Ruhama County Residents Launch Campaign Against Voter Bribery

5120 Views Ntungamo, Uganda

In short
Tom Rwomushana, the LC III chairperson Ruhama Sub County says the open bribery of voters is likely to influence the choice they make.

A section of residents of Ruhama County in Ntungamo District, have embarked on a door to door campaign to dissuade voters from accepting money in exchange for their votes.
The team is led by Tom Rwomushana, the LC III chairperson Ruhama sub county.
 There is stiff competition for the Ruhama County parliamentary ticket following a decision by the incumbent MP Janet Kataha Museveni, not to seek re-election after serving for two terms.
So far 16 aspirants have picked nomination forms to contest in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries for election as flag bearer.  
They include: Saturina Namanya Kachene, Moses Kahima, Valentino Atwine, Adens Ntare, Babra Bindeba, Amanda Magambo, Brenda Ankunda, Regina Karibwenda, Moses Nyabakwini Kasharaazi, Arthur Mpirwe and William Bizukye Zinkuratire among others.
 However, the campaigns for the NRM primaries have been marred by allegations of bribery of voters. 
Tom Rwomushana, the LC III chairperson Ruhama Sub County says bribery of voters is likely to influence the choice they make.
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He challenges the NRM Electoral Commission to intervene and stop the open voter bribery.
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 Rachael Arinaitwe, a resident of Rwengoma Sub County says that four of her family members were approached by some of the candidates, she declined to name, with money offers in exchange for their votes.
Cosmas Kakuru, a district councillor appeals to voters not to be blinded by the gifts and money, but instead focus on the credibility and the ability of the candidates to represent them effectively.
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 Ruhama County still grapples with lack of clean water, electricity, poor roads and ill equipped health centers amongst other challenges. 99 percent of the roads in Ruhama County is murrum. Health and schools infrastructure coverage stands at 50 percent.

Some of the candidates have welcomed the campaign by residents against the commercialisation of politics. Saturina Namanya Kachene, Brenda Ankunda, and Moses Nyabakwini argue that once residents reject money offers, it will create a level playing field for all those in race.

While votes have called on the Ntungamo district NRM party registrar to disqualify all those implicated for voter bribery. Maria Mirembe, the Ntungamo District NRM party registrar denies any knowledge of aspirant involved in vote buying.
 The NRM party primaries for parliamentary, Mayoral and LC V chairperson candidates are scheduled for October 26th.


About the author

Mariam Kabasongora
Mariam Kabasongora is the Mbarara URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under her docket. Kabasongora has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Kabasongora began her career as a reporter for Messiah Radio in Kasese in 2001. She was subsequently a reporter with Endigyito Radio in 2005, Voice of Kigezi in Kabale between 2002 and 2005 and a freelance reporter with URN from 2007 to 2010. She was the news editor with Voice of Kamwenge in that district from 2008 to 2010.

Kabasongora covers agriculture, local government, health and faith stories. She is also interested in politics.