The police said Tuesday that they have credible information that the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine plans to stage his own abduction after casting his vote on Thursday.
Speaking at the police headquarters in Naguru, the Force’s spokesperson, Mr Fred Enanga said Bobi Wine will possibly hide at an embassy (that he did not name) on Thursday after casting his vote.
“He will thereafter allege through his NUP networks and bloggers, that he has been kidnapped by state operatives,” Mr Enanga said.
The intention, according to the police, is to incite the public and cause violence. Enanga pointed out the recent Kampala riots following the arrest of Kyagulanyi in November 2020 which led to the deaths of over 30 people saying that the candidate intends to incite another wave of these.
“We want to inform the public that this is a tactic that we strongly condemn and issue a strong warning to the perpetrators,” Enanga said.
The spokesperson made the remarks while briefing the nation on what security institutions expect to be the behavior of voters during the elections.
Among the basic rules Enanga shared was the issues of political attire. The Police spokesperson has made it clear that political attire is considered campaigning. As campaigning is illegal at polling centers, the police have asked that political attire will not be accepted at polling stations.
However, NUP spokesperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi when contacted, dismissed Enanga’s remarks as jokes.
"On that (planned kidnap), what I would say is that Ugandans should stop laughing at Enanga when he makes such comments. That man needs help and he should be taken to hospital and checked whether his head is upright. Honestly he needs immediate attention," Mr Ssenyonyi said.
Below is what the police expects of voters at polling stations:
1. Make sure you carry along your National ID or NIN
2. When you arrive, ONLY Electoral Commission staff will take you through the voting process.
3. You will receive a ballot paper listing your candidate, party, a symbol in your constituency.
4. Read it carefully and then vote for your chosen candidate by ticking or a thumbprint.
5. When you are ready fold the ballot paper for privacy and insert it in the ballot box.
6. Avoid writing comments on the ballot paper for your candidate, do not sign your ballot paper or imprint names. It will not count.
7. You are not allowed to photograph the ballot paper you receive at a polling station. A selfie risks giving away how someone voted which is against the law.
8. Stay sober, drunken people can be disruptive but if not can proceed and vote.
9. Persons with disabilities, and elderly should seek help from the polling officials.
10. Voting is secretive. Avoid discussing candidates inside the polling station. It can easily unsettle others. Always alert the polling staff if someone is discussing a candidate inside the polling area.
11. Do not distribute any election-related materials. It clearly shows your political allegiance and if in large groups it's an act of intimidation.
12. Employees are warned against refusing their employee time off for voting or even penalizing them after voting.
13. Do not bribe others to vote in a certain way or not to vote at all.
14. Do not threaten or ask someone else to threaten or impose violence on other voters at the polling station.
15. Do not campaign at the polls because all political activities on polling day are prohibited like displaying campaign symbols, verbally advocating for a specific candidate, and having campaign literature. In addition, wearing political attire to the polls, such as T-shirt, caps is considered campaigning. Therefore, let us leave all the political swag at home.
16. Regarding health, all voters must know that voting safely during the pandemic requires wearing a mask, hand washing or use of hand sanitizer and on observing social distance. Precautions are really important because of the high COVID location.