By Daniel Edyegu and Moses Bikala
Former candidates in the just concluded Butaleja woman MP race have conceded defeat despite complaining of massive electoral irregularities.
According to the results declared by Mable Wakhabi on Tuesday, the Butaleja returning officer, Florence Nebanda Andiru (NRM) scored 27,338 votes to emerge winner for the Butaleja MP seat followed by Betty Hamba.
(Independent) with 12,157 votes. Sarah Annet Logose (Independent) polled 3393 votes to snatch the third place while Felista Namwihiri
(FDC) got 3262 votes and Perusi Munaba (Independent) trailed with 1332 votes.
Dr. Alfred Higenyi, the father to Betty Hamba, said whereas he expected victory for his daughter, he would talk her into rallying behind the victor to ensure development of the district.
“Politics is now over and we should see that we support the winner for the betterment of our district” Higenyi said.
Higenyi, however, stressed that the heavy deployment of police in the district during the elections created anxiety and scared off electorates from polling.
“What I noticed is that security was so keen on checking electoral irregularities among the opposition and independent candidates and reluctant when it comes to NRM. In the sub counties of Himutu, Kachonga, Naweyo and Mazimasa, there was open bribery of the electorate perpetuated by the senior NRM members. I called the Malaba regional police commander, Peter Kakonge, at the thick of the bribery.
When the police dashed to Kachonga where money was being distributed, the culprits fled.” Higenyi said Namwihiri said she wouldn’t waste money to contest the outcome of the polls in the courts of law.
“It’s Government that leads us. Government employs the personnel in the judiciary. It will be increasingly hard to get fair hearing in the courts of law. I can’t waste money petitioning the outcome of the polls. I will start laying the foundation for the 2016 polls,”
Logose, said she would consult with her legal team to decide the next course of action.
Andiru said she would talk to her former opponents to decide on the way forward for the betterment of Butaleja district. She attributed her overwhelming victory to the goodwill from the electorate.
The Butaleja woman MP seat fell vacant following the death of the former MP, Cerinah Nebanda, on Decemba 14. Andiru, 27, is the elder sister of the late MP. Following the declaration of the results at night, Butaleja district went wild with celebrations.
Residents wielding branches of fresh papyrus poured into Butaleja town amidst singing and dancing. On the middle of the road, residents mounted logs and a mutuusa (Munyooli spiritual healer) threw a live hen into the bonfire. The excited celebrants tore the chicken to pieces and ate it raw.