Museveni blames Rukungiri loss on voter intimidation, confusion within party, religion

DAILYNEWS UG President Museveni has released a personal post-mortem report for the freshly concluded Woman MP byelection in Rukungiri in which his party was humbled.

Forum for Democratic Change’s (FDC) Betty Muzanira Bamukwatsa was friday declared the winner of the hotly contest Rukungiri Woman Member of Parliament by-election. Bamukwatsa garnered 50,611 votes while her cloest rival the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM)Winfred Matsiko received 46,329 votes at the polling booth.

The by election had attracted political heavyweights from both camps with NRM chairman President Yoweri Museveni campaigning for Winfred Matsiko. Former FDC president Dr Kizza Besigye as well as popular musician and MP Robert Kyagulanyi also pitched camp in Rukungiri days leading up to the election.

Now, Museveni insists his party would not have lost the poll had it not been that their voters were intimated by “ hooligans from Kampala and other areas.”

The president says it was due to the weakness on the side of the police and the NRM leaders that voters were intimidated to turn around the vote.  Museveni also decried the divisions among party leaders.

“In spite of the divisions among the NRM leaders and attempts to use religion (Catholics vs Protestants) and tribe (Bakiga vs Bahororo-Banyakore), Hon Masiko Winifred won in 114 polling stations out of the total of 280, albeit sometimes, with less majority than before,” Museveni said.

“Winning in the big sub-counties of Nyakishenyi and Nyarushanje is on account of the steadfastness of our supporters in spite of the confusion among the leaders. I congratulate the NRM mobilisers in Rukungiri District for the good work they did in the elections of Woman MP yesterday,” he added.

Regarding the Shs5billion he splashed in Rukungri a few weeks to the elections, apparently to fight poverty, Museveni insists the money is just a starter of several upcoming programs for youth on wealth creation.

He said the mobilisation from the groups he donated money to is to thank for selective victories the party recorded in some parts of the Municipality.

“My programmes of wealth creation for the masses, especially the youth, will continue. Some of those groups helped in winning some parts of the municipality.”

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