By Ronaldo N. Kalangi
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has for the first time spoken out after losing the Rukungiri District woman Legislator seat to opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Betty Bamukwatsa Muzanira.
While releasing the official statement, NRM party’s spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa attributed the loss to disloyal NRM party members who refused to campaign for their party flag bearer in the race.
“Going by the official results released by the Electoral Commission earlier this morning, we lost the by-election in Rukungiri to FDC polling 46,379 (NRM) votes against 50,611 (FDC). The Secretary General Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba will shortly table these results before the Central Executive Committee ( CEC ) for further administrative guidance,”he said.
“The party wishes to extend special thanks to its members within and outside Rukungiri who supported the cause but 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. The Rukungiri by-elections mean that 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”,Mulindwa said.
Betty Bamukwatsa Muzanira campaigns on Tuesday.
Rukungiri woman seat fell vacant last month after Court of Appeal nullified NRM’s Masiko’s election and ordered for a by-election following a petition by Muzanira. Muzanira lost to Masiko 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.