The minister for animal industry, Bright Rwamirama, last evening stormed Namboole stadium where the ruling party is holding a conference and ordered delegates to vote his son.
By the end of the exercise, Rwamirama’s son, Mwine Mpaka, emerged winner of the Youth Western Member of Parliament.
“Whatever you do, you are wasting time. This is an order from State House,” our source quotes a member of Rwamirama’s camp as saying.
The source says the minister hurried to Namboole in the company of the “sole candidate girl” and minister for Youth Affairs, Evelyn Anite, NRM deputy Secretary General, Richard Todwong, and NRM vice Chairperson, Moses Kigongo.
The group arrived escorted by security late in the evening.
“They sat in the VIP tent and issued an order which they said came from State House. According to the order, we were forced to vote the minister’s son,” a delegate who asked not to be named told us.
“All along, there was intimidation of candidates and their agents.”
Mpaka, was vying for the position of Western Youth MP with the biggest challenge coming from Dennis Akampurira who hails from Kabale and Edwin Muhumuza from Kiruhura district.
The delegate tells us a group of unknown people were seen wearing Museveni-Tshirts and forcing their way through to vote for Mpaka.
“They were too mean-looking to be civilians. One of them was found with a fake driving permit and no identity card but security did not arrest him.”
The delegate says the “unknown individuals” were soldiers dressed in civilian clothing.
One of the agents of the aspirants told us they were monitored by soldiers all-through the process.
They were putting three security personnel on each agent of Mpaka’s rivals.
“Personally, I nearly fought with them. They were following me everywhere. They managed to intimidate us. We gave up because we were told ‘whatever you do, Mkapa must win, it is an order from above’,” the agent told us.
According to the delegates we spoke to, there was no register to follow for the youth elections.
“They wrote on a piece of paper names of people. They were crosschecking from the piece of paper using identity cards.”
“They just forged a voters’ list.”
According to the delegate, before even voting started, those who were compiling the forged register inflated the number of sub counties in Mbarara district and added extra four non-existent sub counties.
Delegates from Mbarara were the first to vote.
The agent who spoke to us said as soon as Mbarara finished voting, they realized the number of voters had been exaggerated.
“We protested. The NRM electoral commission chairman, Tanga Odoi, intervened. He promised to resolve the matter.”
Ibanda delegates voted next followed by other districts.
“When it came to Isingiro district, we realized they had added extra ballots. We protested again and for the second time, Tanga intervened.”
Apparently, Tanga called the aspirants to an emergency meeting but never resolved the matter once more.
“The soldiers were already chasing away aspirants and their agents. They threatened to beat us up.”
Mpaka’s camp quickly approached Tanga asking that the tallying comemneces without even solving the problem.
At the end of the tallying, Mpaka had 336 votes with his closest challenger Akampurira getting only 126 votes.
Agents and delegates told us when Rwamirama and Anite reached Namboole, they started dishing out money with a “vote Mpaka” whisper in each ear.
Angry Mpaka rivals and their agents threatened to lynch the minister and moved to drive them out but security took the upper hand.
We could not verify the alleged bribery by the two ministers.