Jinja. Four candidates were yesterday cleared to contest in the Jinja East constituency race, including NRM’s Nathan Nabeta Igeme and Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC), Mr Paul Mwiru.
The seat fell vacant after court after Court of Appeal in Kampala nullified Mr Nabeta’s victory and ordered fresh elections.
Nabeta’s victory was annulled on grounds of falsification of election results after Mr Mwiru contested his results on grounds that Nabeta connived with the Electoral Commission to alter results at Danida A-D polling station, which put him (Nabeta) at an advantage in the February 2016 elections.
Mr Nabeta’s former political aide, Mr Faizal Mayemba, was the first candidate to be nominated in the two-day exercise presided over by the Jinja Electoral Commission returning officer, Mr Rogers Sserunjogi.
Mayemba was then followed by Mr Mwiru at around 10.30am and Mr Nabeta at 10.56am.
Mr Nabeta and Mr Mwiru attracted mammoth crowds that escorted them for nominations and later to their respective venues, where they held their first campaigns.
The fourth candidate, Mr Francis Wakabi (Independent) was nominated at 2.30pm.
Speaking to journalists shortly after nomination, Mr Mayemba promised to promote industrialisation and tourism in Jinja as a measure for reducing youth unemployment.
He branded himself an ambassador for the youth and pledged to fight for their interests once elected MP.
Mwiru committed to implementing the core roles of an MP, including legislation, representation, oversight, monitoring government programmes and tax payers’ money.
“I won the general election but because of impunity, they declared a person who did not win. I used to hear of stories that they were planning to cheat me. I went to court, I got half justice but at least half justice is better than no justice,” said Mr Mwiru.
He called upon his supporters to remain disciplined and focused and to vote for him overwhelmingly.
He pledged to put his focus on education, health, economy, agriculture and employment for the youth.
On his side, Mr Nabeta said he will follow the NRM manifesto and promote industrialisation.
Mr Wakabi said his first assignment would be to ensure that his electorates engage in gainful employment instead of sports betting.
About 29,000 voters of Jinja East constituency are expected to cast their votes on March 15.
The campaigns shall be conducted between February 19 and March 13.
Earlier battles. In 2011, Court of Appeal threw out Mr Igeme from Parliament over lack of academic papers.
He was dragged to court by his political rival Mr Mwiru shortly after he was elected in the February 2011 elections.
Court ordered a fresh election, which was won by Mr Mwiru.