NTUNGAMO – Hundreds of residents of Rushenyi County blocked a section of Ntungamo- Kabale District on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, to demonstrate over what they described as attempts by the ruling NRM to steal the victory of Naome Kabasharira in favour of Mwesigwa Rukutana.
Holding placards and blowing whistles and vuvuzelas, the group said it was wrong for NRM electoral commission chairman Tanga Odoi to interfere with the outcome of the results of the NRM primaries in the constituency.
Dr Tanga Odoi, the NRM electoral commission chairman, announced on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, that after a vote recount, Mr Rukutana, who is also the State Minister for Labour, is now in the lead but that he would declare the eventual winner in two days, expected to be Thursday, September 17, 2020.
On September 5, Ms Kabasharira was declared winner with 24,006 votes while Mr Rukutana garnered 23,966 votes leaving a difference of only 40 votes.
However, Dr Tanga on Tuesday announced that following a recount of 12 polling areas, the minister was now in the lead. He said one area called Nyakahita wasn’t declared because the declaration forms were not readily available.
He said results of Rubaare Sub County, which is considered Rukutana’s stronghold, had also not been tallied and when they returned, they indicated that the minister was the winner.
However, the residents of Rubaare Sub-county who were party of the Wednesday demonstration, said their candidate, Kabasharira was the winner of the primaries and her victory should not be stolen.
The aftermath of the election was overshadowed by an incident where Rukutana was caught on video, appearing to draw a gun against two campaign agents of his opponent. The minister was eventually arrested, charged with attempted murder and remanded. He was released on bail on Tuesday.