By Joseph Wanzusi
National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer Rose Masaaba Mutonyi has won the Bubulo County West Parliamentary by-election in Manafwa district after trouncing four men with a landslide victory.
“I Kizindo Ibrahim Salim as returning officer for Manafwa district and in accordance with Section 58(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act 2005 declare Mutonyi Masaaba Rose the elected Member of Parliament for Bubulo County West constituency,” the returning officer announced at 10.12 pm at the tallying centre set up at Red Cross Hall in Manafwa Town Council.
There were ululations in the hall and outside with Mutonyi’s supporters who included several Members of Parliament . They congratulated her as a chanting crowd sang victory songs in Lumasaaba and danced around the fully packed hall where the Police commanded by Grace Turyagumanawe provided tight security.
The polls held on Thursday saw Mutonyi collecting 29,135 votes representing 83.5 percent of votes cast followed by a Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Ahamadah Wakhweya who got 3,270 votes with Joseph Masolo Bufwambu (Independent) trailing in third position with 1,684 votes.
The Democratic Party (DP) candidate Paul Butita collected 662 votes while Emma Mwiyikinwa who stood on an Independent ticket polled a miserable 128 votes.
One election loser Butita who witnessed the announcement of the polling results told The New Vision that he will not accept the outcome of the by-election describing it as a fraudulent exercise that according to him was marred by election malpractices.
Butiita cited an incident at Shitibo polling station in Kaato sub-county where election officials were allegedly caught in ballot stuffing and another polling station in Nalondo sub-county where the number ballot papers cast was more than the number of voters on the register.
The Electoral Commission closed both polling stations and the presiding officer at Shitibo together with other polling officials were handed over to the Police.
Another election loser Joseph Masolo Bufwambu also said the exercise although peaceful was fraudulent and hastened to add that he has intentions of lodging a petition to challenge the results considering that the area has been doing without a representative in the ninth Parliament.
The excited winner told The New Vision that her first priority will focus on health improvement especially for mothers and promised to buy an ambulance for Bugobero Health Centre IV adding every month she will save Sh5m from her salary toward supporting students who want to join tertiary institutions from poor families in the constituency.