At least 10 losers in last Thursday parliamentary election have indicated they are going to challenge the results in court, alleging that the process was marred by voter bribery and intimidation.
Ms Grace Nalubega of the National Unity Platform (NUP), who lost the Rakai District Woman MP race to incumbent Juliet Kinyamatama, said her agents in both Kibanda and Kiziba sub-counties were kidnapped by security operatives on polling day and were released shortly after the exercise.
“So, I dispute all the votes I got from those areas. Also, in Lwamaggwa and Kacheera sub-counties, there was massive ballot stuffing,” she said in an interview on Monday.
Ms Nalubega garnered 19,682 votes against Ms Kinyamatama’s 34,291 votes.
Ms Asha Lubyayi Kayanja, the NRM flag bearer for the same seat, has also rejected the poll results , saying there was voter bribery, adding that she has gathered enough evidence to enable her seek redress in court.
Ms Harriet Nakwedde, who lost to Ms Ida Nantaba in the Kayunga District Woman MP race, has also cited vote rigging.
Ms Nakwedde, the NUP candidate, said on Monday that she would drag the Electoral Commission (EC) and Ms Nantaba to courts of law for denying her victory.
The Kayunga District returning officer, Mr Rashid Musinguzi, at the weekend declared Ms Nantaba winner of the hotly contested seat, with 42,725 votes against Ms Nakwedde’s 37,117 votes, while the NRM candidate, Ms Agatha Nalubwama, garnered 9,237 votes.
Ms Margaret Nabirye (Independent) came fourth with 3,648 votes, while FDC’s Brenda Nakaddu and Ms Jacklyn Birungi (Independent) got 889 and 10,202 votes, respectively.
However, Ms Nakwedde said the EC altered her results in favour of Ms Nantaba. Ms Nantaba, the incumbent, won her third term in Parliament.
“We have evidence that Ms Nantaba did not win this election. We are gathering evidence so that we drag her and the EC to courts of law,” Ms Nakwedde said.
She also complained that Ms Nantaba was announced winner by Mr Musinguzi in the absence of her competitors and at gun point by the Special Forces Command.
But Mr Musinguzi said he called all the contenders on telephone to be present, but they were adamant, prompting him to go ahead and declare Ms Nantaba as winner.
“It is true the guns were around me while declaring Ms Nantaba the winner, but it was because one of the stakeholders tried to stop me from declaring the results,” Mr Musinguzi said.
NUP supporters in the district are still confused why Mr Musinguzi, who had last Friday night said he would not declare the winner for the District Woman MP seat because there were inconsistencies and alterations in the figures on the declaration of result forms and promised to look into the matter on Monday, (January 17), made a U -turn and declared Ms Nantaba winner.
Mr Musinguzi explained that by Sunday, he had “completed correcting” the anomalies and had to beat the mandatory 48 hours within which to declare the results.
Ms Nalubwama also complained that the election was marred by massive rigging and changing of votes in favour of Ms Nantaba.
On Saturday, Ms Nakwedde led a peaceful demonstration in Kayunga Town, protesting the election outcome as Ms Nantaba, with a few supporters, celebrated her victory.
This is the first time during her two terms in Parliament that Ms Nantaba has faced stiff competition.
She has previously won by more than 80 per cent of the vote.
Ms Nantaba dismissed the allegations that her victory was secured through rigging.
“They [opponents] should concede defeat because I had no polling agents and I was at my home,” she said.
Ms Nalubwama said she would support Ms Nakwedde’s case if she goes to court.
Dr Gordon Ssematiko (NUP), who lost to NRM’s Muhammad Kibedi Nsegumire in Mityana North, claims people from Mr Kibedi’s camp attacked his agents on their way from Bulera Sub-county and forced them to surrender the declaration of result forms.
“These declaration of result forms were later doctored and this is what the district returning officer, Mr Steven Makubuya, used to declare Mr Kibedi the winner,” he said.
According to EC official tally, Mr Nsegumire got 30,852 votes, while Dr Ssematiko collected 30,581 votes, indicating a difference of only 271 votes.
In Sembabule, both Mr Henry Nyanzi (NUP) and Ms Catherine Nakayiza (Independent) want Mawogola North MP-elect Shartis Musherure Kutesa’s victory quashed.
Ms Nakayiza says several of her supporters were blocked from accessing some polling stations except if one was ready to vote for only NRM flag bearers.
Mr Nyanzi said: “Voter turnout was at 60 per cent in the entire constituency and we are wondering how voters later show up to make 100 per cent and at some polling stations, the number of cast ballots exceeded the number of registered voters.”
Ms Betty Ssentamu, who lost to the incumbent and NRM flag bearer in the Gomba District Woman MP race, Ms Sylvia Nayabale, says the election was a total fraud.
“We have gathered enough evidence, including video clips of people in army uniform intimidating voters, people being given money at polling stations and arresting of our agents,” she says.
Ms Ssentamu is a sister of NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine.
In Buikwe, FDC’s Resty Nanteza, who lost to NRM’s Diana Mutasingwa in the District Woman MP seat, says she is also finalising the process of challenging the latter’s victory in court.
In Wakiso, Paul Owor (Independent) has indicated that he will petition court to cancel NUP’s Charles Matovu’s victory in the Busiro South MP race, claiming some polling officials altered his declaration of result forms from 80 polling stations.
However, in Kiboga, Mr Siraj Nkuugwa, the NUP flag bearer for Kiboga East MP race, and Mr Muhamood Kibuuka, the NUP flag bearer for Kiboga West, both concealed defeat and they say they have no plan to go to court over the results.
NRM Vs NUP
The ruling NRM party performed poorly in last week’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Buganda region as majority of the parliamentary seats were won by NUP flag bearers.
In the 24 districts of Buganda, NUP presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi won in 16 districts, while President Museveni won in only eight districts.
Compiled by Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa, Wilson Kutamba, Ambrose Musasizi & Barbara Nalweyiso