KAMPALA – Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) supporters and leaders in Jinja district are at crossroads following allegations of voter bribery and influence-peddling in the highly contested FDC party primaries held in Jinja on Saturday.
The party held its primaries for MP flag-bearers in the new city where Dr Timothy Lusala Batuwa Lusala, Nume Wansalala and Enid Nabukwasi emerged winners for Jinja South Division West, Jinja South Division East and Jinja city Woman MP respectively.
The electoral process has, however, been questioned especially in Jinja South Division West and Jinja South Division East where party supporters are blaming their leaders of flouting the electoral process in favour of specific candidates.
In Jinja South Division East, currently represented by Paul Mwiru who has since left FDC and joined Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Mr Musa Kabugo was allegedly kicked out of the race for the party ticket on Thursday night, hardly two days to the elections by the Jinja party leadership. In a telephone interview with PML Daily, Mr Kabugo vowed to petition Najjanakumbi for redress.
“I will not sit back as my rights are trumpled on. I have chosen to appeal to the party leadership at Najjanakumbi to intervene in this circus,” he said.
“I wasn’t given any reason for their decision yet I was duly nominated and issued a nomination certificate. For the Abubaker Maganda leadership to come out and declare me unfit for leadership is laughable, especially after the same party leadership okayed my participation in the 2016 primaries,” Kabugo added.
In Jinja South Division West, Paul Kawanguzi who was Moses Balyeku’s closest challenger for the seat in the 2016 general election was trounced by former Kagoma county MP loser Dr Batuwa with 48 votes against Kawanguzi’s 27 votes. Kawanguzi, however, rejected the outcome and accused the electoral officials of flouting the rules.
“These are very turbulent times for me and my party. As a devoted activist, fighting for change remains in my DNA and trying to further the fight from a different front cannot be ruled out as long as i am not joining the oppressors,” Kawanguzi said.
Jovan Kirya, one of the delegates and Kawanguzi’s personal assistant alleged that Batuwa bribed delegates with Shs200,000 and a smartphone each, which according to him was against the democratic principles of the party.
However, in an interview with this website, Dr Batuwa denied accusations of bribing voters, saying Kawanguzi is a bad loser who ‘wants to come down with the party’.
“It was a free and fair contest and the FDC delegates decided that I was the one most suited to drive their agenda forward,” Dr Batuwa said.