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Security foils protests against Musasizi’s win in Rubanda

Police and UPDF soldiers blocking Kabale-Kisoro road to prevent protestors from crossing

Rubanda, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Anti-riot-police and the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers last evening foiled a demonstration by a group that was challenging a win of the National Resistance Movement-NRM party primaries by Rubanda East Henry Ariganyira Musasizi.        

Musasizi, the incumbent legislator was announced the winner of the polls on Saturday morning after collecting 23,330 votes. He defeated Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema, the current Rubanda district Chairman who garnered 22,412 votes.          

However, the win sparked anger from Biryabarema and his supporters who accused Musasizi of conniving with the NRM district registrar Aggrey Monday, Gaudioza Kabondo, an official from the party’s National Electoral Commission and Dezi Christmas, the district party administrator to rig votes. Hours before the victor was announced, Biryabarema tasked the officials to explain the fate of Nyakiharo polling the station where vote counting did not take place after Musasizi reportedly sent his supporters to tear up the register and declaration forms.         

The plea was rejected and instead, Biryabarema and his men were thrown out of the tally centre. the initial declaration was made without percentages and these were only penned after Musasizi went back to consult.       

Subsequently, Biryabarema’s supporters petitioned the Rubanda District NRM office, expressing disappointment with the way the election was handled. However, police and UPDF soldiers under the command of Tai Ramadhan, the area District Police Commander, blocked them from accessing the NRM offices.       

Ramadhan says that the procession contravenED the Public Order Management Act as well as COVID-19 preventive guidelines. Ramadhan however only allowed Biryabarema and five of his campaign managers to proceed to the party offices to deliver a copy of the petition.       

Biryabarema, through his lawyer M/S Bikangiso & Company Advocates said that a copy of the petition has been sent to the party’s Electoral Commission headquarters for consideration. Biryabarema accuses Monday of using a vehicle of Prossy Akampurira Mbabazi, a district woman Member of Parliament while delivering declaration forms to sub-counties yet she was also a candidate.       

He also faults Monday for deliberately tallying votes wrongly with a mission of announcing Musasizi the winner, adding that a tally by his agents gave him a 51 per cent win over Musasizi. He also argues that registrars allowed Musasizi to sneak some of the declaration forms inside the tally centre for consideration while tallying.         

Citing Kitagugika polling station in Bubaare sub-county, Biryabarema also questions why results from some polling stations were recorded on the same declaration forms with those of the contestants for the women’s parliamentary seat. He demands nullification of Musasizi’s win and recounting of the votes.     

The drama, however, ensued when Monday declined to acknowledge receipt of the petition arguing that he needed time to read and analyze it. But Biryabarema furiously told him that his role was to receive the petition and send it to the party tribunal for analysis.              

Monday later told our reporter that all Biryabarema’s accusations are baseless.        

 

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