Uganda: Wanyoto Refuses to Concede Defeat, Alleges Vote Rigging

21 January 2021

By Ronnie Weswa

Ms Lydia Wanyoto, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer for the Mbale City Woman Member of Parliament (MP) seat, has refused to concede defeat who lost in the recently concluded parliamentary elections.

According to Ms Wanyoto, the electoral process was marred by widespread malpractice .

Ms Wanyoto, who got 25,276 (33.06 per cent) votes lost to Ms Connie Galiwango, who garnered 40,729 (53.28 per cent) votes.

While addressing journalists at her Command Centre in Muyembe cell in Mbale City on Tuesday, Ms Wanyoto said she cannot concede because apart from voting fraud, the results that were declared at the tally centre were incomplete.

"I do not have all my declaration forms. I have forwarded and consulted with my party about my next course of action and before the parliamentary candidates are gazetted, I will be able to take my final decision," she said.

She added that if results from Bugema-Nauyo and Nakaloke town councils, and Bunghokho-Mutoto sub-county were included, the outcome of the elections would change in her favour.

She also alleged that in those areas, her polling agents were beaten and declaration forms torn.

"We are trying to reconstruct results I got from those areas but what you should also know is that I do not agree with some of the results that were posted at the tally centre," she said.

The district registrar, Mr Charles Robero, when contacted said he tallied the results and declared the winner in what he termed as a free and fair election exercise.

Ms Frieda Mugabe, the personal assistant of Ms Galiwango dismissed the allegations saying: "Ms Wanyoto would have reported the matter to police or district registrar during tallying time if it was true before declaring the winner rather than coming up now."

She added that Ms Wanyoto should seek legal redress if she has evidence rather than lamenting.

However, Ms Galiwango while addressing the journalists shortly after being declared winner, said the elections were a true reflection of people's will.

"I fraudulently lost the NRM flag but the people have finally shown their will. I am happy that I have been elected as the first Woman MP for Mbale City," she said.

Ms Galiwango said she will lobby for the construction of more roads in Mbale City and creation of employment opportunities for the youth.


NRM primaries

This was, however, not the first time the two battled each other for votes. In August last year, Ms Wanyoto and Ms Galiwango faced off for the NRM party flag.

Ms Wanyoto ended up wining with 36,281 votes while Ms Galiwango who got 19,113 votes and decided to contest as an Independent.

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