By Kampala Post Reporter
RUKUNGIRI. The hotly contested Rukungiri Woman Member of Parliament by-election is ongoing and the leading contenders; Betty Muzanira and Winnie Matsiko have already cast their votes from their respective polling stations.
Four candidates are vying for the Rukungiri District Woman MP position: Winfred Matsiko (NRM), Betty Muzanira (FDC), Fabith Kukundakwe (PPP) and Prisca Sezi Mbaguta (independent).
Elizabeth Rwakitonera and Sheila Atukunda Kirebete, both independent candidates withdrew from the race.
Rukungiri district is located in south western Uganda and it has 16 sub counties, 87 parishes, 280 polling stations and 177,086 registered voters.
President Yoweri Museveni who is also the NRM party national chairman was in Rukungiri two days ago to campaign for the NRM candidate. He was in the district for two days with senior NRM cadres including Chris Baryomunsi, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde, Brig Jim Muhwezi among others.
The FDC president, Patrick Amuriat Oboi alongside senior party leaders; Col Kizza Besigye, Gen Mugisha Muntu and Francis Mwijukye also camped in the district to campaign for their candidate.
According to Mr Crispin Kaheru who is leading a team of 27 observers from Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), polling materials to the furthest sub counties were delivered yesterday ahead of the polling day (today).
The distant sub counties include Bikurungu town council, Nyakishenyi, Bwambara and Nyarushanje sub counties.
This was done to ensure materials are at polling stations in time to allow for opening of polling stations at the designated 7:00am hour.
“Observers are paying keen attention to three (3) of the 16 sub counties including: Nyakishenyi, Nyarushanje and Bwambara, which are said to be potential hotspots, based on occurrences in previous elections,” said Mr Kaheru in a statement sent to Kampala Post.
“Today, EC begun dispatching polling materials to the other 12 sub counties at around 4:00am and by 6:00am, the process had been almost completed. Polling materials were being transported from the Rukungiri district EC offices,” Mr Kaheru explains in his statement.
Umar Kiyimba, the Rukungiri District Returning Officer, says the environment is calm and no challenges have been encountered as voting is going on normally.
At some polling stations visited by this reporter, candidates Prisca Sezi Mbaguta, an independent candidate and Fabith Kukundakwe of the Peoples Progressive Party had no polling agents.