3 May 2018

Uganda: Rukungiri By-Election - Three Candidates Nominated

Rukungiri, Uganda — Three candidates have been nominated to contest in the Rukungiri district Woman Member of Parliament seat by-election.

They are Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party flag bearer, Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira, Sheila Atukunda Kirebete and Prisca Sezi Mbaguta both independents.

Atukunda was the first candidate to be nominated by the Rukungiri District Returning Officer, Umaro Kiyimba at exactly 10:52a.m. Muzanira was nominated at 11:15AM while Mbaguta was nominated at 12:20pm.

Four more contestants will be nominated on Thursday. They are Winfred Matsiko of NRM party Fabith Kukundakwe of People's Progressive Party-PPP, Elizabeth Kyoshaba and Sheila Atukunda Kirebete, an independent candidate.

Kiyimba told the nominated candidates that electoral commission will hold a stakeholders meeting on Friday to guide on smooth running of the campaigns.

Speaking to journalists after nominations, Muzanira expressed worry that her votes might be rigged due to influence by the ruling National Resistance Movement. She however says that her side is well prepared for the struggle.

The nomination exercise took place under tight security commanded by Richard Elega, the Kigezi Region Police Commander and Moses Nanoka, the Rukungiri District Police Commander.

By the time of filling in this story, hundreds of FDC supporters and their candidate were heading to Rukungiri main stadium to hold a public rally.

Last month, the Court of Appeal, declared the seat vacant following a successful petition by Muzanira. Muzanira lost to National Resistance Movement-NRM's Winnie Matsiko in the February 2016 elections but petitioned court citing voter bribery.

High Court Judge Wilson Kwesiga had on August 8, 2016 dismissed Munazira's petition

with costs, but the petitioner took the matter to the Court of Appeal which overurned the High Court's decision.

Justices of the Court of Appeal stated that Muzanira's evidence proved that Matsiko made donations during the campaign period at Kibale and Nyarushanje Catholic churches.

The Court of Appeal also noted that there was disenfranchisement of voters whereby the final results of the election of 5,413 voters were not counted when Matsiko was declared winner, thereby ordering the Electoral Commission to conduct a by-election.

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