NRM Chairman Shot Dead, Five People Injured In Entebbe Mayoral Election Chaos
One person has been confirmed dead and five others seriously injured after a joint force of soldiers and police fired teargas and bullets to disperse protesters at Central market in Entebbe and Wakiso tally center. Protests led by members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Democratic Party (DP) broke out Tuesday morning in Entebbe and Wakiso District headquarters after the Entebbe Electoral Commission officers declared Independent and NRM leaning candidate, Mr Fabrice Rulinda as the winner of yesterday’s poll. Some of the protesters argued that by 12am, Rulinda was trailing in third position with 2,825 behind NRM’s Kabwama Mutebi with 5,257 and incumbent DP’s Kayanja De Paul with 5,672. However, they say they were surprised when the returning officer, Mr Tolbert Musinguzi who was guarded by security forces announced Rulinda as winner.
The SFC soldiers who had been deployed to calm the situation in Entebbe fired live bullets at the protestors killing one Eric Kyeyune, a boda boda rider and the NRM chairman Kitubulu Katabi. Two others were injured in the shooting and rushed to hospital. According to the official results released by Mr Musinguzi on Tuesday morning, Rulinda won with 6,703 votes, followed by the Mr Mutebi who polled 6, 342 votes. In third position came incumbent and DP’s Kayanja who garnered 5,576 votes. Others in the race were; National Unity Platform (NUP)’s Olive Nassuna who got 2,499 votes, Alliance for National Transformation (ANT)’s Kenneth Ssimbwa with 45 votes, former Entebbe municipality MP Muhammad Kawuma who got 521 votes and Gerald Muwonge with 13 votes. Mr Kayanja and his supporters in both Entebbe and at Wakiso District tally spent a night celebrating victory only to be shocked by the EC official results on Tuesday morning. According to their tally sheet, they had led the race with 5,672 votes and the runner up posting 2,825 votes. Moments before the results were announced at Wakiso tally centre, Mr Kayanja complained about the tally sheet projected on the screen as they were not matching with what his team had tallied. Upon, declaration, chaos ensued with a team of councillors from Entebbe and their supporters from other areas protesting. Immediately, the military and police officer started firing tear gas and live bullets to disperse the rowdy supporters.
The Wakiso scuffle that lasted for over 30 minutes left three people severely injured and were rushed to nearby clinic for medical attention. The tally centre was then cordoned off and all councilors were thrown out and pushed almost 150 meters away. More soldiers were deployed and mounted over five check points in between Wakiso town and the district headquarters to stop a group of youth who were matching towards the tally center. In an interview with the media, Mr Kayanja who was shedding tears said his victory had been robbed at gunpoint. According to him,“I appealed to the returning officer to recount. But Mr Musinguzi, advised me to file a formal petition to the Electoral Commission which could be handled after other municipalities are handled,” He also added that in all the elections that started January 14, losers have been declared as winners, but after mounting pressure and presenting evidence in form of declaration of results forms, the pronouncements have been turned which wasn’t the case this time around.
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