Battle for Rukungiri district Woman Member of Parliament seat has officially kicked off with nomination of three candidates to contest in the by-election.
The candidates are; Betty Bamukwasa Muzanira, Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party flag bearer, as well as Sheila Atukunda Kirebete and Prisca Sezi Mbaguta both independents.
Umaro Kiyimba, the Rukungiri District Returning Officer, nominated Atukunda first at exactly10:52a.m, while FDC’s Muzanira was nominated at 11:15AM and Mbaguta was nominated last at 12:20pm.
Meanwhile, three more contestants will be nominated on Thursday. These include the ruling NRM party flag bearer Winfred Matsiko, Fabith Kukundakwe of People's Progressive Party-PPP, Elizabeth Kyoshaba
The returning officer told the nominated candidates that electoral commission will hold a stakeholders meeting on Friday to guide on smooth running of the campaigns.
Muzanira, while speaking to journalists after the exercise expressed worry that her votes might be rigged due to influence by the ruling National Resistance Movement. She however says that her side is well prepared for the struggle.
There was tight security during nomination under the command of Richard Elega, the Kigezi Region Police Commander and Moses Nanoka, the Rukungiri District Police Commander.
Hundreds of FDC supporters and their candidate after nomination went for a public rally at Rukungiri main stadium where they were escorted by party leaders including Dr. Kiiza Besigye, Party President Patrick Amuriat, Ingrid Turinawe among others.
The by-election was triggered by a decision of the Court of Appeal which last month declared the seat vacant following a successful petition by Muzanira. Muzanira lost to National Resistance Movement-NRM's Winnie Matsiko in the February 2016 elections but petitioned court citing voter bribery.
Justices of the Court of Appeal stated that Muzanira's evidence proved that Matsiko made donations during the campaign period at Kibale and Nyarushanje Catholic churches.
It further agreed that there was disenfranchisement of voters whereby the final results of the election of 5,413 voters were not counted when Matsiko was declared winner, thereby ordering the Electoral Commission to conduct a by-election.
The by-election is expected to be dramatic, but unlike the usual run-ins with police, FDC members seem to have had a clear way today.