Florence Andiru Nebanda of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Monday won the Butaleja Woman MP seat by a landslide defeating four other candidates.
The defeated candidates include; Felistas Namwihiri for the FDC, Betty Hamba, Sarah Annet Logose, and Munaba Perusi who contested the poll as independent candidates.
The Butaleja seat fell vacant following the death of Cerinah Nebanda in December last year under unclear circumstances. Cerinah was the younger sister to Florence.
In her declaration at 11:15pm on Monday evening, Mabel Wakabi, the Butaleja District Electoral Commission Registrar announced that Andiru Nebanda scored a total of 27, 338 votes against her closet rival Betty Hamba, an independent who got 12, 157 votes.
Sarah Annet Logose, an independent, was third with 3, 393 votes while FDC’s Felistas Namwihiri got 3, 262 and Munabi Perusi, who contested as an independent tailed with 1, 332 votes. Perusi is former deputy mayor of Makindye Division in Kampala.
Wakabi announced that a total of 48, 684 ballot papers were counted with 47, 482 as valid vote cast for candidates, 1, 202 invalid votes and 31 spoilt ballot papers.
The election registered very poor turn up of voters with almost half of the 92, 242 registered voters in the 151 polling stations in Butaleja district failing to vote for yet unknown reasons.
The declaration of NRM candidate as a winner in the by-election threw a section of the party supporters who gathered and waited for the outcome of the results at the tally centre at the Butaleja district health boardroom into wild celebration.
Some of who among them was Alice Namulwa, Andiru’s mother who could not hide her excitement. She commended the voters for sympathizing with them upon the death of late Cerinah Nebanda by repaying them with the landslide victory of Florence Andiru Nebanda.
She said the biggest task that lies ahead of the family members is to put Andiru to task to ensure she completes the projects that late Nebanda left uncompleted and initiate more development projects for the people of Butaleja.
Only Sarah Annet Logose, among the five candidates was present at the time the results were announced. Logose was however not willing to talk to the press about the results of the election saying that she needs time.
However on Saturday in their press conference at Clyde Hotel in Butaleja, three candidates including Logose threatened to challenge the outcome of the election should it not favor them. The two others are Betty Hamba and FDC’s Felistas Namwihiri who all claim there was a lot of election malpractices that the Electoral Commission and the police failed to address at the beginning of the election processes.
They cited intimidation, harassment and assault on them and their supporters by the NRM supporters and the heavy deployment of the police among others which they claimed intimidated voters to stay away from voting.
It is however not clear whether or not they will revise their decision on the outcome of the results.
The electoral commission has however described the by-election as was free and fair.
Andiru will now replace her sister late Cerinah Nebanda who died suddenly on December 14th last year rendering the seat vacant. Andiru is among the few NRM candidates that have succeeded in the several by-election held since the 2011 general elections.
Florence will now have the task of proving to Ugandans and the people of Butaleja that she can ably fit in the huge shoes left by her sister. Before her demise, Cerinah had been viewed by many political pundits as the political hope of this nation because of her ability to challenge the status quo.