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Turinawe loses in FDC primaries, to contest as independent



Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) national political mobilizer, Ingrid Turinawe has vowed to contest as an independent candidate for the Rukungiri Municipality MP seat after losing in the party primaries. 

Turinawe on Tuesday lost to Dr Warren Tumwine Nuwagaba who polled 130 votes against her 65 votes. The incumbent MP, Roland Mugume Kaginda was also defeated. Turinawe, however, protested the results citing voter bribery.

On Wednesday, Turinawe announced that she will contest as an independent candidate. According to Turinawe, Nuwagaba allegedly bribed voters with Shs 400,000-500,000 and says the party has made no effort to investigate the source of the money. She added that she cannot back a candidate whose victory is questionable. 

“People are not happy, they were so betrayed by the structures…You cannot imagine that people were being given envelopes of Shs 500,000, Shs 400,000 just for one vote. I am also not happy, our people are stranded, they are stuck, they are actually telling us they will either join NRM or vote an NRM candidate or an independent. I will stand, I will contest, I am an FDC, everyone knows. What I don’t have is the party flag, I was denied the party flag by the money that was dished out. Nobody has tried to investigate where that money came from.” Turinawe said. 

Winnie Joseline Babihuga, who lost to the incumbent Betty Muzaniira for the Rukungiri Woman MP seat, also announced that she will contest on the independent ticket. Babihuga, who once served as the District Woman MP in 1996-2001, says that she was asked by her supporters to contest on the independent ticket.

Virginia Kyarugahi, Rukungiri district FDC party chairperson says that the decision of Turinawe and Babihuga will weaken the party’s support in the area. Nathan Nandala Mafabi, FDC secretary-general says that any FDC member who will contest as an independent candidate or support independent candidates will face disciplinary action.

“Anybody who is a member of the party, must support the party, and our objective is to make sure we work together to ensure that we liberate this country from this dictatorship, from mismanagement of the public resources. And that is why we’re saying; any member of our party who decides to go independent or who supports a candidate who is not for FDC will be disciplined as per the constitution. And our constitution is clear, anybody who is hostile to the party will be removed from the party.” said Mafabi. 

Last year, political parties through the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) drafted a proposal barring candidates who contest and lose in political parties from contesting as independents. Leaders of political parties argued that the regulation will end confusion and divisions that candidates plant in political parties when they run as independents.

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