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Tanga Odoi declares Rukutana winner of Rushenyi NRM primary election – with 20 votes ahead of Kabasharira

Mwesigwa Rukutana and Naome Kabasharira Photos: Couurtesy
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Exactly 19 days since National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries happened across the country, party Electoral Commission (EC) chairperson Dr Fred Tanga Odoi has declared junior labour Minister Mwesigwa Rukutana the 2021 parliamentary flag bearer for Rushenyi County in Ntungamo District.

Results from the recount put Rukutana, MP since 1993, ahead of her rival Naomi Kabasharira by only 20 votes.

Rukutana polled 25,310 against Kabasharira’s 25,290 votes, according to results Tanga Odoi announced at the NRM offices in Kampala on September 23.

The NRM EC boss said: “I therefore declare Mwesigwa Rukutana who has polled the highest number of votes representing 46.27 per cent as the duly elected NRM flag bearer for Rushenyi constituency Member of Parliament.”

The results Tanga Odoi released after Rushenyi election vote recount.

THE RECOUNT

On September 15, Tanga Odoi announced Rukutana as a leading candidate in the race that pitted the controversial minister against former Ntungamo Woman MP Kabasharira.

He promised to announce the ‘winner’ on the election after further consultations with polling officials and agents.  Kabasharira’s supporters had protested Tanga Odoi’s announcement.

On that very day, Ntungamo Magistrate’s Court released Rukutana on bail after he had spent 10 days in detention in Mbarara and Mityana over election violence.

The initial result had put Kabasharira in the lead.

According to results Ntungamo NRM returning officer Maria Baitwa Mirembe had announced, Kabasharira had polled 24,006, Rukutana’s 23,966, Bob Karabayi got 2,266, Nicholas Niwahereza 1,202 votes and Norman Kashereka 346.

But the Rukutana camp disputed Mirembe’s results, citing irregularities.

In Rubaare Sub County’s Katabega Village, for example, Rukutana’s agents say their man had polled 174 against Kabasharira’s 102, but figure ‘4’ had been knocked off to give him 17 votes.

There was also contention in Nyakahita Cell, where declaration forms were reportedly smuggled away as supporters of the two camps fought.

At this polling station, Rukutana had garnered 172 votes while Kabasharira had managed 140, but the latter’s agents refused to append their signature to the form.

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