We spoke to NRM party supporters in Masindi district who confessed that they are confused over the rightful party flag bearer for the post of district chairperson in the 2021 elections.
This comes after Wilson Isingoma Mugimba and Cosmas Byaruhanga have both printed and pinned campaign posters bearing the party logo.
Paul Mugume, an NRM supporter in Rwemigali village Miirya Sub County says he cannot tell who of the two is the rightful party candidate who he should support and vote for in that position.
Sowed Barongo, an NRM Supporter in Kikwanana Cell in Nyangahya division says the confusion over the rightful flag bearer will affect the party’s performance during the elections.
Robinson Jachan, a resident of Kigezi in Miirya Sub County has appealed to the party leadership and the electoral commission to come out and announce the rightful flag bearer for the post in order end the confusion.
Mugimba and Byaruhanga contested in the NRM primaries and Byaruhanga was declared winner by the district party returning officer before Mugimba petitioned the party election disputes tribunal challenging the elections citing malpractices.
The tribunal later announced Mugimba as the NRM flag bearer after canceling results of three sub counties, of Bwijanga ,Bikonzi Bulima town council and kasongore parish in budongo sub county a decision Byaruhanga contested and he challenged in high court. Byaruhanga who was nominated by the national electoral commission as the NRM flag bearer, applied for a court order stopping the electoral commission from nominating Mugimba on the NRM ticket before court determines his case.
The court order was later set aside by court that also dismissed the main application and referred to the NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC).
When asked why he is pining the posters with Nrm log Mugimba says he was prompted to print and pin posters with the NRM after being confirmed by the chairperson national electoral commission as the rightful flag bearer acting on a letter by the party head of the legal affairs introducing him as the true NRM flag bearer for the post after Byaruhanga’s case was dismissed.
On his party Byaruhanga, who is also the incumbent district chairperson says he printed and pinned posters with NRM logo after his name appeared on the list of NRM flag bearer from Masindi who met president Museveni and also the party chairperson during his just concluded campaign trail in Bunyoro sub region.
He has threatened to drag Mugimba to police and the electoral commission for allegedly illegally using NRM log on his posters yet he is not the NRM flag bearer.
The NRM chairperson in Masindi district Kabakumba Labbwoni Masiko says the person known by the district NRM office as the party flag bearer for the post is Cosmas Byaruhanga who she said even got the money from the party to facilitate his campaign.
Kabakumba added that the matter was one of the issues that NRM CEC was to discuss during its meeting that sat in Masindi yesterday.
The Masindi district returning officer John Paul also says he nominated Byaruhanaga as the NRM flag Bearer and Mugimba as independent candidate adding that he had not received any communication from the electoral commission on the new position.
Speaking during a live Radio interview on Radio Kitara on 23rd December , Dr Chris Baryomunsi the NRM Vice Chairman for western region explained that there has never been any change in the flag bearer from the time Byaruhanga was declared winner of the NRM primary elections.
He noted that although Wilson Isingoma Mugimba lodged in his petition before the NRM Elections tribunal disputing Byaruhangas victory, it was too late since Byaruhanga had already been nominated as the NRM flag bearer by the independent Electoral commission.
After clarification from different officials from both Nrm and electro commission on the true NRM flag bearer for masindi LC5 seat,Hon Isingoma Wilson Mugimba and his team still insist that they have the flag and they continue to pining posters with NRM log.