Mbarara NRM leaders clash over elections

Wednesday September 16 2020
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People line up at Rukindo Polling Station in Nyakayojo Division during elections for Mbarara City mayor NRM flag bearer on September 14, 2020. PHOTO/ RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

By Rajab Mukombozi

The interim Mbarara District NRM chairperson, Mr Prosper Tuhaise, has accused the party registrar, Mr Yoramu Kacumita, of promoting irregularities in the ongoing primary elections in the area.
Mr Tuhaise on Monday alleged that Mr Kacumita has been siding with some candidates and declaring them winners contrary to the results from the voting exercise.

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Mr Prosper Tuhaise

“I have tried to engage this man [Kacumita] to stop being partisan but he has refused. As the NRM leader, I can’t allow this; some candidates already have declaration forms even before voting,” he said.
“Some registrars are being abducted and forced to sign declaration forms but when we raise these issues, he just ignores us,” Mr Tuhaise added.
He explained that many candidates who participated in the primary elections are threatening to come as Independents because of the irregularities perpetuated by the registrar. 

“He is arrogant, he doesn’t want to listen to any concerns from the party members. But I will not accept this as long as I am part of the NRM leadership here. NRM is a people’s party and I will work with the people to ensure there is justice,” the district NRM chairperson said.
Mr Tuhaise cited the election for flag bearer of the district chairperson held on September 11, where he said a group of people was taking away valid declaration forms from village registrars at voting centres and forcing them to sign those they were moving with that had “results.”

“One of the candidates approached me with concern on the votes tallied, he said he had approached the party registrar and he had been chased away. He even went to his lawyers, who wrote to the registrar requesting for the tally sheet but he again refused. Today, I chose to go with them because there is nothing wrong with a candidate accessing the tally, he again refused,” he said.

Mr Kururagire Twongyeirwe, who lost in the race for the district chairperson seat, said efforts to petition Mr Kacumita over the irregularities in the election have been futile.
“I have gone to Mr Kacumita’s office about five times to petition over irregularities that happened in the election, including rigging, abduction of my agents and fake declaration in the field, but he has dodged me and chased me away. Even when I chose to use my lawyers, he still chased us. Unless I get justice, I have no alternative but to come [contest] as an Independent,” Mr Twongyeirwe said.


Mr Kacumita denied the allegations and instead counter-accused Mr Tuhaise of taking sides and trying to meddle in the work of the party electoral commission.
“He only comes in when the candidates he supports lose. He wants to do the work of the electoral commission but we can’t accept this. Those aggrieved know how to petition; I am not the final man in these elections. Those who feel I have not helped them can petition the party electoral commission chairperson,” Mr Kacumita said.