Jeema candidate in the Bugiri municipality parliamentary election, Asuman Basalirwa, has accused officials belonging to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party of bribing voters since Thursday night.
Basalirwa was commenting about the Bukooli Central Member of Parliament (MP) Solomon Silwanyi, who has reportedly been found bribing voters at Butambula central polling station.
According to Mr Basalirwa, MP Silwanyi and other NRM members spent Thursday night bribing voters to favour NRM candidate, John Francis Oketcho.
“I am not going to allow such voter bribery that is being practiced by NRM members. Since last night we have been gathering evidence and have so far got some of which we shall base on while we are in Court,’’ he said.
Adding that: “Since last night police is fighting and arresting my supporters and so far about 16 have been arrested and detained in different holding cells within and outside Bugiri.”
Police had earlier in the day fired teargas to disperse Mr Basalirwa’s angry supporters who wanted to lynch MP Silwanyi over the voter bribery allegations. Mr Silwanyi was reportedly found giving voters Shs50,000.
He, however, managed to flee to Planet Hotel in Naluwere from where police managed to rescue him with locals in full pursuit.
After about ten minutes, Mr Silwanyi entered a police vehicle and was driven to an unknown destination.
Mr Basalirwa has so far projected that the election will not be free and fair because of the heavy security deployment he reckons will threaten voters.
There is heavy deployment of police and military officers at every polling station in Bugiri municipality.
However, Busoga East police spokesman, James Mubi, said police fired teargas not to harm or scare the voters, but to disperse locals who wanted to lynch the legislator.
Basalirwa who cast his vote at 9:39am at Police post polling station in Naluwerere.
The total number of voters in Bugiri municipality is 16,222 across 28 polling stations.