Joshua Mutabazi, the National Unity Platform-NUP party flag bearer who was withdrawn from the Bukimbiri County by-election has crossed to the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Mutabazi was nominated on Tuesday to contest with Owebeyi, Eddie Kwizera Wagahungu of the National Resistance Movement (NRM)-party, and independent candidate Edward Mutabazi.
But without reason, Mutabazi did not participate in campaigns that started last week, and a day later, the party issued a statement announcing that it has withdrawn its support for the candidate. On Saturday, NUP released a statement announcing that it has withdrawn Mutabazi to support Forum for Democratic Change (FDC)’s James Owebeyi Mugyemani.
On Tuesday, NRM party leaders led by Vice president Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Chris Baryomunsi, Minister for Information and National guidance held a press conference at Gorilla Heights hotel in Nkuringo town council and presented Mutabazi as a new member of the NRM party.
Nabbanja said that she received a phone call on Monday from one of the Kisoro District NRM leaders informing her that Mutabazi wants to meet her. Nabbanja said that Mutabazi openly told her that he wants to cross to NRM.
Mutabazi says that other NUP members in the area will join the NRM party.
Voting in Bukimbiri is scheduled to take place on August 11, 2022. The by-election stems from the Court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the victory of Kwizera citing irregularities following a successful application by Owebeyi.
In his application, Owebeyi argued that although the candidate’s photos and party symbols that appeared on ballot papers were genuine, they carried different names. The ballot papers carried 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 yet none of them were from the area.
On Tuesday, the district received materials that will be used in the by-election. The materials include 72 metallic boxes, 80 transparent boxes, 80 basins, cordoning tapes, and solar lamps.
There are 72 polling stations in Bukimbiri County.