By John Masaba
The Electoral Commission has released the programme for the Bubulo West by-elections.
The seat fell vacant after MP Tony Nsubuga Kipoi was thrown out of parliament a week ago. Parliament adopted recommendations by its Rules committee that the MP missed 15 seatings of the House without clear reasons explaining his absence.
Kipoi became the second member of the Ninth Parliament to be kicked out after former Army MP David Sejusa was last year ejected on similar grounds.
A report by the Rules, Privileges and Discipline committee headed by West Budama MP Fox Odoi ruled that Kipoi had defaulted on the voters in Bubulo West, who elected him to Parliament.
The programme which was released today by the EC chairperson, Badru Kigundu, indicates that March 7-14 has been earmarked for the update of voters’ register. This will be followed by the display of the registers between March 9 and 28.
Nominations of candidates are slated for between March 24 and 25 and this will be followed by campaigns which will be held between March 27 and April 7. The elections will be held on April 10.
Even before EC declared the seat vacant last week, a number of people had already started campaigns. Among those who have come out to declare their intentions to run for the post is suspended Red Cross secretary general, Richard Nataka, and former woman MP for Bubulo, Rose Mutonyi.
Others are Islamic University in Uganda don Abass Samali, former MP Wajusi Washieba and a contestant in previous election, Ronnie Wataka Waluku.
Also interested are former area MP, Gyabi Bukeni; Samali Moiti, a medical officer in Soroti; and Ahamed Wakweya, a lecturer from Nkumba University.
Kipoi is reported to have been arrested by Congolese forces from an M23 rebel base in the Fataka area, in eastern DR Congo in November last year.
However, the MP later refuted the allegations, saying he fled the country after his bank accounts were frozen by the government.