Brenda Nabukenya, the youthful and outspoken UYD/DP member held off the gritty challenge of NRM’s Rebecca Nalwanga, while the FDC’s vote share told a story of a one-man party as they came a distant third.
Issa Kikungwe, DP’s Treasurer/MP for Kyadondo South, who led the final push to the last for Nabukenya right across the length and breadth of this diverse district, talked of the result as ”a massive one and that it sent out a clear message to Mr Museveni and his faltering government about taking the people of Luwero for granted, the rising commodity prices in the face of deepening poverty, stinking corruption and the continued abuse of human rights”.
Without giving a clear reason, Salam Musumba, at the tallying centre at Luwero District Headquarters, said she was happy with the FDC’s performance.
The winner DP’s Brenda Nabukenya said her campaign was run by an army of local volunteers and that her victory sent out a clear message to Museveni’s government which she branded as a “sinking ship”.
“The people of Luwero have spoken not only for Luwero but for the whole Uganda,” Mrs Nabukenya said, adding that these are early days but this victory has indicated that everything is possible and if we carry on walking that extra mile, we will overcome. Yes we will”
The by-election was called after a court found NRM’s Rebecca Nalwanga had ‘bought voters in February 18 election and invalidated the result.
No opposition party has ever won the seat in the 25 years of the Museveni rule, but this time fired up DP showed resolute and took on a behemoth (NRM) in unprecedented decline, and against all odds secured a hard fought victory – finishing 30 votes ahead of their closest rivals with 14,915 votes from the district’s 340 polling stations.
There were unconfirmed reports of ballot and security forces’ disturbances, apparently all in favour of the NRM’s candidate Rebecca Nalwanga, but DP’s share of the vote even with its weak financial muscle will certainly give NRM something to think about its own future.
Although the FDC’s Ms Zaida Gwokyalya failed to nick the seat, her share of the vote, in third place, may have favoured the DP and her party will also take heart from the 3775 votes she polled, a slight increase from the annulled February 18 election result.
Questions will however be asked of the relevance of Dr Kizza Besigye in Uganda’s politics. The retired colonel combed through this North Western Buganda district in the last days of the campaign in an attempt to bolster his candidate’s image but the voters had different ideas; his turf–thumping had failed to translate into votes.
Tellers reported a low turnout in an election whose result now stands to change the Luweero political landscape forever.
In fourth position was Ms Anna Kirabo Asiimwe (Ind) who polled 3687 votes, followed by Ms Else Namagambe (Ind) 2193 and Dr Lugudde Nabatanzi(Ind) – who successfully challenged, in courts, Nalwanga’s victory of February 18 election result – trailed with 191 votes, according to the official results released by Luweero District Returning Officer Mr Peter Kasozi at 1:00am on Tuesday at the District headquarters amidst heavy police deployment.