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By Mulengera Reporter

State Minister for Labour Mwesigwa Rukutana is in celebratory mood after the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Dr Tanga Odoi declared him leading candidate in the Rushenyi NRM primary election.

Speaking from Kampala, Tanga Odoi declared Rukutana “the leader” in the race, but not the “winner,” asking agents from the two rival political camps (that of the incumbent MP and his rival Naomi Kabasharira) for two more days before he can officially announce the winner of the poll that was marred by rigging and violence.

Previous results announced 10 days ago had put Kabasharira, the former Ntungamo Woman MP, ahead of the controversial minister. Kabasharira had got 24,006 votes while Rukutana had managed 23,966. But the Rukutana team had challenged Kabasharira’s victory, telling Tanga Odoi and his Commission that they had enough evidence to show that he had been rigged out. The EC then embarked on auditing the results to ascertain their validity.

Even when Rukutana was behind bars over charges of attempted murder, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, threatening violence, and malicious damage to property, his team kept engaging the Tanga Odoi Commission in pursuit of justice.

In court, prosecution alleged that Rukutana and others, on September 05, 2020, while at Kagugu Village in Ntungamo District, unlawfully attempted to cause the death of Daniel Rweburingi contrary to section 204(a) of the Penal Code Act. A week after detention in Mityana District’s Kitalya Prison, Rukutana was today granted bail.

Hours later, Tanga Odoi announced the Minister was leading according to results from the recount, but added he would announce “the winner” in two days after he has grilled concerned electoral officials. This means that it is premature for Rukutana’s camp to start celebrating until the final announcement is made on Thursday since a slight twist in the polls could overturn the incumbent’s lead.

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