PIC: NRM's Kahima (right) is the MP-elect for Ruhaama County. NRM chairperson President Museveni had campaigned for the party flagbearer in the buildup. (Credit: NRM)
NTUNGAMO - National Resistance Movement (NRM) flagbearer Moses Kahima Mugabe beat three others to win the Ruhaama County parliamentary seat.
Kahima was declared winner, with 31, 102 votes, by Ntungamo electoral district returning officer Robert Beine shortly before midnight on Thursday.
With the Opposition side fielding no contenders in the race, the contest was narrowed down to NRM versus independents.
Kahima's closest challenger, Jackson Mubangizi Kabirike, got 16,345 votes.
Peninah Beinomugisha came in third with 2,103 votes while Vastine Orishaba trailed with a paltry 523 votes.
Of the 50,776 ballot papers counted, 50,073 were valid votes while 703 were invalid. As many as 166 ballot papers were declared spoilt.
The seat fell vacant following the death of William Beijukye Zinkuratiire early in November last year. He had replaced the First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni, who had held the seat in the 8th and 9th parliaments.
Polling day saw an early low voter turnout. At a number of polling stations, polling officials had not yet got set for voting by 7:00am. At Rwampiri polling station in Itojo sub-county, materials only arrived at about 7:20am.
Vote counting in the Ruhaama County byelection earlier on Thursday. (Credit: Rwambuka Mugisha)
'Don't play with your vote'
In the buildup to voting day, President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM national chairperson, drummed up support for his party's flag-bearer Kahima.
He urged the people to elect Kahima if they want to benefit from the ruling NRM government.
"Don't play with your vote because it means a lot for the development of your area. It is not about your relative, your religious people or one who comes from your area, but one who can effectively lobby for the needs of your constituents," Museveni told the rallies.
While the main focus was on filling the parliamentary seat, the Electoral Commission also conducted elections and byelections for local government councils in Ruhaama.
The constituency has eight sub-counties, three town councils, 30 parishes, 17 wards and 199 polling stations, with a registered voter population of 116,883.
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