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Security tight ahead of the Thursday Rukungiri Woman MP by-election

Security in Rukungiri District in western Uganda has been tightened ahead of the May 31 Woman MP By-election.

The district electoral commission registrar, Mr Umar Kiyimba urged the electorates not to be scared of the security personnel deployed at different trading centres and villages as President Museveni and opposition leaders canvass for votes for their respective candidates.

The electoral commission said on Tuesday that voting materials for the 280 polling stations in Rukungiri District had been delivered to the district returning officer as campaigns for the heated by-election dominated by the ruling NRM and FDC continue.

Inmates were seen offloading the materials from the vehicles as police and prisons officials provided security.

Mr Kiyimba says the arrival of the materials in time shows how much the Commission is prepared for the election.

“Polling materials have arrived and we shall now embark on other activities including dispatch of the materials to the polling stations.

Sub counties far away from the district headquarters like Nyakishenyi, Nyarushanje, Bwambara, Bikurungu town council and Bugangari shall receive materials on Wednesday evening while others shall be dispatched on Thursday morning. We are ready for this exercise,” Mr Kiyimba told Daily Monitor at the EC offices in Rukungiri.

Meanwhile, 13 of the black boxes delivered to the district had broken seals which were replaced upon delivery.

The broken seals were on polling boxes for stations such as Rwemirongo Seventh Day Adventist Church in Bugangari Sub County, Kibarama parish headquarters in Bugangari, Katojo Primary School in Buyanja Sub County, Rukondo Primary School-western division, Nyarweimuka Catholic Church in Bwambara, Ihimbo Church of Uganda, Nyakanyinya Primary School and Rwera Primary School, among others.

Mr Kiyimba said the electoral commission had deployed their officials to supervise each of the 87 parishes and wards in the district with at least 70 pickups and a team of registrars.

Campaigns for the by-election end on Tuesday with both President Museveni and opposition bigwigs like former presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye campaigning for their respective candidates.

Mr Museveni is campaigning in Rujumbura county and Rukungiri Municipality where he is to hold five rallies while Dr Besigye and his campaign team will hold their final rallies in Kebisoni and Buyanja sub counties where president Museveni campaigned on Monday.

A total of six candidates were nominated for the by-election following the nullification of the election of the NRM’s Winfred Masiko by Court of Appeal on March 22.

The court decision followed a petition by FDC’s Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira. The two are part of the race recently joined by former minister of state for public service Ms Prisca Sezi Mbaguta.
Others are Ms Fabith Kunkundakwe of the People’s Progressive Party, Ms Elizabeth Rwakitonera and Ms Atukunda Sheila Kirebete, both independents who have since written to EC withdrawing their candidature.

About 177,086 voters shall participate in the Thursday election, according to polling body.

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