Police in Hoima are hunting for Buyaga West legislator and NRM rebel MP Barnabas Tinkasimire over alleged voter bribery in the ongoing Hoima by-election, as 25 opposition supporters are arrested over the same.
Albertine regional police spokesperson Julius Hakiza says the 25, being led by Tinkasimire were caught distributing sugar, salt, soap and money while in Kabaale Subcounty on Wednesday night. Hakiza condemns the illegal act adding that the suspects are in custody, while the NRM rebel Member of Parliament has escaped.
Tinkasimire has for weeks camped in Hoima with a group of opposition politicians to campaign for FDC flag bearer Asinansi Nyakato who is also the joint opposition candidate in the by-election pitting her against NRM’s Harriet Businge Mugenyi. Police could not readily identify the suspects.
The opposition camp hasn’t officially commented on the arrest. Hoima Resident District Commissioner Samuel Kisembo Araali says the suspects were distributing Shs500 to the voters. Hoima woman parliamentary seat fell vacant last year after Tophas Kaahwa Byagira switched to represent newly created Kikuube district. Kikuube was carved out of Hoima.