MITOOMA- There was jubilation at Mitooma district headquarters tally centre yesterday after Capt. (Rtd) Donozio Kahonda was declared winner of Ruhinda parliamentary seat. He was declared at around mid-day having polled 26,029 votes (56.9 per cent). Incumbent Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire came second with 17,269 votes (37.7 per cent). He has been the area MP since 1996.
Anxiety and pressure from supporters of Capt. Kahonda forced the District Registrar Mr Elisha Kahaika to declare the winner even when all the results had not been tallied.
“I am doing this because the Electoral Commission machines have disorganised me but as of now, everyone knows the person leading and that’s the one I am going to announce. I can’t keep people and myself on tension,” he said.
Capt. Kahonda’s supporters then burst into wild cheers after he was declared. During NRM party elections on October 27 last year Capt.
Kahonda scored 21,467 votes to become NRM flag bearer while Gen. Otafiire’s polled 12,949 votes (55 per cent and 33.2 per cent respectively).
Speaking to Daily Monitor Capt. Kahonda said the victory belongs to the people of Ruhinda who have been working hard for it.
“I thank the people of Ruhinda for my success. These people worked together to see me go through everything that happened to me,” he said.
He said will start from where Gen. Otafiire has stopped as the area leader. Capt. Kahonda asked Gen Otafiire to join him so that they can work together for the development of Ruhinda county.
“Even if Kahinda was declared the winner, I was willing to work with him for the development of the area. He is a minister and I am MP, we should not hate each other or shed blood because of political differences,” Capt. Kahonda said.
Mr Edward Rugundana, a resident of Mitooma Town Council, said they worked as a team for the victory of Capt. Kahonda and that they will continue working with him. Gen. Otafiire on the voting day said that he would go with the outcomes of the election only if the exercise is conducted in a fair way. He was not available for comment after declaration of the results as his phone was switched off.
Others in the race were FDC’s Kyapaa Karuhanga who scored 1,082 votes, James Muhangi who got 1,155 votes and Innocent Tugume who polled 189 votes.