Soldiers Deployed to Sembabule ahead of Woman MP By-Election

1213 Views Sembabule, Uganda
Security in Sembabule district has been stepped up a day after President Yoweri Museveni headed there to campaign for Anifa Kawooya, the NRM candidate. Today morning, extra military police, Anti Riot police, presidential guard Brigade, and UPDF soldiers were deployed in Lugusulu, Ntusi, Lwemiyaga and Sembabule town council. Lt. Geoffrey Bulashana, spokesperson for Masaka armored Brigade has also confirmed the deployment of UPDF soldiers. He says that the soldiers deployed in Sembabule have been got from Kabamba military barracks and Masaka armored brigade. According to Bushana, the deployment is meant to reinforce security because the police force does not have enough man power to keep law and order. Andrew Sorowen, the southern regional police commander, explained that the heavy deployment is aimed at preventing clashes between Kabatsi and Kawooya supporters. Tension is already high after president Museveni declared Kawooya the official NRM candidate yesterday. This has irked Kabatsi's supporters most of who are NRM loyalists. They are threatening violence. Sorowen says police does not want a repeat of Monday's incidents when Kabatsi and Kawooya's supporters clashed shortly after president Museveni had left the rally at Lwebitakuli. Police say there were clashes between Kabatsi supporters at Lwebitakuli shortly after President Museveni had stopped campaigning for Kawooya. According to Sorowen, the policemen were not enough to deal with the clashes that are why they have deployed extra troops from Masaka and Lyantonde district to manage the charged up campaigns. Already two mambas and a military truck full of soldiers are patrolling Sembabule town council to deal with any form of hooliganism. President Museveni started campaigning for Kawooya yesterday with rallies in Lwebitakuli and Mateete trading centres where he urged Kabatsi and independent candidate to step down for Kawooya the NRM candidate so as to avoid wrangles in the NRM party. Kabatsi is also an NRM loyalist who claims NRM party defied the party constitution by failing to organize primaries to nominate the official NRM candidate. Three candidates are vying for the Sembabule woman member of parliamentary by-elections which are slated for 7th January 2009. The three include Joy Kafula Kabatsi an independent candidate, Anifa Bangirana Kawooya NRM candidate and Irene Lwanga Nantongo Democratic Party candidate. The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court nullified Kawooya election citing wide spread election irregularities in the 2006 general elections. Latif Ngonzi, the district returning officer says there are over 88000 voters in Ssembabule with 177 polling centers.