RUKUNGIRI: With just days left before voters in Rukungiri District choose their woman Member of Parliament, the Electoral Commission is probing the involvement of army officers in the campaigns.
Justice Simon Byabakama, the chairperson of Electoral Commission wrote to Umar Kiyimba, the district returning officer, on May 22, asking that Kiyimba investigates whether the said officers are engaged in partisan politics.
“In the said compliant, some army officers, some RDCs and Commissioner General of prisons are engaged in partisan politics, an act that contravenes the law that forbids serving officers from partisan politics,” the letter reads.
Justice Byabakama directed that Kiyimba ascertain the allegations and report to the commission immediately.
The directive follows a complaint raised by FDC’s candidate Betty Muzanira through her lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi.
When PML daily contacted Mr Rwakafuzi, he confirmed receiving a response from Justice Byabakama, assuring him that the electoral body had started to probe the matter.
“We want them to restrain those public officers from enaging in partisan politics,” Rwakafuzi added.
In this highly contested by-election, Muzanira is contesting against NRM’s Winfred Mastiko and Independent Shirah Atukunda.
The seat fell vacant after the High Court ordered for fresh polls. Muzanira petitioned the High Court accusing NRM of bribing voters and giving donations during campaigns.
Last minute campaigns for FDC, NRM
This week, Dr Kiiza Besigye, the former president of the FDC led a group of Opposition figures, to solicit votes for Muzanira.
They campaigned in the villages of Bikongozo, Nyarushoroza, Omukagaana, Murama, Kafunjo, Kakyenkye and Nyarurambi. They also campaigned in Ruyonza village, Omukyishanda, Omukashenyi and Kisizi Hospital.
Just like for the Jinja East by-election which was won by Paul Mwiru, the Opposition fraternity is united for the Rukungiri by-election.
Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the former FDC party president, who had threatened to quit the party after losing to Patrick Amuriat, has been campaigning for Muzanira alongside the party Secretary for Mobilization, Ingrid Turinawe.
On the side of NRM party, Gen Henry Tumukunde, the former security minister was seen, convincing people to vote for Matsiko.