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Army arrests Besigye witness

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th May 2006 03:00 AM

THE UPDF has arrested Pte. Allan Barigye who swore an affidavit in support of Dr. Kizza Besigye’s election petition alleging ballot box stuffing.

THE UPDF has arrested Pte. Allan Barigye who swore an affidavit in support of Dr. Kizza Besigye’s election petition alleging ballot box stuffing.

By Emmy Allio

THE UPDF has arrested Pte. Allan Barigye who swore an affidavit in support of Dr. Kizza Besigye’s election petition alleging ballot box stuffing.

Barigye disappeared from Mbarara’s Kakyeka barracks shortly after.

Upon arrest, the army said Barigye said Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) chiefs convinced him to testify against President Yoweri Museveni and the Electoral Commission and promised him sh4m.

“We have him. He told us that he was approached by FDC officials and promised sh4m and assured that he would not testify,” acting army spokesman Major Felix Kulayigye said yesterday.

“He told us that he was used to portray massive rigging in the various army barracks. He also confessed that the names in his statement of his colleagues whom he alleged also participated in stuffing the ballot boxes were non-existent,” he added.

Private Barigye, RA 184580 of the 2nd Division in Mbarara, swore an affidavit on March 15 in support of Besigye’s petition challenging in the Supreme Court Museveni’s election. He said he would show that the soldiers in the barracks voted several times.

Kulayigye said, “Barigye said FDC wrote the affidavit and brought it to him to sign. He told us that the statement was lies.” The soldier, who has been on the run for two months, had said he was arrested in Mbarara barracks on election day for refusing to vote many times for Museveni and that he escaped from army custody.

He had identified his colleagues still in custody for refusing to vote several times for Museveni as Rogers Wandera, Moses Kiiza, Ivan Kakuru and Immanuel Tumusime.

But the army denied the existence of the soldiers in Mbarara barracks. It said Barigye was a deserter on its wanted list.

Barigye swore the affidavit before the Mbarara Chief Magistrate on March 15. He said fellow soldiers were coached and ordered by Capt. Chris Ndyabagye, the 2nd Division intelligence officer, to vote for Museveni on February 23.

Barigye said the 2nd Division commander, Brig. Hudson Mukasa, collected the cards from the soldiers who had voted for re-distribution elsewhere.

Barigye said the soldiers were instructed to carry the various voters cards under their shirt-sleeves in order to “keep voting again and again, using one card at a time.” He said he had 17 ballot papers with 16 of them pre-ticked for Museveni.

Kulayigye declined to say whether Barigye would face the court martial for desertion. “What is important is that the lies have been exposed,” he stated.

The Supreme Court dismissed Besigye’s petition on April 6, but the judges concurred that there irregularities, including multiple voting.

Museveni was sworn in on Friday May 12 for a third five-year term of office.

Army arrests Besigye witness

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