Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Tensions run high in Kasese ahead of woman by-election

With only two days to the Kasese Woman Member of Parliament by-election slated for Wednesday, tensions are high in the district as candidates conclude their campaigns today. Electoral Commission chairperson Badru Kiggundu last week declared that only three candidates are participating in this election; Rehema Muhindo (NRM), Winfred Kizza (FDC) and Rosemary Masika (DP). Independent candidate Betty Kayezu, who withdrew from the race, will not have her particulars appear on the ballot paper according to Dr Kiggundu. Meanwhile, several NRM party members have, since nominations, camped in the district to boost their candidate, Rehema Muhindo. NRM deputy secretary general Dorothy Hyuha, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga and Mwenge North MP David Muhumuza have been in the district. NRM MPs from Kasese District James Mbahimba (Kasese Municipality) and Boaz Kafuda (Busongora South MP) have also backed her. Opposition support FDC’s Kiiza, in her campaigns, has been accompanied by opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye, Gen. Mugisha Muntu, MPs Kasiano Wadri (Terego County), Gerald Karuhanga (Youth, Western), Oddo Tayebwa (Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality) and Rowland Kaginda (Rukungiri Municipality). Others are William Nzoghu(Busongora North), Yokasi Bihande (Bukonzo East) and her campaign agent Christopher Kibanzanga. Share This Story Share The Electoral Commission has not confirmed the number of voters to participate in the August 8 election but the previous election figure was 303,030 voters. There are 474 polling stations in the entire district. On the same polling day, there will be elections for local council leaders in Isango, Nyakatonzi, Lake Katwe and Kisinga sub-counties. Heavy deployment Police has deployed heavily in the district to keep law and order while opposition has deployed 1,000 vigilantees to guard against any form of rigging. The by-election comes after Court of Appeal on June 4 ordered for fresh elections in the district after ruling that EC erred in the organising of the Kasese District woman parliamentary elections held on February 18, 2011. Then Ms Winfred Kiiza won the 2011 race beating NRM’s Rehema Muhindo with a margin of 1400 votes, a result that angered the NRM camp in the district and they unsuccessfully took the fight to the lower and high courts in Kasese and Fort Portal. Later Court of appeal ruled that about 6000 votes were invalidated by the EC when they had been genuinely cast by the voters for both candidates.