Today is the open MP slot left behind after the Sheema Municipality By-Election earlier this year, when Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye one his second race since 2016 and had to resign the Sheema North. That is why there is a by Election in Sheema North and why the NRM is having all the stakes in. While the Opposition are alone with one candidate and one party, as the rest has left them behind. You can wonder why, because recently, there has been joint opposition races in the by-election.
However, this has been a weird by-election, but that is maybe because of the aftermath of the Arua By-Election in August 2018. When the army, the Special Force Command and the opposition there has been charged with treason ever since. That is maybe why there are only two candidates and the NRM is ready with the same weapons today.
We haven’t seen the joint-opposition behind the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, neither seen the critic against the NRM candidate either. The President joined the campaign on the last day before the election and held a big rally. But there haven’t been much scope or any seemingly to hit the radar. Before today, when the polls are appearing. The real NRM is appearing and they have to use the tools of intimidation and arrests to secure their results, even when they are just going against one candidate. They don’t have the message or the candidate to bring it in without all of that.
“At Kigarama Sub County headquarters,the said Tally Centre for tomorrows Voting in Sheema North Constituency. As we speak, Military and Army have already taken over the center ahead of stake holders meeting with the electoral commission. Its supposed to start at 2pm and now 3pm. The meeting has not started. This seems already an army engineered election which calls for more vigilance and confrontation” (Augustine Ojobile, 07.10.2018).
“Men in ‘police’ uniform commanded by ASP Kaganzi from Mbarara have arrested Hon. Odo Tayebwa at Kabutsye Town Council” (Forum for Democratic Change, 08.10.2018). Also reports of an arrest of Stanley Katembeya today as well. Therefore, the FDC are getting into usual trouble, as they are using their powers to control them.
“Heavy police and UPDF deployment has taken place in Sheema North Constituency in western Uganda as voters elect a new MP today. The race is tight between Naome Kibajju of the ruling NRM party and Guma Nuwagaba who defected from the NRM to opposition party FDC and the security men are said to have deployed across several sub-counties in the constituency” (Capital FM Uganda, 08.10.2018).
There are clear message sent by the NRM, that they are not losing this constituency, as they had it previously and intends to keep it. They have sent the Military to the Tally Centre yesterday, certainly not only at the one spot, but on the ones that matter. Where they can ensure the results are configured and rigged well. As the Opposition doesn’t have the manpower or reach to have checks- and balances.
The FDC are alone swimming in this and their campaign might have been good. Their candidate might be in question himself, as he was a loser in the NRM Primaries. The NRM seemingly still uses all intimidation and arrests to secure the outcome. They do not trust the Naome Kibaju candidacy to win the By-Election. If they did, they wouldn’t need the army and the police to do, what they do.
As long as there is no extra judicial killing and another funeral because of this By-Election. Then that is good somehow, though the NRM has little to bring to table, when they need the Security Forces to spread their message, which is, we rule, we reign and don’t try to stop us. Peace.