By Mary Karugaba
TOP National Resistance Movement (NRM) ministers and former MPs yesterday made a surprise come-back in the hotly contested primary elections for the parliamentary race held on Thursday.
Notable were ICT minister Aggrey Awori of Busia Municipality, the Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa in Mukono South, Dr Stephen Chebrot Tingey County and Apollo Yeri Ofwono Tororo Municipality. In some constituencies, only villages whose votes were nullified or where voting did not take place, voted.
Districts that held elections included Lamwo, Mukono, Nakifuma, Kyenjojo and Kayunga. Others were Bundibugyo, Kibaale, Tororo, Busia, Kapchorwa, Mityana, Pallisa, Tororo, Namayingo, Hoima and Kaliro, among others.
Most winners beat the incumbent, who defeated them in the 2006 general elections.
Awori was uprooted in 2006 from Samia Bugwe North by Stephen Mugeni, who was also disqualified from Parliament. The seat was later taken over by Mugeniâ€™s wife Sarah Mwebaza. The two men then turned their guns on newly-created Busia Municipality.
On Thursday, Awori won with 4,322 votes, Mugeni got 1,087, Franco Wandera 574 and Jackson Ngolobe 16 votes, according to the NRM district administrative secretary, George Wandera. In Tingey county, Kapchorwa district, Chebrot defeated the incumbent Herbert Sabila, who had previously defeated him. Chebrot won with 26,252 votes, while Sabila garnered 22,035 votes.
Apollo Yeri is the Tororo Municipality NRM flagbearer. Incumbent Sanjay Tanna, who defeated him in 2006, stood as an independent.
In Mukono South, Bakaluba made a surprise come back after defeating Mary Nalugo, Minister Janat Mukwayaâ€™s favoured candidate.
Bakaluba moved to Mukono South after being defeated in Mukono North by DP strong lady Betty Nambooze, in a by-election.
Others who won in Mukono include Beatrice Yiga (Mukono Municipality) and Peace Kusasi (Woman MP). In Nakifuma, results from 13 sub-counties indicated that the current MP, Joseph Mugambe, was in the lead.
In Mwenge North, current MP Tom Butime won the primaries.
In Mityana, although former investment Minister Prof. Kiwanuka Ssemakula won in the two villages of Bakijula and Kakonde where elections had not been held with 734 votes, former MP Geoffrey Kiwanda was still in the lead.
According to earlier results, Kiwanda got 7,687 votes, while kiwanuka garnered 5,735.
The incumbent, Gordon Ssematiko, who had earlier participated in the elections and got 5,707 votes, boycotted the elections that took place in the two villages.
In Pallisa, health minister Stephen Mallinga (Butebo) won with 19,425 votes, defeating his closest rival Richard Oseku who got 18,962. Others who won in Pallisa were Mariam Amoit (Woman MP) and Jackob Opolot Mooka (Pallisa).
In Kapchorwa, incumbent Rukia Chekamondo defeating Phyllis Chemutai for the district Woman MP seat.
In Tororo, William Okecho defeated his closest rival Fox Odoi to retain the constituency NRM party flag. Odoi, who had earlier claimed victory, has petitioned the NRM electoral commission citing irregularities.
Disability minister Suleiman Madada won the Bbale county primaries. In Budama, several ministers and government officials sailed through despite tight contests from their rivals.
Most of the winners pledged to work hard to consolidate party support and win with bigger percentages in next yearâ€™s general elections.
Flavia Nabugere Munaba beat Magaret Mbeiza to the Kaliro District Woman slot in a re-election that was carried out in 23 villages that did not vote during the primaries in September. Nabugere scored 2,277 votes, while Mbeiza got1,821 votes from the 23 villages in five sub-counties in Kaliro district.
Most party administrative secretaries described the exercise as peaceful. The party is expected to release a final list of flag bearers today.
Additional reporting by Hope Mafaranga, Luke Kagiri, Moses Nampala, Doreen Kapsulei and Doreen Musingo