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Loser of Mawogola North MP Election Disputes Shartsi Kutesa’s Victory

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Robert Beine, the Sembabule District Returning Officer has described Wagaba’s claims as mere allegations, saying their tallying system was programmed to detect and sieve out false declaration forms.
Sodo Kaguta (L) and Shartsi Kutesa

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Ismael Wagaba, one of the former candidates in the Mawogola North parliamentary elections in Sembabule District has rejected the poll results. Wagaba, who contested as an independent emerged last in the race of seven candidates, according to the final results issued by the Electoral Commission.  

The Sembabule District Returning Officer, Robert Abaine declared Shartsi Musherure Kutesa the winner of Mawogola County Parliamentary seat with 17,274 votes beating. Her closest rival and independent candidate, Salim Kisekka came second with 2,544 votes followed by the National Unity Platform candidate, Henry Nyanzi with 2,346 votes.

Catherine Nakayiza, another independent candidate garnered 2,025 votes, Hillary Tukundane 138 votes, FDC’s Moses Lyazi 83 votes while Ismael Wagaba came last with 72 votes. Wagaba has disputed the poll results, saying the election was fraught with several irregularities right from the voting and tallying of results, which affected the integrity of the entire process.

He claims that the election was heavily manipulated in favor of Musherure. He says the election was marred by massive ballot stuffing, alteration of declaration forms, ghost voters, outright bribery, intimidation and openly ferrying voters to polling stations. 

He lists dozens of polling stations in Rugushuru Sub County where he claims the irregularities were committed by Musherure’s known campaign agents. These include among others Biseese, Keirashya, Kizaano, Rwekisigi, Mussi, Kyamenya, Kyabalesa, Rugushuru Trading Centre and Nakatabo polling stations where only Musherure and President Yoweri Museveni got votes, saying this is highly unlikely.   

He says in Mitima and Kawanda sub counties, his polling agents were bribed off and while others were intimidated by Musherure’s political assistants. Wagaba also accuses the Electoral Commission of failure to organize free and fair elections, being partisan and deploying incompetent officials some of whom were NRM candidates who manipulated the election against opposition candidates.  

“Because of the said malpractices, the election was not free and fair. We thereby want it nullified and overturn Musherure’s victory,” he said. Wagaba reveals that they have gathered sufficient evidence that they will use to challenge the poll results in courts law. Musherure’s Chief Campaigner, Bill Gates Magondo has rubbished Wagaba’s claims, saying the Commission rejected results in places where errors were detected.

He cites Kagango polling station A-Z where the number of votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters, which he says can’t be attributed to Musherure. Magondo describes the elections as free and fair, saying that they cannot stop those disputing their victory from running to court since it is their constitutional right. 

Robert Beine, the Sembabule District Returning Officer has described Wagaba’s claims as mere allegations, saying their tallying system was programmed to detect and sieve out false declaration forms.

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President, Yoweri Museveni’s young brother, Sodo Aine Kaguta was compelled to drop out of the Mawogola North parliamentary elections a few days to the polls.


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