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Candidate Arrested while Trying to Save Posters From Defacing

According to Vicent Mushakamba, Kisoro district FDC Chairman, Semahore was arrested on Monday at around 11:00 AM from Kisoro town while trying to stop security personnel that included police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces -UPDF soldiers from removing and defacing all opposition campaign posters from Kisoro town.

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Gordon Ndizihiwe Semahore, the opposition Forum for Democratic Change -FDC party district council flag bearer for Chanika sub county in Kisoro has been arrested while protesting the defacing of opposition campaign posters. 

According to Vicent Mushakamba, Kisoro district FDC Chairman, Semahore was arrested on Monday at around 11:00 AM from Kisoro town while trying to stop security personnel that included police and Uganda Peoples Defense Forces -UPDF soldiers from removing and defacing all opposition campaign posters from Kisoro town.

Mushakamba says that the operation to remove and deface all the campaign posters which belong to opposition candidates started in the morning. He says that opposition candidates first thought that security personnel were removing a few but later realized that all are being removed.

He says that it is in the process when Semahore intervened to stop the officers and demanding for an explanation as to why they are defacing the posters.  Semahore was immediately arrested and taken to Kisoro police station where he is being detained. 

Mushakamba says that he has tried to engage Kisoro District police commander, Patrick Byaruhanga for his release but nothing yielded positive. 

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Mushakamba says that all the defaced and destroyed posters were impounded at Kisoro district yard and Kisoro police station while facing upside down and continued to be guarded by security personnel. 

Mushakamba opines that the defacing of innocent posters is intended to deceive that National Resistance Movement -NRM presidential flag bearer, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is campaigning in Kisoro today that he is strong in the area yet the reality is the opposite. He says that removing such posters doesn’t mean that the security personnel have also removed the opposition in their hearts.

Mushakamba adds that when security also threatened to shoot at anybody including local journalists who were attempting to take photos, he urged them to withdraw for safety and leave security to deface all the posters.

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DPC Byaruhanga told our reporter that Semahore’s arrest is connected with some unspecified offence which he allegedly committed on 29th November 2020 when FDC presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat Oboi was campaigning in Kisoro district. He declined to comment on the matter of forcefully defacing the posters from Kisoro town. 

Semahore’s arrest comes on the day when Museveni is campaigning in Kisoro. Museveni has skipped campaigning in Kisoro during his trail in Kigezi between 12-15th December 2020 and asked Kisoro to selected NRM leaders to meet him in Kabale. 

But, some leaders who included Phillemon Mateke, State Minister for Regional Affairs who is also Kisoro District NRM party chairman and Abel Bizimana, Kisoro district LC5 chairman declined to travel to kabale.  Locals also complained accusing NRM of underlooking at Bafumbira tribe yet they gave him much support during the 2016 general elections. 

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