FDC’s Betty Muzanira wins Rukungiri by-election

It was a hotly contested election, one that the NRM could not afford to lose but at the end of it all, it proved that an election in opposition icon Dr Kizza Besigye’s backyard was not easy for the ruling party to win.

Power blackouts at the tally, cancellation of results of an entire polling station and announcements of slowed internet connection kept opposition supporters on their toes all through the night till 5:13am on Friday morning when the Rukungiri district returning officer Umar Kiyimba declare Muzanira winner.
The FDC lady garnered 50,611 votes; 4,282 votes more than her closest challenger, NRM’s Winnie Matsiko.
Matsiko polled 46,329 votes.

Independent candidate, former state minister for Public Service Prisca Seezi Mbaguta had a dismal 993 votes while little known Fabith Kukundakwe of Jaberi Bidandi Ssali’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) got 183 votes.

There were widespread fears of manipulating the results in favour of the NRM candidate especially after a combined force of the police, army, prisons and military police carried out mysterious arrests of known FDC agents from polling stations.

In their preliminary report, Citizens’ coalition for electoral democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) criticised the heavy deployment of security forces and the arrest of FDC agents.

“Several arrests have been conducted by the police of candidate agents, especially those belonging to the FDC party on the account that they were bribing voters in Nyakagyeme Sub County,” Crispin Kaheru, CCEDU’s national coordinator said.