Written James Onono Ojok & Emmy Ojara
Two contestants for Gulu Woman Member of Parliamentary seat, Ms Aber Harriet and Laker Balmoi Sharon last week withdrew from the National Resistance Movement (NRM) joint campigns ahead of the party primary elections.
The two who addressed a press conference at Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) last week on Tuesday accused their opponent Ms Catherine Lamwaka, former Gulu Resident District Commissioner of moving with soldiers to the campaign venues which they said is intimidating them.
Ms Balmoi said that recently when in Cwero, Awach Sub County for the joint campaigns, she saw a soldier in the vehicle of the former RDC.
Balmoi claimed that they are being intimidated because they were recently being forced by Brigadier Otema Awany and Mr Aboga Martine Kizza, the NRM chairperson and his executives including some NRM operatives From Gulu at City Royal in Bugolobi, Kampala to step down in favor of Lamwaka but they refused.
Meanwhile, Aber accused Lamwaka of always sending an advance team to make the people drunk and that by the time they arrive at the venue, addressing people becomes a challenge.
“She is using a lot of money to bribe voters and that leaves us with no option but to withdraw from the joint campaigns,” She said.
Mr Ovola George, the Gulu district NRM registrar when contacted said he had allowed the joint campaigns to take place because he did not see any problem.
Lamwaka however denied the allegations saying she does not move with escorts since she tendered her resignation a long time ago.
“What security are they talking about? Let them present the evidence of intimidation they are talking about, as for me am not shaken but I will go ahead with my campaign,” Lamwaka told Acholi Times.
Lamwaka also added that the two aspirants are feeling challenged because she is not giving them a free space in joint campaign.
She said it is useless for people who fear defeat to come out with baseless allegations
Lamwaka is now demanding for an apology from the two saying they defamed her.
Lamwaka said the duo that wants to win favor from the community to get some votes should apologize to her in writing and over the same media platforms they used to accuse her or else she takes legal procedures against them.
She advised that instead of running to the media for publicity, the two should have sought redress from NRM electoral commission; the two however had said they consulted responsible authorities over the matter but they never got feedback.
MrMartin Kizza Aboga NRM party chairman Gulu district earlier said there will be fairness and transparency in the party`s primary election and denied seeking for Lamwaka Catherine`s sole NRM candidature for woman Member of Parliament Gulu.