On Friday, 27th September 2019 at 03:30am, NRM candidate for the Hoima District Woman MP By-election, Businge Harriet was announced winner in an election that pitted her against opposition-backed Nyakato Asinansi (FDC). According to the Electoral Commission, Businge Harriet (NRM) secured 33,301 votes and Nyakato Asinansi (FDC) obtained 28,789 votes. Voter turnout was about 43% (comparatively high for a by-election).

 Whereas the opposition parties and formations benefited a great deal from uniting behind a single candidate, the NRM leveraged its access to (and use of) state resources including government vehicles, and public officers to campaign for, and get the NRM candidate announced as winner in the Hoima District Woman MP By-election.

There is a likelihood that allegations and realities of occurrences such as circulation of pre-ticked ballot papers in favour of the NRM candidate (on polling day), arrests of agents from the opposition parties (for whichever reason) and the partisan involvement of some security agents to the point of attempting to subvert the will of the people in some areas within Hoima, affected the election and how it later turned out to be. It is possible that these issues could in future be brought up to query the credibility of the Hoima District Woman MP By-election.

 The level of vigilance was high in this election. In fact, candidates’ agents, supporters, and ordinary citizens played a key role in exposing some of the issues that afflicted the election.

 Not withstanding the incidents, polling day was generally calm in Hoima Municipality although with a few spots of tension. People generally came out to exercise their right to vote.

 We will share with you a detailed report from the Hoima District Woman MP By-election.

 Crispin Kaheru

 Coordinator, CCEDU