"We are now investigating the allegations that some candidates had imported illegal voters from other areas to the municipality," says President Yoweri Museveni.
ARUA MUNICIPALITY BY-ELECTION
KAMPALA - President Yoweri Museveni has said that the Arua by-election was conducted with a measure of peace because violence and crime had been dealt with.
Calling it "a step-forward" to have violence-free polls, Museveni underlined that no-one has a right to threaten a Ugandan "by word or action".
Independent candidate Kassiano Wadri, despite being detained over election-related violence, was declared winner of the battle to replace Ibrahim Abiriga, who was murdered early June.
Wadri, who was under detention at the time of being announced victor by the Electoral Commission Wednesday late evening, beat 11 others in the hotly-contested race.
But earlier, on the last day of campaigns, a series of clashes set the stage for an anticlimax that had one person shot dead and others injured when a group of Opposition supporters reportedly stoned a President's convoy vehicle.
Police made arrests, and in a statement, later called the attackers of the presidential motorcade "hooligans".
The dead man was later identified as Yasin Kawuma, the driver of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (aka Bobi Wine). Kyagulanyi was part of Wadri's camp.
Ruling party NRM's flagbearer Nusura Tiperu was second-best in a contest that she had hoped to retain the party's grip on the parliamentary seat once occupied by the widely revered Abiriga.
President Museveni, the party chairman, pointed at violence in the buildup to the much anticipated polls as the biggest factor behind the low voter turnout.
There could have been ghost voters as well, he added.
"Out of the 46,000 registered voters, only 16,000 turned out to vote. Only 34% of the electorate. The others either feared to come to vote or the register is full of ghosts," Museveni said.
The President took a swipe at the Opposition, saying that they have been culpable of importing illegal voters from other areas and that his party is investigating such claims.
"The Opposition has been doing this repeatedly, such as in Jinja East and Bugiri Municipality," he said.
Meanwhile, three MPs and 29 others were Thursday remanded to Gulu Main Prison for a fortnight after being charged with treason. Newly-elected Arua Municipality MP Wadri is one of them.
Paul Mwiru (Jinja East) and Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo) are the other legislators sent on remand by Gulu Chief Magistrate, Francis Dawa Matunga.
As a capital offence, treason attracts a death sentence by hanging, upon conviction.
Kyagulanyi was on the same day charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. After being charged at the army court in Gulu, the legislator was remanded to Makindye Military Barracks in Kampala until August 23 -- when he is expected back in court.
Upon conviction, the offence carries up to 10 years behind bars.
Here is the President Museveni's statement on the Arua by-election in full:
Countrymen, Countrywomen, especially the Bazukulu (grand-children). Greetings. The elections in Arua Municipality were held peacefully because the organisers of violence and criminality had been arrested.