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NUP rejects withdrawal of flag bearer from Sembabule parliamentary race

Zaituni Yahaya Babikola, the NUP flag bearer for Sembabule Woman MP seat had initially requested to withdraw from the race over financial constraits. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Zaituni Yahaya Babikola, the National Unity Platform-NUP flag bearer for Sembabule Woman Member of Parliament has been blocked from withdrawing from the race.

Last month, Babikola wrote to the Electoral Commission and the NUP Secretariat informing them that she was withdrawing from the race on grounds that she had run out of financial resources that would enable her canvass for support during the campaigns.

However, Babikola’s intention has been blocked by NUP secretary-general David Lewis Rubongoya who has declined to endorse her withdrawal from the race.

In a letter to the Electoral Commission, Rubongoya noted that the party’s management committee has rejected Babikola’s decision.

According to Rubongoya, the management committee was not convinced by the reasons given by their candidate.

Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, the Masaka Municipality MP and NUP vice president in charge of Buganda region says that they are still studying the intentions behind the candidate’s decision.

He explains that Babikola willfully applied for the party ticket to contest for a position of her choice. Mpuuga is surprised how she can suddenly make a u-turn after the nomination exercise.

Mpuuga says that the party’s mobilization campaign team is ready to canvass support for her.

Muhammad Ssemanda, the NUP secretary for mobilization in-charge of Sembabule district has welcomed the decision of the party secretariat. He adds that her intentions are suspicious and could be state-inspired.

“Nobody coerced her to join the race and she also willfully accepted the responsibilities of NUP coordinator for Sembabule district, we are surprised that she is withdrawing. Given the history of Sembabule with candidates being bribed to withdraw from the race, we cannot take this lightly also,” he says.

However, Babikola says she can only proceed with the race after-party meets all necessary support including finances to enable her to run through the campaign period.

She argues that she used up all her campaign finances in mobilizing party structures in the area and she is surprised the party has refused to reimburse the money she spent.

Zaituni Yahaya Babikola is contesting against the National Resistance Movement-NRM flag bearer Mary Begumisa. According to the Electoral Commission roadmap, the President and MPs will be voted for on January 14th 2021.



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