By Spy Uganda
Kaboong: Earlier this week, Spy Uganda reported the immense drama that engulfed the Kaabong Woman Member of Parliament By-election campaigns, after Judith Adyaka Nalibe, a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, decided to pull out of the race.
Nalibe shocked her supporters and several FDC stalwarts when she wrote a letter to the Electoral Commission, announcing that she had decided to quit the race, citing security and personal reasons.
Her withdrawal letter titled ‘WITHDRAWAL OF MY CANDIDATURE’ partly reads thus; “…Reference is made to the above and thus addresses you as her under. I was dully nominated by your office on the 28th of August 2019 to contest for the position of the district women member of parliament for Kaabong district.
This notice is hereby made to unequivocally withdraw my candidature from the race and I don’t wish to contest in the aforementioned position and that my name should be struck off the list/news of nominated candidates to contest for the position of Kaabong district women member of Parliament.”
She added that “This notice is made pursuant to section 19(1) and 19(2) of the parliamentary by- elections 2005. I have further accompanied my withdrawal with three signatures of registered voters of my constituency who have witnessed my withdrawal.”
However, FDC stalwarts insisted that Nalibe cannot just quit the race, because the Party invested a lot of finances in her nomination and campaigns.
A letter from FDC to the Electoral Commission reads in part thus; “We refer to the notice dated 12th/9/2019 by Ms Adyaka Judith Nalibe. This candidate was sponsored by the FDC party under section 10 of the parliamentary election act, 2006. Therefore, section 19 (2) and (3) cannot be applied in isolation. Note, we are under multiparty dispensation. As a party, we object to her withdraw. The party can nominate a candidate in the absence and carry out campaigns without a candidate. Reference to Dr. Kizza Besigye case of 2006.”
It adds that “The party is the one which paid nomination fees, printed campaign materials and organized the campaign process among others. Should Electoral Commission go ahead with this then they should be prepared to compensate FDC party with over two hundred million. This withdrawal is therefore null and avoid.”
However, the Electoral Commission this week rejected Nalibe’s withdrawal. A letter from the EC dated September 16, reads partly thus, “…Refer to the communication from candidate Adyaka Judith Nalibe notifying the commission of her withdrawal from the parliamentary by-election for the woman representative to parliament for Kaabong district dated September 12, 2019, and your objection there to date 16th September.”
The letter signed by Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi. the EC chairperson continues that “…This is to inform you that the Commission is conscious and mindful of the provisions of section 19(2a) of the parliamentary elections act, which requires a candidate sponsored by a political party or organization to effect his or her nomination withdrawal through a secretary general of the political party or organization or any other person authorized by the political party or organization. While the commission did receive candidate Adyaka Judith Nalibe’s withdrawal letter, the same does not comply with the foregoing provision of the law.”
In a related development, Nalibe has threatened to sue Electoral Commission should they go ahead and print her photos on the ballot papers.
Spy Uganda has learnt that the letter by the Commission rejecting Nalibe’s withdrawal from the race was issued after FDC Secretary General Nathan Nandala Mafabi wrote to the EC objecting her withdrawal.
About allegations of bribery from the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Nalibe challenged the FDC team to get printouts from MTN that prove she had any conversation with the NRM team.
Nalibe said “They are using those allegations to dodge blame because they (FDC) betrayed me, deceiving me every day. Whenever I called them for financial support they never responded. I have never met President Museveni and I don’t wish even to meet him ever. I will remain in FDC preparing for 2021 elections!”
She added that “Since I started campaigning my Party has not been helpful to me. What I only got from my party is the support of Shs500,000 and even my campaigning posters have not been brought so I don’t have money to proceed.”
Linos Lima, the Karamoja Regional Elections office, confirmed that the EC has rejected Nalibe’s withdrawal, saying that on the Election Day of September 26th, her name and photo will appear on the ballot papers.
Kaabong District Woman Member of Parliament seat fell vacant after Lily Akello crossed to the newly created Karenga district.
The candidates in the race for the seat now include FDC’s Nalibe and NRM’s Christine Tubo Nakwang .
If Nalibe’s withdrawal had been accepted by the EC, Nakwang would have sailed through unopposed, but the FDC are not about to accept that.