By Donald Kiirya
Defeated and dissatisfied, the Jinja west municipality Member of Parliament, Moses Grace Balyeku, is demanding the nullification of results in last Thursday’s Jinja district NRM party chairperson elections.
In a petition addressed to the NRM Electoral Commission boss, Tanga Odoi, Balyeku says elections were full of malpractices and widespread irregularities.
While addressing journalists at his home in Jinja on Friday, Balyeku vowed not to hand over the NRM party offices in Jinja to Nathan Igeme Nabeta, the newly elected party chairperson and asked the NRM commission to nullify the results and organize a fresh election for Jinja.
“Elections were not free and fair. They were marred by a lot of bribery, abuses, voter intimidation, ballot stuffing and chaos,” Balyeku says.
He says he sat with his team and supporters and they resolved to reject the results declared, adding that if their petition is not responded to within 48 hours, they will seek court redress and put an injunction.
Balyeku says he has a video recording showing all the malpractices including a full cabinet Minister in the stadium engaging into voter bribery in favour of his opponent. He declined to reveal the names of the minister.
“I cannot allow the NRM we have built in Jinja to be disorganised. We have decided that if elections are not re-organised, we are not going to engage in any party restructuring elections,” Balyeku adds.
He further said: “I am not going to allow outside forces to come into this district. For a long time we have been peaceful and gentle, but Jinja is going to be marred by hooliganism and chaos because if my opponent thinks that chaos and hooliganism is the way to intimidate voters and win elections, then our group is going to have a force to counter his force.”
Balyeku says his opponent had brought hooligans to control the town, but also boasted of having hooligans to control his (Balyeku) side and that if the votes can be cheated and rigged, they are also going to use the same methods.
He says they must strive to have a cleaner voter record in Jinja otherwise, NRM will not have peace in Jinja district.
“My vice chairperson Majid Dhikusooka was legally nominated and seconded and nominations were closed, but was surprised when the returning officer Stephen Bayole told me on the voting day that he has instructions from above to organise elections for the NRM vice-chairperson,” he states.
Balyeku says electoral officials in Jinja changed at the last minute and, therefore, also petition that Dhikusooka is unopposed and should be declared as vice-chairperson and should not have an election to that effect.
Balyeku lost the district National Resistance Movement (NRM) chairmanship to former Member of Parliament, Nathan Igeme Nabeta in a two-horse race.
Jinja district NRM registrar, Paul Kiwanuka, confirmed that Nabeta got 242 against Balyeku’s 197.
Nabeta called upon his opponent, Balyeku, to join him and develop the party in Jinja.
MP Balyeku loses Jinja district NRM seat