MP Onzima Accused of Vote Buying

1774 Views Maracha, Uganda
NRM election candidates in Maracha district have accused the incumbent area MP, Alex Onzima, of bribing voters. The candidates say that Onzima is handing out large amounts of money, salt and soap to women's groups in the district. They also claim the MP, who is standing for office as an independent candidate, is illegally using NRM colors and paraphernalia in his campaigns. Richard Angualia the NRM nominee for the Maracha parliamentary seat says he and other official party candidates have petitioned the Electoral Commission to investigate Onzima. Angualia claims that Onzima is distributing between 2,000 and 5,000 shillings to members of women's associations and the Elect Museveni 2011 Network. //Cue in: "Women have been massively ..." Cue out: "... am saying it's wrong."// Alex Onzima was elected into parliament in 2006 as a member of the Forum for Democratic Change. This year he abandoned the opposition party for the NRM. Angualia now wants the NRM secretariat to officially bar Onzima from using the party's colors and symbols. He says the MPs actions are sullying the reputation of other NRM candidates in Maracha. //Cue in: "You cannot be ..." Cue out: "... should take action."// Alex Onzima denies the vote buying claims. He says the money he is distributing is part of a pledge made by Yoweri Museveni to small groups in Maracha. The Maracha returning officer, Richard Onoba, says the case is under investigation. He says if any evidence of electoral fraud is found, it will be handed over to the police. ###