The Electoral Commission has banned fundraising activities involving candidates in Bukimbiri county, Kisoro district ahead of a by-election slated to be held next month.

Voting in Bukimbiri is scheduled to be held on August 11th, 2022. Nomination of Candidates is scheduled to be held on Monday and Tuesday next week, according to the electoral commission road map.

The by-election stems from the victory nullification of Eddie Kwizera Wagahungu, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) flag bearer by the Court of Appeal for reasons that the general election early this year was marred by irregularities.

Kwizera had trounced Independent Asgario Turyagyenda and Forum for Democratic Changes (FDC)’s James Owebeyi Mugyemano.

But Owebeyi demanded for the nullification of Kwizera’s victory arguing that the election was marred with irregularities. Owebeyi, argued that although the candidates’ photos and party symbols that appeared on ballot papers were genuine, the names were not those of the candidate. He claimed that the ballots displayed the names of Arthur Kazoora Atuzarirwe as the NRM flag bearer, Didas Byaruhanga Kagyinda as the FDC flag bearer, and Victor Atwiine and Donzio Kahonda Mugabe as independent candidates.

Owebeyi rushed to the high court after Kabale high court maintained Kwizera’s victory. All three people (Turyagyenda, Owebeyi, and Kwizera) have already expressed interest in contesting again.

Others who have expressed interest are Independent, Edward Mutabazi, Joshua Mutabazi of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, and Innocent Twinomugisha of the Alliance for National Transition (ANT) party. All six are already camped in the constituency mobilizing support.

Electoral Commission Chairman, Simon Byabakama has today issued a statement banning all fundraising activities where those eyeing the seats are involved. Byabakama says that the aim of the ban is to create a leveled campaigning ground for all candidates.

According to Byabakama, some of the candidates tend to use fundraising activities to squeeze their competitors in form of contributing huge monies as a way of convincing electorates to gauge him as the only capable. Byabakama says that such activities will resume after voting.

Hajji Shafique Ssekandi Ssengoba, Kisoro Resident District Commissioner says that security is prepared to quell any sort of indiscipline in the county to make sure that the exercise is conducted in peace up to the end.

Ssekandi says that security has already received reports that some candidates are fueling voters to chase away some of the contestants whenever they turn up wooing support during official campaigns. He says that as security it will not be allowed.

Meanwhile, there is reported division among NRM leaders in the district over mandatory support of Kwizera geared by the party officials at the National level.

Some NRM leaders at the national level led by Emmanuel Lumala Dombo, Director of Communications for the party arrived in Kisoro on Friday with an intention of making sure that Kwizera wins.

Two weeks back, Dombo was also in the district where he organized a district party’s Central Executive meeting in Kisoro town. During the meeting, it was agreed upon that all party leaders should support Kwizera.

The decision has however left some of the party leaders in the district angry and opposed to it. John Kamara Nizeyimana, member of Parliament for Bufumbira North constituency says that he cannot obey Dombo’s influence because it is aimed at creating confusion in Kisoro.

Kamara says that there is no reason for Dombo and his crew to camp in Bukimbiri campaigning for Kwizera because Kwizera has once contested as an independent candidate. He also says that in Kisoro district, all contestants especially independents are not aimed at sabotaging NRM manifesto.

James Nsaba Buturo, member of Parliament for Bufumbira East Constituency also says that he cannot support Kwizera because he is not a capable leader that Bukimbiri county and the entire Kisoro district deserves.

Buturo says that being influenced to support Kwizera is impossible and difficult because even Turyagenda supports the NRM party though independent.

But, Dombo insists that this election is very delicate.

He says that he will sit with all party leaders in the district and listen to their reasons why they don’t want to support Kwizera so that they are convinced more to change their hearts.

Kwizera says that those fighting him are ignorant. He insists that no matter what, he must win the election and fill the gap of the NRM party in parliament.

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