The ruling NRM party is considering going to court to challenge the results of the recently concluded Jinja East parliamentary by-election.
Paul Mwiru of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) trounced NRM’s Nathan Igeme Nabeta and three other contenders in the February 9th polls. Mwiru polled 7758 votes against 6057 votes for Nabeta. Other candidates in the race included DP’s Alex Waiswa Mufumbiro who polled 291 votes, Cranimer Dhikusooka (Independent) with 28 votes and UPC’s Richie Oyo Osinde who trailed with 16 votes.
But now NRM district vice chairman Magid Dhikusooka said the party is collecting evidence to challenge Mwiru’s victory.
Dhikusooka said the polls were characterized with violence and intimidation by the opposition leaders and supporters, adding that he wants court to nullify the results. He called upon NRM supporters who were harassed in any way during campaigns and elections to report to tender in evidence to pin the opposition and challenge their victory.
Dhikusooka said the party had majority support and would not have lost the seat if elections were peaceful, free and fair.
The by-election followed the December 16th Court of Appeal ruling on the case filed by Mwiru in which Nabeta’s election was nullified on grounds of lack of minimum academic qualifications, and voter bribery.
Dhikusooka’s plan to go to court comes just a day after NRM youths in Jinja Municipality demonstrated calling on the district party leaders to step down for failure to win the Jinja East seat. The youth accused the party leaders in intrigue and hypocrisy.
Accusations of rigging and voter bribery characterized the by-election. Richard Gulume Balyainho, the Butaleja resident district commissioner was among those arrested on Thursday night for what police called election fraud during the Jinja East Parliamentary by election. Gulume, was arrested and briefly detained at Jinja central police station after he was found with pre ticked ballot papers in Masese I village in Walukuba – Masese division.