3 Show Interest in Kasese By-Election

2792 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
The four contenders include Winfred Kiiza of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who has been holding the seat until last month when court overturned her February 18, 2011 election victory.

Three women have shown interest to contest in the by-election for the Kasese Woman parliamentary seat.

The four contenders include Winfred Kiiza of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), who has been holding the seat until last month when court overturned her February 18, 2011 election victory.
 
The others are Rehema Muhindo of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Betty Kayesu Kagoro, an independent candidate. There are also reports that the Democratic Party (DP) will field a candidate, but the reports couldn’t be verified by the URN reporter.
 
Nomination of the candidates will be held on Thursday and Friday this week and the elections are slated for August 8th. Campaigns will start next week on Monday and end on August 6th.  

Last month, the Court of Appeal nullified Winfred Kiiza’s victory over irregularities in the electoral process that saw valid votes wrongfully nullified.  Kiiza was also the Opposition Chief Whip in parliament.

Kizza was dragged to court by her political rival, Rehema Muhindo, who argued that the process had not been free and fair.
 
Three Justices of the Court of Appeal led by the Deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi Bahigeine found that more than 6,841 votes were invalidated wrongfully because Electoral Commission officials did not know their role. The judges noted that the invalidated votes affected the results substantially and ordered for fresh polls.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday, Kiiza said that she is confident she will retain the seat. She says that she is strong and focused on causing change and development in Kasese than her opponent from NRM.

Kiiza also says that she knows that the NRM will mobilize and take all resources including money to Kasese to win the by-election, but they will not manage because FDC is strong in the district. She also blasted Crispus Kiyonga, the Minister of Defense and MP Bukonzo West for saying that he would ensure that she doesn’t return to parliament.

During a meeting with NRM leaders in Kasese town two weeks ago, Kiyonga, who is also the Kasese district NRM Chairman, said that he will camp in the district during the by election campaigns and vowed that the NRM will win the election.

He also said that Kiiza had spent most of her time in Parliament criticizing the government instead of addressing the needs of her constituency.      

Muhindo, who resigned last month as assistant Kasese chief administrative officer, also says she is confident of victory. She says that the nullification of Kiiza's victory is proof that she was supposed to be the winner in last year's elections.

Kasese district remains a stronghold of the FDC. In the 2006 presidential elections, Kizza Besigye defeated President Museveni but in 2011 Museveni won by 53 percent and the NRM party managed to win three parliamentary seats which include Bukonzo West, Kasese Municipality and Busongora South.
 
NRM has won just one out of the six parliamentary by-elections held since the 2011 general elections. Save for Busiro North where former vice president Prof. Gilbert Bukenya regained his seat, the ruling party has lost in Entebbe Municipality, Jinja East, Luweero, Bushenyi-Ishaka and Bukoto South.

The Kasese by-election comes at a time when there are ethnic tensions between the Bakonzo and Basongora, after the Basongora installed their cultural leader, Ivan Bwebale Rutakirwa.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.