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PHOTOS: Security Tightened as Sheema North Goes to Polls

The police and military have heightened deployment of forces in Sheema North for today’s MP elections.

Sheema North seat fell vacant after its occupant and Technology Minister Dr Ellioda Tumwesigye abandoned it to represent neighboring Sheema Municipality.

Armored mambas and police pickups were the welcoming gestures at the entrance of Kigarama Sub County in Sheema North ahead of by-elections which are currently underway.

Electoral commission, Party leaders from both NRM and FDC turned up on Sunday afternoon for a Pre-polling meeting at Kigarama Sub County.

Arrival of NRM Candidate Naome Kibaaju

However, slight changes were announced by Sheema returning officer Ms. Deborah Asiimwe that the meeting would instead be held at the district premises.

This annoyed FDC leaders headed by party president Patrick Amuriat, Hon. Francis Mwijukye and Roland Kaginda; who rejected the changes.

“This is not the primary elections where you can do whatever you want; you earlier communicated to us that the meeting will be in Kigarama so we must meet from here,” said Mwijukye

Leaders later harmonized and the meeting scheduled to take place at 2:00pm started at around 4: 30pm.

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During the meeting, Patrick Amuriat raised concerns over what he described as “unnecessary heavy deployment” in the area.

Hon. Roland Kaginda (R) speaking during a meeting with NRM and EC officials

“Mr. Chairman you have already talked of peaceful campaigns exhibited by candidates during campaigns. There has been no intimidation or chaos reported in Sheema North. Then what is all this security for?” asked Amuriat.

President Museveni recently said security would be beefed up during elections to stop opposition activists from intimidating voters.

Meanwhile, Amuriat warned the Electoral Commission against allowing voting past the legally provided time.

“You’re on record and on notice that these elections going on up to midnight should stop; what kind of voting is that?”

However, NRM EC chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi warned both party leaders that elections should not divide Ugandans.

“Politics can’t divide me with Eng. Patrick. It can’t. That’s why I went to school,” said Tang Odoi.

EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama reacting on heavy deployment ahead of Sheema North By-election

The two Candidates vying for Sheema North seat are NRM’s Naome Kibaaju and FDC’s Guma Nuwagaba.

Electoral Commission chairman Justice Simon Byabakama confirmed that both candidates are confident of victory; asking voters to remain peaceful during and after the elections.

“We have not registered any violence during Sheema North campaigns and I think without any doubt these elections will be free, fair and peaceful,” Byabakama explained.

Police have heavily deployed personnel in Sheema

He also requested the media to report positively and conduct their work professionally.

Byabakama spent a night in Sheema and will be moving around the constituency today to respond to any issues that may arise.

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