Uganda: Museveni Advises On Nyabushozi NRM Poll

22 September 2020

President Museveni has advised that 28 villages in Nyabushozi County, Kiruhura District, should vote again for the NRM flag bearer for the MP seat following allegations of rigging.

In a September 18 letter addressed to Mr Tanga Odoi, the NRM electoral commission chairperson, Mr Museveni, who is also the party chairperson, notes that he dispatched a team of security personnel to audit the elections in the constituency.

In the September 4 election, Col (Rtd) Fred Mwesigye polled 36,147 votes, Mr Wilson Kajwengye got 13,248 while Mr Christopher Bakashaba polled 5,601 votes. But Mr Kajwengye protested the results

Mr Museveni said his intelligence team informed him that of the 172 villages in the area, there were 56 villages whose results were changed.

"With these 172 villages, where the 116 non-contentious villages plus 56 dug up by my team, Mwesigye is ahead of Kajwengye by 727 votes, which is still a narrow margin," he said.

"How many voters are there in the remaining 28 villages? What if they all voted for Kajwengye? Would Kajwengye win? If so, the 28 villages should be persuaded to vote again so that the issue is democratically resolved. If on the other hand, the total does not exceed the 727 level, then Mwesigye should be declared the winner," the President added.

He revealed that the 54,996 total votes of the three candidates were inflated because the total votes for the three women who were competing for the Kiruhura District Woman MP seat were 41,629.

Mr Kajwengye on Sunday said they have been vindicated and they prefer that the election in Nyabushozi be repeated. He added that new election managers, preferably from outside Nyabushozi, should be selected to handle the repeat election, neutral security personnel should be deployed on the voting day and new registers should be availed and updated in the presence of at least two agents of all the candidates.

"We welcome the decision of the President ordering the arrest and prosecution of the ring leaders of the massive vote rigging in Nyabushozi," Mr Kajwengye said.

Col Mwesigye thanked the President for his guidance. He, however, said he doesn't know any polling station where voting did not take place.

"If they decide that we vote [in these villages], we are ready to vote. But on my part I don't know any polling station where voting did not take place. Where it is presumed that registrars tampered with results, I don't know if there is evidence. The clerks allowed everybody to vote following the President's directive," he said.

"Otherwise I still have my flag, people of Nyabushozi support me because of my role in the liberation of this country, and I have delivered as an MP in many ways including organinsing people and helping them to access finances.

"And I have never betrayed President Museveni. People chose to support me because I have been with them," he added.

The district NRM registrar, Mr David Andinda, told Daily Monitor on Sunday that only a few polling stations did not vote and that there were minor incidents of chaos.

"I have not received that letter [from the President]. What I can say, the elections on September 4 were generally peaceful, a part from a few incidents of chaos. Voting took place in almost all polling stations," he said.

"I have heard the call asking for amnesty and [planned] prosecution [of those who participated in election rigging] but personally I did not tamper with declaration forms, I would receive them the way they were brought from the field, and they were signed by candidates' agents," Mr Andinda added.

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