Museveni blames Police, NRM leaders for Rukungiri by-election loss

President Museveni has attributed the loss of his NRM party in the Rukungiri Woman MP by-election on the weaknesses of police and NRM leaders.

In his statement on the hotly contested by-election, Museveni said that he heard that voters were intimidated by a group of people he called hooligans from Kampala and other areas who sabotaged the elections.

He however saluted those that defied the odds and voted for NRM.

President Museveni also commended NRM mobilisers in Rukungiri District for the good work done in the election despite the differences among party members.

Although the NRM lost the by-election, president Museveni said he hasn’t lost hope for the party he is chairing. He said winning in the bigger sub-counties like Nyakishenyi and Nyarushanje is on account of the steadfastness of their supporters in spite of the confusion among the leaders

“Inspite of the divisions among the NRM leaders and attempts to use religion (Catholics vs Protestants) and tribe (Bakiga vs Bahororo-Banyakore), Hon Masiko Winifred won in 114 polling stations out of the total of 280, albeit sometimes, with less majority than before,” Museveni said.

“My programmes of wealth creation for the masses, especially the youth, will continue. Some of those groups helped in winning some parts of the municipality.”

Meanwhile, NRM communications officer, Rogers Mulindwa has called upon party members to be disciplined and work together so as to achieve their expected goals of winning the other coming by-elections. After losing to FDC in the hotly contested Rukungiri by-election, Mulindwa said they are going back to the drawing board to evaluate themselves and set strategies that will enable them win the rest of the coming by-elections.

“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. This performance is evident that NRM is the most treasured political party in our country.” Mulindwa said.

FDC’ s Betty Muzanira won the Rukungiri by-election with 50,611 over NRM’s  Winnie Masiko who garnered 46,379 votes. Mulindwa extended his thanks to everyone who supported them in Rukungiri. He however, expressed dismay over errant party members who failed to support the party leading to their loss.

He further said although they lost the election, there are good signs that they will be able to win the bigger battle in Rukungiri in the future.

“Our support in Rukungiri district has continued to grow into a fertile ground for hope in the future elections.”

The NRM candidate Winnie Matsiko lost by a margin of 4,282 votes, polling 46,329 against Betty Muzanira’s 50,611 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.