By Solomon Hamala
The Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament has accused his main challenger of smuggling over 3000 people from Tororo to vote in Bugiri Municipality.
Asuman Basalirwa who spoke to this reporter yesterday 4th January 2021 that he has landed on a plot by Francis Oketcho, one of his challengers of ferrying 3000 people from Tororo district during the voter updating exercise to register as residents of Bugiri municipality.
Basalirwa made the allegations while conducting door to door campaigns in Busanzi, Ndeba zones in Bugiri municipality yesterday.
Basalirwa said he has alerted the Electoral Commission about the plot by his rival but nothing seems to be done.
He said 2300 of the people ferried from Tororo registered at Naluwerere police polling station, his home area.
“The entire move is aimed at ensuring that I even lose in my own polling station,” he said.
Basalirwa said he has alerted all his supporters to chase away anyone believed to be a nonresident of Bugiri municipality on polling day to ensure the process is free and fair.
“People know the genuine voters and strangers will definitely be chased away from the polling stations,” he said.
He said despite the plot by his main rival to smuggle in nonresidents into the voters register, he was assured of a landslide victory basing on what he has done for the electorates during the last two years in office.
Basalirwa who is also the president of JEEMA Party said during the short time he has been in office, he has managed to lobby for construction of 100 boreholes in the constituency, purchased chairs and tents for all the villages in the constituency, supported women groups besides actively representing the constituency in parliament.
“It’s through my constant deliberations that I was voted among the best performing Members of Parliament within the short time I have been in office,” he said.
He urged supporters to turn up in big numbers to cast the ballot in his favor and stay around until the time of counting votes to ensure all declaration forms are duly filled and signed by agents.
Francis Oketcho, the NRM flag bearer when contacted denied allegations that he had smuggled nonresidents from Tororo to vote in his favor.
Oketcho accused the incumbent Asuman Basalirwa of practicing politics of tribe and religion.
“He has always accused me of being a non Musoga yet I was born, studied and married here in Bugiri,” he said.
He said the accusations are a sign Basalirwa is destined for a defeat in the January 14 polls.
Four people are vying for the position of Member of Parliament Bugiri municipality seat.
The four are the incumbent Asuman Basalirwa JEEMA, Francis Oketcho NRM, Jamal Waiswa independent and Frank Magumba.
The District Returning Officer Bugiri, Mercy Akunda when contacted promised to investigate the matter.