ARUA. Chants of "Kassiano oyee and peoples power" erupted at 10:00pm inside the Arua public primary school conference hall on Wednesday night as the Arua returning officer Ms Ruth Angom declared embattled independent candidate Kassiano Wadri winner of the hotly contested municipal by-elections.
Mr.Wadri who was not there to witness the declaration of his victory as he is being detained faraway in Gulu over allegations of committing treason and causing malicious damage to President Yoweri Museveni's vehicle polled 6,421 votes to beat the rest of the eleven contestants.
His nearest challenger was the National Resistance Movement candidate Ms.Nusura Tiperu who largely ran an incompetent campaign but still polled 4,798 votes following the last minute backing from the president.
Mr.Ejiku Robert who came into the race as a political novice came third with 2694 votes. The others in the race were FDC's Bruce Musema who got 1,359 votes, Mr Jackson Atima with 835, Mr Sunday Anguandia with 196, Mr Ja'afar Alekua who got 38 votes and Mr Simon Avutia who garnered 32 votes.
Completing the contingent are Alfred Nyakuni with 30 votes, Kennedy Madira with 26 votes, Safi Bavuga with 19 votes and Elton Nyero who came last with18 votes.
Ms.Christine Abia who tookover as Mr Wadri's campaign coordinator after his arrest on Monday swiftly dedicated the win to the slain driver to Mr.Robert Kyagulanyi, the late Yasin Kawuma who was killed by security forces in front of the Pacific hotel on Monday.
The electoral commission chairman Justice Simon Byabakama congratulated the people of Arua municipality for their resilience to exercise their right to vote despite the unfortunate incident.
"To the loser, take heart and go back to the ground to prepare. With the recent court decision not to extent the term of MPs we know that another election will be conducted in 2021," he said.
Earlier in the day, police paraded an assortment of weapons it claimed had been got in the hotel room in which Mr.Kyagulanyi had been sleeping and 33 other people.