KAMPALA – The Electoral Commission has rejected the withdrawal of Judith Adyaka Nalibe from the Kaabong Woman Member of Parliament race.
Ms Judith Adyaka Nalibe wrote to the Electoral Commission (EC) last week, saying she had decided to quit the contest, slightly a week to the September 26 voting day.
However, the commission’s spokesperson, Mr Jotham Taremwa, on Tuesday said that the withdrawal is incomplete because it was not endorsed by any authorized person from the Forum for Democratic Change -FDC party as required by law.
On Monday, the FDC rejected Ms Nalibe’s withdrawal from the race, accusing her of being bribed by President Museveni.
The party secretary general, Mr Nandala Mafabi, said they rejected the candidate’s withdrawal and warned the electoral body that FDC would claim Shs200m from it to compensate the party for expenses incurred on the candidate.
In the Monday press conference at FDC head offices in Najjanankumbi, a Kampala suburb, party spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda claimed that Ms Nalibe on September 12 held a secret meeting with President Museveni in Moroto Town. Mr Museveni, the NRM chairperson, was in Moroto on the stated date to sign a memorandum of understanding with visiting Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on cross-border movement.
“We are investigating reports that [President] Museveni bribed our candidate with Shs1.2b to withdraw from the race,’’ Mr Ssemujju said.
However, Ms Nalibe said her campaigns had been constrained by cash flow problems after FDC, her sponsor only availed Shs500,000 to her.
“How many times did I call Mr Nandala Mafabi (party secretary-general) for financial support and turned down my calls? How many times did I call Mr Patrick Amuriat for the same thing and they kept tossing me around? So let them stop alleging funny things on me, I have not met President Museveni and have no reasons to meet him,” she said.
Mr Ssemujju called for a law to restrict a candidate from withdrawing from a race without the consent of the party.
“We want a law that will only allow a political party sponsoring any candidate to withdraw him or her from the race. These things of ‘eating’ our money and you disappear must stop,” he said.
The seat fell vacant after incumbent Kaabong District Woman MP, Rose Lilly Akello opted to represent Karenga District, carved out of Kaabong District.
The new district became operational on July 1, 2019