One of the residual candidates in the Mbale District LC 5 race who was defeated in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries but later contested as an independent candidate has finally bowed out of the race just weeks to the general polls.
Samuel Robert Makhonje in a letter dated December 22 addressed to the party national Chairman, and seen by Chimpreports noted that he had withdrawn from the race in order to support the NRM candidate who went through.
“I contested in the NRM primaries as an LC 5 chairman, Mbale District. I was declared the 2nd winner out of the four candidates who contested but I was not satisfied with the results. I petitioned the NRM Electoral Commission and had to come back as an independent candidate in the general elections,” reads part of the letter
“Because of the NRM spirit and for the good of our party, I have stepped down in favour of the flag bearer Mr. Watenyeli Masika Apollo and I am mobilizing votes for our president HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and all NRM flag bearers in my area of jurisdiction. I am officially informing you that I am no longer a candidate,” the letter adds,
Though in the letter Makhonje claims to have been the second during the primaries, media reports indicates that he was the third.
According to the reports, Masika won the race with 24,946 votes, followed by Joram Mayatsa Khambson who scored 23,062 votes, Makhonje with 20,423 votes and Samson Wamimbi Wokwomu trailed with 14,619 votes.
Masika will now face off with independent candidates who include; Fred Namasa, Mungau Emanuel, Masika Watenyeli and john Kennedy Waiskye.
Commenting on his withdrawal, Wasikye commended Makhonje for this, “We all know that the NRM primaries had a lot of glitches that have in the end forced many people to come back as independents. I am particularly happy about this decision of yours, not because I am a candidate too but because it helps your party somehow,” he said.