By Abraham Kizza
KAMPALA. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and a ruling party has conceded defeat by its rival party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in Rukungiri District Woman Member of Parliament by-election held on Thursday.
Rogers Mulindwa, NRM Communications Officer in a statement on Friday, says that going by the official results released by the Electoral Commission earlier this morning, “we lost the by-election in Rukungiri to FDC.”
In the results that were released by the Rukungiri District Returning Officer, Umar Kiyimba at 5:25am on Friday, FDC’s Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira garnered 50,611 votes defeating her closest contender, Winfred Komuhangi Matsiko of the ruling NRM party who polled 46,379 votes.
Fabith Kukundakwe of Peoples Progressive Party-PPP got 183 votes, while Independent candidate Prisca Sezi Bessy Mbaguta polled 993 votes.
Mulindwa says that the NRM Secretary General, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba will shortly table these results before the Central Executive Committee (CEC) for further administrative guidance.
“The party wishes to extend special thanks to its members within and outside Rukungiri who supported the cause.
We however continue to express dismay over the errant party members who opposed the official party position and never walked the journey with us. NRM lost the race but there are good signs of winning the bigger battle in this area in future,” he said.
Mulindwa adds that their support in Rukungiri district has continued to grow into a fertile ground for hope in the future elections.
“By today, we have had a total of 36 by-elections involving only the positions of MPs and District Chairpersons across the country. Of these, NRM has won 27, FDC 2 (Jinja East & Rukungiri), DP 1 (Kyotera) and the remaining 6 slots have gone to independents. This performance is evident that NRM is the most treasured political party in our country,” he said.
Mulindwa adds that from Rukungiri, the party senior officials are going back to the drawing board to evaluate themselves and set winning strategies for the pending by-elections.
Last month, the Court of Appeal, declared the seat vacant following a successful petition by Muzanira. Muzanira lost to 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 overturned 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.