The ruling National Resistance Movement is not about to let go of the defeat the party suffered in Rukungiri district Woman MP elections in May, and is now pursuing prosecution of some of the opposition players involved in the election.
The hotly contested election was won by the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Ms Betty Muzanira, who garnered 50,611 votes against her closest contender and NRM’s Winfred Matsiko.
NRM Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, who went twice to the district, donated items worth billions of shillings to local groups, and later spent two days on the campaign trail for the NRM candidate Matsiko, says the ruling party should not have lost that election.
In a statement he put out Saturday, analysing the outcomes of the parliamentary by elections held in the country since 2016, Museveni said the FDC were only able to edge the NRM in Rugungiri, because they resorted to dividing people along sectarian lines.
Museveni said his donations to the youths in Rukungiri went a long way in swaying them to the NRM party, and that the opposition had to resort to criminal acts of sectarianism, for which they should be arrested and prosecuted
“The opposition had to box itself in a criminal trap, out of desperation, of incredibly using open and crude sectarianism of religion (Catholics vs Protestants) and tribe (Bakiga vs Bahororo),” he said.
“I am trying to corroborate these stories. If they are true, all those involved will have to be held accountable.”
The President also wants the opposition prosecuted for inviting “hooligans to intimidate the voters” in Rukungi, and in Jinja; the two constituencies won by the opposition in the by-elections.
“The opposition should not be allowed to import personnel in the district – hooligans and undemocratic leaders who come to intimidate village voters,” he said.
“Each candidate should only be allowed 2 agents for monitoring. These are the ones to monitor that there were no electoral malpractices.
“I am told that there is another category of “observers”. These are supposed to observe but not to intervene; they should, apparently, only report. Yet, the opposition imports hooligans and the undemocratic leaders to intimidate unprotected villagers with impunity. They accommodate these hooligans in hotels or the homes of the opposition local supporters. On the election day, they fan out along the village paths and start intimidating the people going to vote. In Jinja, they were ambushing women coming out of their mizigo with words of intimidation. They even use rape against our supporters when they are going back home.”