A meeting convened by Democratic Party to discuss the withdrawal of the election petition against Vice President Edward Ssekandi and the court ruling nullifying the election of Norbert Mao as Democratic Party has aborted as a result of violence.
Mbabali contested in the February elections for the Bukoto central seat but lost to Ssekandi. He rejected the poll results and dragged both Ssekandi and Electoral Commission to court citing electoral malpractice. However, his decision to withdrawal the petition drew outrage from his voters and some members of the party leadership in Masaka.
As a result, the DP National Executive and Central Executive Committee summoned Mbabali yesterday to explain his decision and allegations of bribery against him. The meeting started off but took another twist after 8 former election official of Mbabali stormed out of the meeting and started criticizing Mbabali for withdrawing the election petition.
They also announced the expulsion of Mbabali from Bukoto Central accusing him of disregarding them in favor of Bishop John Baptist Kagwa of Masaka Diocese. Bishop brokered the deal between Mbabali and Ssekandi that led to the withdrawal of the election petition. However, the attack on Mbabali didn’t go down well with his supporters led by Denis Gayaza, who decided to confront his critics and a fight ensued. Gayaza and his group beat up Mbabali’s critics accusing them of disrupting the meeting.
The DP youths fought each other as national DP leaders including Norbert Mao and his vice president John Kawanga looked on helplessly. It took the intervention of Mao’s body guards to separate the rival factions. As a result of then fight, several DP leaders didn’t return for the next session saying that fight was embarrassing. Speaking to the press after the fight, Norbert Mao, the DP president said several party supporters were hurt by Mbabali’s withdrawal of the petition.
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Earlier in the day, DP supporters rejected an apology given to them by Mbabali explaining his withdrawal of the petition. They claimed that the failure by Mbabali to comment about the allegations of bribery against him show that he is guilty and does not deserve forgiveness. They have also the leadership of the Catholic Church and John Baptist Walusimbi, Katikiro of Buganda to apologize for meddling into the politics of Bukoto Central.