NRM Supporters Protest Ntoroko Candidate Disqualification

4482 Views Ntoroko, Uganda

In short
Gerald Kawamara, Ibandas chief campaign agent accuses Mugara of orchestrating his disqualification from the race. Kawamara also questioned the timing of the disqualification, saying his candidate was legally nominated by Electoral Commission.

The supporters of Gerald Rwemulikya Ibanda, the National Resistance Movement-NRM party parliamentary candidate for Ntoroko County  are protesting his exclusion from the race.

On Tuesday, Electoral Commission disqualified Ibanda from the race on ground that he was not a Ugandan national. EC Chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu said the commission had established that Ibanda is a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo and as such, did not qualify to contest in a Ugandan race.

The exclusion was executed in line with section 4(1) of the parliamentary Elections Act of the 2005 (as amended) which stipulates that a person can qualify to be Member of Parliament if he is a citizen of Uganda and a registered voter.
Ibanda holds a DRC National Identity Card, a reference letter from the DRC embassy in Kampala confirming that Ibanda was born in Mitego-DRC and a refugee enumeration letter.

Although his name still appears on the ballot paper, Deo Natukunda, the Rwenzori Regional Election Officer says a notice will be placed at polling stations in Ntoroko advising voters that he has been disqualified.

However, his disqualification has sparked off protests in Karugutu, Rwangara and Rwebisengo Sub Counties, Ntoroko  district. 

The angry supporters also attacked the home of  Martin Mugara, the incumbent Ntoroko county Member of Parliament in Rwebisengo town.They accused him of orchestrating their candidates disqualification.

They were however dispersed by police. Some of them were arrested and released without charge.

Gerald Kawamara, Ibanda's chief campaign agent questioned the timing of the disqualification, saying his candidate was legally nominated by Electoral Commission.

Chris Ajuna, another supporter of Ibanda wants NRM to explain its position on the disqualification of their candidate before of polling day. Mesarch Kawamara, the Ntoroko District NRM chairperson told URN the district will meet today to discuss the matter.