Former Bukomansimbi MP Hajji Idi Lubyaayi Kisiki is contemplating moving court to block the nomination of the incumbent Bukomansimbi North MP Ruth Katushabe who was last week declared NRM flag bearer for next year’s parliamentary elections.
Katushabe was given a new lease of political life by the ruling party’s election disputes tribunal which overturned Lubyaayi’s victory in the September 4 NRM primaries.
The verdict was announced last Friday following a petition in which Katushabe challenged the results of the primary election which she lost to Lubyaayi with 6,167 votes against her rival’s 8,130 votes.
Katushabe premised her petition on two villages; Kikaayu and Kipeyu whose results, she claims, were were not included in the final tally.
Upon consideration of the results, the Enoch Barata-led tribunal declared the petitioner the winner of the party flag with 9,085 votes against the respondent whose final tally was put at 8,972 votes.
However, party leaders in the district led by Shafick Mwanje, the district NRM chairperson, have rejected the tribunal’s ruling which they say was based on cooked up results.
Kikaayu and Kipeyu villages are ghost villages, Mwanje argued, further wondering how the tribunal could allow to be duped into making a ruling based on falsified evidence.
Bukomansimbi North has 254 villages whose results, Mwanje argues were tallied before the final declaration was made.
He also faulted the tribunal of not exercising due diligence before taking such decisions on the petition. He added that the tribunal’s findings will create sharp divisions in the party.
“We are not going to accept manufactured results and nobody will accept her as our flag bearer, let them and locate for us where those villages are,” he said.
Lubyayi accused the tribunal of bias and acting unprofessionally, wondering why electoral officials in the district were not invited to testify before passing a verdict.
Lubyayi has challenged the party tribunal to find time and visit the area such that they can get facts about the petition instead of making judgements that will confuse the party membership in the area.
The former lawmaker has also petitioned the NRM leader, President Yoweri Museveni, and secretary-general, Justine Kasule Lumumba for a review of the tribunal’s decision.
On his petition, he has attached a catalogue of all the villages in Bukomansimbi district as per the records of the Electoral Commission and the NRM secretariat.
Besides the petition, Lubyaayi is also planning to petition the High Court in Masaka for orders blocking the ruling party from nominating Katushabe as a parliamentary candidate.
Additional reporting by Sadab Kitatta.