Hours after his release from prison, the State Minister of Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana found more reason to smile as he took the lead in a vote recount for the Rushenyi County NRM parliamentary primary elections.
The recount presided over by the NRM Electoral Commission chairperson, Dr Tanga Odoi, follows a petition filed by Rukutana challenging the outcome that gave victory to his political nemesis Naome Kabasharira.
Dr Odoi told journalists that NRM electoral commission, in the presence of the candidates, has gone through the results from the villages, and after the tallying, Rukutana edged Kabasharira with a margin of 20 votes.
In the initial tally, Kabasharira had been declared the winner with 24,006 votes while Rukutana had 23,966 votes.
Following the violence that erupted in the county and the petition filed by Rukutana’s team to the party’s national electoral commission, Dr Odoi, suspended the declaration of Rushenyi results, even though the Ntungamo district registrar had announced Kabasharira the victor.
Odoi did however declare the final results after Kabasharira contested the authenticity of the results that Rukutana’s agents presented from Nyakahita in Rugarama sub-county, arguing that there was not voting at the said polling station.
Odoi said that the victor will be announced in two days after investigations are done.
The development comes hours after Rukutana was released on bail by the Chief Magistrates’ court in Ntungamo a week after he was arrested and charged with seven counts related to attempted murder, assault and malicious damage to property and threatening violence.
Rukutana who appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Sarah Kolya Mponye via Zoom videoconferencing technology from Kitalya prison, in Wakiso district, was granted a cash bail of Shs 4 million while his four sureties were asked to execute a non-cash bond of Shs 50 million.
The sureties included Jim Muhwezi, Robert Kabonero, Michael Mawanda, and Haji Ali Mutebi. Rukutana was also asked to deposit his passport with the court.