By Markson Omagor
Lydia Wanyoto Mutende will this afternoon most likely be declared Mbale City Woman MP Flag bearer for the NRM Party.
This follows a boycott of the poll repeat in the 58 cells by her challenger, Hon. Connie Galiwango.
In her letter dated 7th October, 2020 and addressed to the NRM Electoral Commission Chairman, Dr. Tanga Odoi, Galiwango said she will not participate in the residual elections of today.
“There was no criteria used to determine the 58 cells out of the 129. If there was, I was not involved as a stakeholder to obtain consensus,” Galiwango gives one of her reasons for boycotting the residual polls.
Galiwango argues that in a letter dated 8th September 2020 issued by the same electoral commission, the commission indicated that out of the 389 cells in Mbale City, the NRM Electoral Commission had tallied 260 cells showing that a total of 129 cells’ declaration forms were missing.
She argues therefore that the reduction of the cells from 129 to 58 where residual elections are to take place is a calculated move to ensure that her opponent wins.
The provisional results already declared by the Commission excluding those from the 58 cells, puts Wanyoto ahead by a margin of 9,289 votes.
Lydia Wanyoto garnered 28,061 votes from 331 polling stations, whereas Connie Galiwango came second with 18,872 votes.
Others were Jalia Namasaba who came third with 2,824 votes and lastly Shadia Luwungule who managed a paltry 1,462 votes.
Galiwango has consistently told her supporters that the crafters of Lydia Wanyoto’s victory know that votes from the 58 cells cannot override the existing gap.
In yesterday’s post to her supporters, Galiwango was categorical that she was not participating in the residual elections. She also said her supporters should not turn up for the same.
She has followed this up with an official letter to Odoi objecting to the elections.
Among other issues Galiwango raises in her objection are; that even the provisional results released by the Tanga Commission do not tally with what the candidates have in their declaration forms, that she had written to Odoi with evidence of doctoring of some declarations forms and that officials of the Commission in Mbale participated in these forgeries.
She also blames the NRM EC of notifying her at short notice about the residual elections. The letter is dated 6th October 2020.
Galiwango also said she has her reservations in participating in the residual elections because Wanyoto has been everywhere declaring that she is the flag bearer.
“In this regard, am afraid to express to you my reservations on the proposed residual elections,” she states in her petition.
She concluded by warning that if her proposal to have a complete re-run of the elections in all cells in the city is not accepted, she will have no option but to contest as an independent.
“Should you establish that my proposal is not tenable on the side of the NRM Electoral Commission, I will have no any other options than to request the people of Mbale City to front me as an Independent Candidate.”
This letter is a confirmation of what Galiwango has been saying in the last three weeks that with or without the NRM Flag, she will be on the ballot paper come 2021.