By Monica Kobusiinge
Kampala: The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has defended the decision to declare State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana as the winner of Rushenyi County in the party’s primary elections.
Dr Tanga Odoi the party’s Electoral Commission Chairman on Wednesday last week announced Rukutana as the winner of the ‘chaotic’ election after re-tallying of the votes contrary to an earlier announcement in which Ntungamo Woman Member of Parliament, Naome Kabasharira had been declared the winner.
However, the resultant re-tallying and announcement saw Rukutana beating his rival by 20 votes something that did not satisfy Kabasharira.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, NRM’s director in charge of legal affairs, Oscar Kihika said following complaints by Rukutana’s agents, there was an investigation done on the ground to ascertain facts relating to Kabasharira’s election.
Kihika insisted that the investigation recommended for re-tallying of votes.
“Both parties were asked to bring their declaration of result forms for comparison with what was with the electoral commission, all results were matching apart from one contentious village where Kabasharira was saying that there was no election whereas Rukutana insisted elections happened and had declaration forms,” Kihika told journalists.
The director in charge of legal affairs in NRM said that following the impasse, Dr Tanga Odoi wrote a report to President Museveni who is also the national party’s Chairperson in regards to the same and he sent a team to the ground to investigate.
On Wednesday, the Tanga said he had visited the contentious Nyakahita village for a fact-finding mission before declaring the final results.
“After tallying here, I visited Nyakahita village and interacted with 42 ladies, 16 men and eight drunkards who were still in their senses since even a drunkard can tell you what can tally or not. After interacting with them, I came back with an analysis which I based on to declare Rukutana,” Tanga said.
From this background, Tanga announced that Mr Rukutana, who was jailed earlier in the month over poll violence as the winner against Ms Naome Kabasharira whom on September 5 been declared winner with 24,006 votes while Mr Rukutana garnered 23,966 votes leaving a difference of only 40 votes.
However, a couple of Rushenyi people didn’t value Tanga’s declaration saying that this was unfair basing on the support Naome had, she could not be won by ‘unruly and chaotic’ Rukutana.
“Of course we the Rushenyi people know the truth, Rukutana with his rotten behaviours he could not win Naome that’s empty truth seen by the blind and we asked the Electoral Commission to allow us to vote again but Tanga refused with his personal reasons and kept us dormant till today till today when he declared his own ‘favourite’ person, But he is deceiving himself let him wait for us on the general elections, he will see that bribery can’t decide but Rushenyi people decide and that bribe will chock him” an angry Rushenyi voter spit fire at party’s Electoral Commission last week.