With the Igara East constituency by-elections already decided, there seems to be a debate over which party won, and this stems from a tweet by former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president, Dr Kizza Besigye.
Independent (NRM leaning) Michael Mawanda won the election with 16,209 votes, trouncing a formerly vocal age limit critic, and also NRM flag bearer Andrew Martial who secured 12,991 votes.
Meanwhile FDC flag bearer in the same poll garnered 497 votes, behind another independent candidate, Benjamin Katana who polled 1,477 votes. The total number of rejected/invalid votes stood at 589.
However, Besigye in a tweet on Friday morning said that Igara voters rejected Museveni’s candidates over vote rigging and bribery. He also threw in the issue of togikwatako, insinuating that the Igara East people have clearly indicated their stand on the now national matter.
“Our people in Igara East decided to make an alliance with an Independent MP Candidate. Many of our leaders &I didn’t support this but it was people’s choice based on fear of M7 money &rigging. Anyhow, Mr M7’s candidates were trounced! Thanks Igara #Togikwatako,” he tweeted.
Our people in Igara East decided to make an alliance with an Independent MP Candidate. Many of our leaders &I didn’t support this but it was people’s choice based on fear of M7 money &rigging. Anyhow, Mr M7’s candidates were trounced! Thanks Igara #TOGIKWATAKO @ntvuganda @nbstv pic.twitter.com/iK7O5C6MiO
— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) December 15, 2017
Unfortunately for Besigye, the tweet must have rubbed NRM cadres the wrong way, as they started trolling him immediately.
Among those who could not miss a chance at attempting to score against the FDC strong man is Minister for ICT, Frank Tumwebaze who labeled Besigye’s act an “attempt to save face” from a humiliating defeat by the FDC candidate he vehemently campaigned for.
“Don’t try to save face by framing Mawanda. He has never allied with your party. His campaign openly advocated for removal of age limit. To the contrary the NRM flag bearer lost mainly because of people suspecting him to be for Togikwatako,” Tumwebaze said.
Don’t try 2 save face by framing #HonMawanda.He has never allied with ur party.His campaign openly advocated 4 removal of #agelimit. To the contrary the @NRMOnline flag bearer lost mainly bse of pple suspecting him 2 b 4 #Togikwatako. So #Togikwatako lost 2 #Gikwateko in #Igara https://t.co/1D1D1LhOGm
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP (@FrankTumwebazek) December 15, 2017
The NRM party also joined the wagon using their official twitter handle, accusing Besigye of posturing and being dishonest.
“Your people in Igara East only managed 400 votes for your candidate – less than the invalid votes. They elected an NRM leaning Independent whose campaign rallying message was the need to amend the age limit. You should be ashamed and humble, instead of posturing and being dishonest,” the party said.
Your people in Igara East only managed 400 votes for your candidate – less than the invalid votes. They elected an NRM leaning Independent whose campaign rallying message was the need to amend the #Agelimit. You should be ashamed & humble, instead of posturing & being dishonest. https://t.co/JsCOSRC32B
— NRM Party (@NRMOnline) December 15, 2017
Meanwhile other cadres summoned Besigye to deliver an explanation as to why the FDC candidate could not score past the invalid votes, where as a one Jacob Eryeru claimed the top three candidates in the race are all NRM leaning.
If I may be allowed a small advice; @FDCOfficial1 and the whole of Uganda deserve some better respect of intellect Doctor!
All 3 top candidates are from @NRMOnline
Your candidate scored less than total invalid votes.
Please don’t lose both the election and honor. https://t.co/u818MsuBtm
— Jacob Eyeru (@eyjacob) December 15, 2017
— ainembabazi isaac Ba (@isaacbarweshaka) December 15, 2017
KB seriously? You camped there to campaign for your candidate, an independent, nrm leaning wins and you are celebrating, what are you celebrating here? This is an extra vote for nrm, you simply lost!!
— Simon Ekau Egasu (@simonpit) December 15, 2017
— kane (@kanekasozi) December 15, 2017
very funny @kizzabesigye1 ,you camped in igara for 3 days or more, your candidate got 495 votes, the independent is an NRM candidate who supports Age lomit bill, so surely,even if Martial lost with 120000 people and yours is 497, where is the future.???you are a looser KB
— Jarvis Atwine (@jarvis_atwine) December 15, 2017
With an nrm independent candidate? You had a candidate there who lost miserablely, would you mind to tell us what happened?
— mujunirobert (@mujunirobert) December 15, 2017
??? kifefe doesn’t want to die in his own movie
— Jeff Nkuraija (@nkjeff4jesus) December 15, 2017
But @kizzabesigye1 just doesn’t stop. Didn’t fdc have a candidate lol and you refuse to just take a loss as a man
— Fabrice Brad Rulinda (@FabriceRulinda) December 15, 2017
The Igara seat fell vacant on October 3 after court nullified Andrew Martial’s election over voter bribery and irregularities. Before his recall, Martial had become articulate against the removal of the age limit.
Martial however spontaneously changed his mind while at a pulpit with Museveni during his last rally, swearing he has never been against age limit removal.