By Simon Abaho
The Electoral Commission has declared NRM candidate Andrew Muwonge the winner of the hotly contested Kayunga LC5 seat in results announced on Friday morning.
In a close to call election, the Kayunga Returning Officer, Jennifer Kyobutungi, announced that having got 31,830 votes against Nakweede’s 31,380, NRM’s Muwonge had beaten her closest rival with just 450 votes.
The same race that attracted six candidates, independent candidate Majid Nyanzi came third with 1297 votes, followed by Musisi Boniface Bandikubi (Independent), 470, votes, Jamilu Kamoga, 279 and Democratic Party’s Anthony Wadimba got 158 votes.
“Being the Returning Officer for Kayunga electoral district and having added the number of votes cast as recorded on each declaration of results form,in accordance with the Local Government Act cap 243, I declare Muwonge Andrew who has obtained the highest number of votes winner for Kayunga electoral district,” Kyobutungi said.
Following the declaration, the NRM candidate applauded his supporters for the love showered to him.
“I am here for unity. This is what the people of Kayunga have been yearning for. I called upon the people of Kayunga to unite and take the district forward. This is our home,”Muwonge said.
There was a delay in the announcement of results for a number of hours as the Electoral Commission computed the results from the various polling stations.
Whereas the compilation and computation started as early as 8pm on Thursday, it was not until 9am, on Friday, almost 13 hours later for the election body to announce the results.
However, the Electoral Commission Secretary, Leonard Mulekwa apologized for the “unintended” delay.
“It wasn’t planned that we delay. We are very sorry for that. It must have created anxiety but it is not plan or design. At times it happens at times, it doesn’t,”Mulekwa said.
The Electoral Commission chairperson, Justice Simon Byabakama applauded the candidates, their agents and supporters for the patience they exhibited.
He however urged the losers to accept the outcome of the election and that if not satisfied, they should go through the legal channels to challenge the same.
“Let the victors and the vanquished know that Kayunga is bigger than any individual. Join hands and bring Kayunga back to the fold, serve your people and make sure that the district becomes better and Uganda at large,”Byabakama said.
“It is our desire and commitment to work with people of Uganda to ensure elections are peaceful, transparent and that whatever the outcome, you should always abide by the laws. If there are any issues, go through the legal processes.”
However, following the declaration of the results, the NUP candidate, Harriet Nakweede who spent over 10 hours at the tally centre protested the outcome of the election, insisting that there was “manipulation.”
“It can’t be true. I can’t accept the results. According to our tally centre, we were supposed to win the by-election with a 15000 margin. Something is wrong here. There were many polling stations where the number of votes cast was more than the number of voters,”Nakweede said.
“We are declaring war against the NRM government. We can’t allow this to continue.”
Nakweede also pointed out the fracas between security and one of her agents, John Mary Ssebuwufu who was forced out of the tally centre for protesting some of the results that were being announced by the Electoral Commission.
According to the NUP candidate, this pointed to some sinister move.