Tuesday November 23 2010

Nabilah wins battle for FDC polls ticket

 ECSTATIC: A supporter hugs Nabilah (C) after she was declared winner last night in Kampala.

ECSTATIC: A supporter hugs Nabilah (C) after she was declared winner last night in Kampala. PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESAKA  

By Flavia Nalunega & Anthony Wesaka

Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Ssempala will be the FDC flag bearer in next year’s elections after she won the party primaries yesterday. The legislator polled 124 votes, beating her only challenger, Ms Rashida Naluwoza, who got 12 votes—in what despite the pre-election hype—turned out to be a one-sided contest.

“I knew with free and fair election I would emerge victorious,” said the elated Nabilah, who hugged supporters after the results were announced last night by Mr Dan Mugarura, the returning officer.

However, Ms Naluwoza, a student at Kampala International University, said she would contest the results in court, arguing that many non-party members had taken part in the election.

“I don’t recognise these results. I saw so many new faces in the hall that are not FDC members. The party members were locked outside. They were unfair elections. I am going to court to block Nabilah from standing on the FDC ticket,” she said on phone last night.

Earlier in the day, the election had threatened to turn rowdy as the different camps traded accusations. Supporters of Ms Naluwoza accused Nabilah of disrespecting the party’s leadership, while the latter’s followers accused the newcomer of being used to fight the MP.

Recent rifts
“There are people who hate me in the party. Rashida is not the personality I am standing with,” said Nabilah. “It is a group of people in FDC who are working against me so they have planted her to stand against me.”

A few weeks back, MP Nabilah hit the headlines when she accused the FDC of tribalism after she pointed out that all top positions were occupied by people from western Uganda. She also said some party officials were trying to hound her out of Parliament. With the victory yesterday, it remains to be seen if this emerging rift will now be resolved.