearer for the LC5 seat.

Justice Byabakama and his team had visited the county to find out why the residents who are Itesotes had vowed not to participate in the June 29 District LC5 by-elections.
“As EC, we don’t have the powers to grant districts. It’s the work of Parliament. We are here only to do our duty according to the law. And I know, one of these days, Tororo may also get a district. But I would like to appeal to you to be law abiding people as you wait for what you are demanding for,” Justice Byabakama said.

He told the residents voting are a constitutional right but interfering with the rights of others to vote contravenes the law.
The EC Boss who had earlier described the Itesotes as peace loving people pleaded with them to participate in the forthcoming election and asked them to restrain from attacking electoral officials visiting their area saying it is a crime.
However, trouble started when Justice Byabakama said their problems can only be resolved through dialogue.
Residents walked out of the meeting in protest, saying they would resort to crude methods since it is the only language government understands.

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