IGANGA – The most rigged election of modern times was held in Liberia in 1927 and the result was a victory for Charles .D. King of the True Whig Party who defeated Thomas Faulkner of the People’s Party with 243,000 votes against Faulkner’s 9,000 votes.
But what was intriguing is not Charles’ victory in the election but the fact that Liberia at that time had only 15,000 eligible voters. The election was therefore entered into the Guinness Book of records as the most fraudulent election ever organized on the planet.
What happened in Iganga Municipality this Monday morning is a clear indication that history repeats itself and as the municipality voters wait for the party electoral commission to announce the final results, one wonders whether Charles King has come back to life.
The election for the Iganga mayoral NRM flag-bearer may not surpass the Liberian election of Charles King but at least deserves mention, owing to the way it was organized and the fraud exhibited in broad-day light.
“Voters were ferried throughout the night and by break of dawn, the municipality was full of human traffic,” said a secondary school head teacher in Iganga.
The race pitted Asuman Dhabasadha, incumbent mayor Pastor David Balaba, Ibrahim Musobya, Mary Agaba, Afani Lubanga, Moses Busagwa and Siraje Katono.
“This wasn’t an electoral process, it was instead a competition of who can ferry more people from other areas into the municipality,” a voter was heard saying.
At Nabidongha A polling station in Iganga Municipality which has less than 600 voters, the voting population was over 3,000 people with almost all of them voting for Dhabasadha. The incumbent Balaba got only 25 votes at the station.
What is mesmerizing is that as the voting was taking place at Nabidhonga A, it was halted at neighbouring polling stations of Nabidhongha B and Iganga Central Primary School to allow voters shift camp after voting.
“Please lets hurry up and go to the next polling station to vote for Dhabasadha,” voters were heard saying.
Indeed after the counting at Nabidhongha A, voters moved in a swarm and shifted to Iganga Central Primary School where they met some resistance from voters of one of the candidates but after a few skirmishes, they were allowed to vote.
Meanwhile, as the voting was taking place at Iganga Central Primary School, it had been halted at Nabidhongha B polling station. The voters there after moved in droves to Nabidhongha B polling station with the LC1 chairperson, a one Siraje commanding the brigade. This writer could hear them saying that it was time to shift to another polling station and then consoling themselves that this was not an election.
Agnes Babirye blamed President Yoweri Museveni for approving lining up behind the candidates, saying he is responsible for the mess that has characterized the ruling party primaries.
“He should also allow us to line up behind him and he sees what an election like this means,” she said.
With voters criss-crossing between polling stations and voting multiple times under the supervision of the LC chairpersons and a silent police, one wonders whether this is indeed an election.