Rukungiri — After weeks of heated campaigns, voters will today cast their ballot in the Rukungiri Woman MP by-election.
The race has four candidates; Ms Betty Muzanira (FDC), Ms Winfred Masiko (NRM), Ms Sezi Mbaguta (Independent) and Ms Fabith Kunkundakwe (People's Progressive Party).
Stakes are high following the heavy security deployment in the district as well as FDC and NRM big shots pitching camp in the area in a last-minute push for votes.
The seat fell vacant after Court of Appeal nullified Ms Masiko's election following a petition by Ms Muzanira.
A total of 177,086 registered voters are expected to cast the ballot from 280 polling stations across the district.
The district returning officer, Mr Umar Kiyimba, on Tuesday said two independent candidates Elizabeth Rwakitonera and Atukunda Sheila Kirebete withdrew from the race.
While campaigning for Ms Masiko on Monday, President Museveni defended his April 15 donation of items and cash to more than 100 groups in the district.
Mr Museveni said he gave the donation because the community is led by Opposition and therefore orphaned.
More than 95 per cent of the political leaders of Rukungiri Municipality belong to FDC. The NRM commands 54 per cent in the district council while FDC has 36 per cent.
The President promised the electorate more packages for fighting poverty and promoting development if they supported the NRM.
Dr Kizza Besigye, the four time challenger of Mr Museveni, who hails from Rukungiri, told voters that if they do not vote Ms Muzanira, they will not get services because NRM works on pressure.
Mr Patrick Amuriat, the FDC president, asked the electorate to vote for Ms Muzanira to show that the party was robbed of its 2016 election victory.