Wednesday, June 27, 2012
WE NEED TO REGAIN OUR COMMON SENSE IN UGANDA
It is reported that in the by-election in Bushenyi - Ishaka municipality where NRM's Nasser Basajjabalaba lost to FDC's Tayebwa, over shs 1 bn was released to bribe voters. Whether the voters got the money is not the issue. If this is anywhere near the truth, Uganda is doomed. We are going through hard economic times more so after the Uganda Shilling got badly depreciated given the amount of money the NRM got into circulation to facilitate their re-election, call it bribing voters! Common sense would dictate that after the experience the Ugandans are going through, no one worth his salt would again put such money into buying voters, but NRM does! The same NRM sings patriotism as if they are really patriotic - what the irony! We need to get back to our senses and do things the sensible way. It is a shame upon all those behind such hopeless schemes. William Kituuka Kiwanuka ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why FDC candidate won Bushenyi by-election WHY FDC CANDIDATE WON BUSHENYI BY-ELECTION Thursday, 14 June 2012 23:00 Written by Wilber Muhwezi Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality voters have spoken: they want FDC’s Odo Tayebwa to replace NRM’s Nasser Basajjabalaba in Parliament. Wilber Muhwezi looks at some of the reasons behind Tayebwa’s victory: Urban elite As Kampala and Jinja demonstrate, NRM always has difficulty winning in Uganda’s elite bastions – urban areas. Ishaka and Bushenyi are small towns, but they have a significant peri-urban electorate which must have made Tayebwa’s work easier. Of the 22 municipalities, at least eight are represented by opposition MPs. By-election It is easier for the opposition to win by-elections given that they have a smaller area to concentrate on in terms of mobilisation and plugging loopholes that could result in rigging by the ruling party. Of the five by-elections so far held, only Busiro North has gone to Gilbert Bukenya of NRM. The other four have gone to FDC and DP with two each. Basajja arrogance Nasser Basajjabalaba is a protégée of his elder brother, Hassan Basajjabalaba, who is perceived as an arrogant man who believes his money can buy everything. As NRM district chairman, he created sharp divisions during the NRM primaries in September 2010. Despite President Museveni’s best efforts, these wounds have not healed. For instance, junior health minister, Richard Nduhura, has never forgiven Basajjabalaba for sponsoring Mawanda Maranga (Igara East) against him. Mawanda defeated Nduhuura in the primaries. Nduhura didn’t appear at any of the rallies. Perhaps due to pressure from his colleagues and the party, he recorded a message of support that was aired on Bushenyi FM on Monday. Other area MPs like Maria Karooro Okurut, Mawanda and Magyezi spent substantial time in the constituency campaigning. Local heavyweights Amanya Mushega contemplated standing for this constituency in the 2011 elections and even won FDC primaries. But he abandoned the race after Tayebwa, who had lost to him, insisted on standing as an independent candidate. This must have cost Tayebwa some votes, as he came third. However, the FDC big guns put their differences with Tayebwa aside and worked for his victory, with Mushega, Mugisha Muntu, Salaamu Musumba and Jack Sabiiti among those manning polling centres. Others were Ingrid Turinawe and Francis Mwijukye. Besigye was reportedly out of the country. Unspiring campaign Basajjabalaba’s campaign team was made up of mainly old political failures in the district politics. These included Elidad Katunda, who served as LC-III chairman for Bushenyi-Ishaka town council for a long time until he was defeated by Jackson Kamugasha in 2006. In 2010, he tried to run for the divisional chairmanship for Ishaka but again lost to Deus Mukyenga. Others were: former minister, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere, who lost Igara West to Raphael Magyezi, and Yoram Tibasiima, who lost to Willis Bashaasha in the NRM primaries for the LC-V chair – among many others. Capturing DP, UPC While Tayebwa managed to galvanise all opposition supporters in the constituency, Basajjabalaba, a former Youth MP, failed to win over the youth who make up the majority of voters. Influential youth like Douglas Rwamutojo didn’t support his bid and are, instead, believed to have quietly supported Tayebwa. Weak candidate Basajjabalaba’s poor performance in Parliament dates back to when he was Youth MP in the 7th Parliament. He was ranked one of the worst legislators at the time. During the last one year that he has been in Parliament, according to The Hansard which was distributed by his Igara West counterpart, Raphael Magyezi, Nasser only contributed in the Budget and Finance committee meetings but never ever spoke in the plenary, whose proceedings are televised. “We don’t want to vote a dumb [man] again. This is our opportunity to vote for an MP who will talk about our problems,” said Nicholas Niwagira, a youth councillor. Protest vote Many voters said they were tired of the biting economic situation. Goodman Kamuntu, a central ward councillor, told The Observer by phone that a protest vote against President Museveni cost the NRM candidate. He made reference to the state of the nation address in which the President belittled teachers, saying that they could be replaced with ease. Sociable too Tayebwa is a man of the people who goes to every funeral, party or gathering whether during campaigns or not. He has risen steadily from a town councillor to district speaker and now to MP, gaining immense experience and contacts along the way. He is a good mobiliser and this was not lost on the President who said while campaigning for Basajjabalaba on Monday that Odo was “very busy in women’s gardens digging and harvesting crops”. Religion Religion is believed to have been a factor in the election, as Tayebwa did very well in the areas of Bunyarigi, Ruharo, Ward II and St Kaggwa which are predominantly Catholic.