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Bukenya retains Busiro North seat

By Vision Reporter

Added 2nd December 2011 01:05 PM

As the clock struck five o’clock on Thursday evening, the heavens opened and let out a heavy downpour which drenched Busiro North in Wakiso District.

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As the clock struck five o’clock on Thursday evening, the heavens opened and let out a heavy downpour which drenched Busiro North in Wakiso District.

By Hennty Mukasa and Jeff Lule    

As the clock struck five o’clock on Thursday evening, the heavens opened and let out a heavy downpour which drenched Busiro North in Wakiso District. This was the stipulated time for polls to close in this constituency where voting in a by-election was underway.
 
In an area (Buganda) where rain is associated with luck it was not clear to whom of the four candidates in the race, the rain had delivered good fortune. However, by the end of tallying, the Returning Officer, Sarah Bukirwa, declared that Prof. Gilbert Bukenya (NRM) had retained his seat.
 
The former Vice President, scored 10,728 votes (76.7% of valid votes cast) while his closest rival Kasta Hussein Bukenya of DP managed a paltry 3,035 (21.7%). The other two who should as independent candidates; Teopista Kanzarwa Baliruno and Henry Kiwuwa recorded 133 (1.0%) and 97(0.7%) respectively.
 
The seat fell vacant after Kasta Bukenya successfully petitioned court that Prof. Bukenya bribed the voters enroute his victory in the February 2011 parliamentary elections. 
 
After the declaration, Bukirwa handed over the official tally sheet of the winner to Kira Mayor, Mamerito Mugerwa, who was his agent at the tally centre. Raptures of jubilation filled Kakiri Town when news of Bukenya’s victory spread. Within Kakiri sub-county headquarters, men and women ululated.
 
Bukenya said the voice of the people should not be mistaken this time around. “The people have re-affirmed what they stated in the February election,” Bukenya commented.
 
There was however a low turn-out of voters. Out of the 48,320 registered voters in the constituency, only 14,518 cast their votes. Of these 525 were invalid. The cause of the low attendance to the polls was not clear although the opposition blamed it to heavy deployment of police while observers hinted at voters’ fatigue.
 
There was tight security through the electoral process. Top police officers oversaw the motorized and foot patrols in the constituency. They included; Andrew Kaweesa, the deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kampala North RPC Stephen Tanui, Kampala Metropolitan North Area commander, Samuel Omala and Wakiso DPC, Vincent Irama.
 
The Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Eng. Badru Kiggundu, his deputy Stephen Biribonwa and commissioner Jenny B. Okello supervised the polling officials and presiding officers.
Bukenya won in all the 85 polling stations including Kakiri Town Council and the subcounties of; Masuliita, Namayumba and Kakiri. 
 
At an impromptu victory party hosted at his campaign offices in Kakiri, Bukenya danced himself lame as he was mobbed by supporters, political allies and musicians. Local music diva, Iryn Namubiru entertained revelers with both special compositions for Bukenya and her love ballads.  Bukenya who was all smiles flashed his clenched palms symbol of ‘unity is strength.’ 
 
Kampala Central MPs Muhammed Nsereko worked up the crowd and declared how Bukenya’s haters had been defeated hands down. He did not name names but occasionally directed the DJ to play music laden with messages of triumph and chest thumping. Nsereko was joined by MPs; Wakiso district woman MP, Rose Sseninde and Kyaddondo North MP, Kibirige Ssebunya.
 
NRM official led by Prof. Elijah Mushemeza compiled Bukenya’s results at the party tally centre set up within Bukenya’s campaign office. 
 
The election was peacefully and EC boss Kiggundu was quick to extend gratis to God. “He is the only one who knows why the exercise has been serene,” Kiggundu commented while also saluting the law enforcement agencies.
 
He equally commended the leaders who were tending to their candidates interests for a high level of maturity exhibited. He said wherever he met them in the field they had friendly encounters. “This is good for our nascent democracy,” he remarked. 
“We should never allow being enemies of each other because we belong to different political parties. Ugandans decided to go multiparty,” he added.
 
Kiggundu congratulated all candidates for participating in the poll and urged the victors to embrace even those who did not support him. “I want to appeal to the winners not to look at the losers as unworthy members of society,” Kiggundu stated.   
 

Bukenya retains Busiro North seat

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