Last week, the ruling NRM election officer in Kanungu district disqualified Edith Nalongo, an NRM candidate for Kihiihi Town Ward in Kihiihi Town Council.
Nalongo was seeking to represent Kihiihi as NRM flag bearer.
MKNewsLink was the first to carry the report saying Nalongo had shouted the name presidential aspirant, Amama Mbabazi, at a rally during the campaigns.
The rally which also involved her two competitors; Mbabazi Rukia and Justine Karasira, was held at Kihiihi Mayor’s gardens in Kihiihi town.
When Nalongo was given a chance to speak, she faced voters and shouted: “Museveni oyee! Mbabazi oyee! Nalongo oyee!”
The mentioning of Mbabazi’s caught the NRM Electoral Officer, Ephraim Tumwesigye, off guard.
He quickly ordered Nalongo to stop campaigning and announced that she had been disqualified.
He accused her of promoting the person of Mbabazi who “is not a member of the party”.
“You have been disqualified from participating in the NRM primaries and you should wait for an official written communication from the district election officer,” Tumwesigye reportedly told Nalongo as she stepped down from the podium.
Nalongo’s disqualification left only two women; Justine Karasira and Rukia Mbabazi in the race to compete for the female councillorship for Kihiihi Town ward in Kihiihi town council Kanungu district.
Tumwesigye defended his decision saying all contestants had been warned prior against provoking the electorate by shouting the name Mbabazi during the campaigns since he is known to have left NRM and therefore he had to apply the disciplinary measure.
Meanwhile, Nalongo protested the way Tumwesigye handled her case saying she was not given a chance to defend herself.
Nalongo said the Mbabazi she chanted was “Julius Mbabazi”, a contestant for Kinkiizi West in the ongoing NRM campaigns who she supports.
She swore to appeal her disqualification to a higher level because she was only being victimized.
“I have never supported Amama Mbabazi in my life and Tumwesigye knows that,” she is quoted as saying.
5 NRM members disqualified in Kanungu over Mbabazi
Likewise, the Kanungu Election Officer, John Byaruhanga, disqualified other five NRM members from the ongoing elections after they were suspected to be sympathetic to Amama Mbabazi.
They group was reportedly found campaigning for Amama’s “Go Forward Pro Change pressure group” yet they are seeking to be elected on NRM ticket as flag bearers at their respective sub county levels.
The five affected people include; Zepher Mugisha of Kihiihi Town council, Kenneth Tumuhamye of Kanyantorogo, Caleb Tumwesimire Kipande of Mpungu, Paison Ndyabawe of Nyakinoni and Allen Turyasingura Atuhaire also of Kihiihi Town council.
The disqualification of NRM members from the party is said to have sparked confusion in the district with most of them declaring that they will convince their supporters to leave the party and formally join Go Forward pressure group.
Byaruhanga in a September letter accused Mugisha of de-campaigning President Museveni, the NRM party president and sole candidate and destroying NRM voting materials at Bugongo in Kihiihi town council during the NRM village elections.
Mugisha who has been serving as the Kihiihi Town Council Mayor together with Tumuhamye and Kipande are ready to channel their supporters to Amama.
“We are being victimized and we have not been given a fair hearing as the democratic principles dictate; so, we shall not bow out but die fighting for our cause,” Mugisha is quoted as saying in defense.
Byaruhanga even moved an extra mile to overturn the victories of those thought to be Mbabazi-leaning.