State Minister for Labor, Mwesigwa Rukutana has extended an olive branch to his opponents in the concluded National Resistance Movement primary election but vowed to politically crush them if they stand on independent tickets.
Rukutana, who was on Friday confirmed by the NRM election dispute tribunal as the flagbearer of Rushenyi parliamentary seat, issued a statement on Sunday morning thanking the people of Rushenyi for standing with him.
“Gallant sons and daughters of Rushenyi; finally, here we are; Congratulations to you all, and may the Almighty God reward each of you wholesomely,” said Rukutana.
He attributed his victory to the resolve of the voters who stood strong on the ground when he was arrested and incarcerated hundreds of kilometers away from Rushenyi.
“This has been your struggle; you are a great and determined force. The decisive steps to get to this victory were taken while I was in incarceration. As I fell silent in the Kitalya cells, Rushenyi’s voice roared louder; and, as usual, it was heard,” he said.
He called on the competitors to forget the past and join hands for a good future.
“To our competitors, we all contested as NRM. The people have now decided who the flag bearer is. It’s time we buried our hatchets and worked together for the success of NRM at all levels, and the development of our country. We welcome you with our warmest hands,” he said.
“Should you, (God forbid), decide to contest outside the NRM Constitution, you will be more than welcome, as we now know you better.”
He concluded by appealing for peace and unity in Rushenyi as the constituency heals from the chaotic primary elections.
“Lastly, it’s the wish and desire of the people of Rushenyi to live in peace and harmony. We stand for that. Let all peace loving Rushenyians join us in that cause. We have to apologize to and forgive each other for all that went wrong in the last process. I hereby do,” he concluded.
NRM election dispute tribunal on Friday confirmed Rukutana’s 25,310 (46.27.%)against his close rival Naome Kabasharira’s 25,290 votes (46.23%).
Other candidates in the same race were Bob Karabayi, who garnered 2,270 (4.2%%) votes, Niwahereza Nicolous 1,229 (2.25%) and Nomani Kashereka 350 (0.5%) votes.
Kabasharira has already picked nomination forms from the Electoral Commission to stand for MP Rushenyi