The NRM post-election confusion in Bugiri District has escalated into a bitter feud between Justine Kasule Lumumba led Secretariat and Dr Tanga Odoi’s Electoral Commission, thus reaching the nomination date before a clear LC V flag bearer is decided for next year’s elections.
The September 12 party primaries which had been won by incumbent Baluboleire Malijan Azalwa had been contested by first runners up Davidson Kasajja Mulumba over gross fraud.
Mulumba had reportedly been assaulted by the district security forces on the orders of Azalwa, ending up hospitalised for a couple of days as a result.
A petition was lodged at the Kyadondo based Party Secretariat where the two parties were invited for a hearing before the special tribunal instituted by the party Chairman to resolve such mishaps.
The hearing which took place on 24 Sept cleared Azalwa of any wrongdoing and subsequently announced him party flag bearer in a letter dated 25 September and signed by Alisemera Jane Babiha a commissioner at the NRM EC.
However, Deputy NRM EC chief John Kigyagi Arimpa wrote the the Bugiri District Electoral Commission blocking Mr Azalwa’s nomination as party flag bearer over electoral fraud.
“This is to request you halt the nomination of Mr Baluboleire Azalwa Malijan as our flag bearer for the position of LCV chairperson Bugiri District. This is as a result of Electoral fraud in his election results, ” reads Kigyagi’s letter in part.
Tanga Odoi would however write another letter on 27 introducing Mr Azalwa Malijan as the party flag bearer while castigating the letter that had declared Mulumba by his deputy Kigyagi just the previous day.
At the height of the controversy, Mr Baluboleire Azalwa who had carried the Tanga authored endorsement to be nominated on 28th was shocked when the officials at the Bugiri EC informed him that they had received orders from above against his nomination. He was told that party Secretary General Lumumba had given the order.
In fury, Azalwa protested Lumumba’s actions of trying to use her office to fight personal wars. He wondered how the Secretary General could through a telephone call order an independent EC against nominating a candidate!
” I was cleared by my party and I have all the papers to prove that. And now I can’t be nominated because Kasule has ordered that. Who is she? How can someone just call and independent body to rule that a flag bearer shouldn’t be nominated, this is not fair, ” Azalwa protested.
In a telephone conversation with a local radio station in Bugiri yesterday, party EC chief Tanga Odoi insisted Azalwa was the official party card bearer since he had been cleared by the Commission of lawyers instituted to investigate electoral complaints by the President.
“The problem is not with the candidates and it’s not with the EC. You from Bugiri know who the problem is. As far as I am concerned, NRM had a flag bearer and it’s Malijan Azalwa Baluboleire because the case against him was disposed off and he was cleared.” Tanga said.
“If there was another order stopping his nomination by anyone else, then you should go ask them. As for me, the Secretary General had not even called me to ask about the issue of Bugiri. If she called my Deputy, then we shall know. ” He added.
By the close of business yesterday, no official communication had come in on who of the two candidates will hold the highly contested flag with nominations slated to end today.
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