KIGEZI- Kigezi region NRM elections were relatively peaceful apart from few isolated cases in Kinkizi East and Rubanda East.
Compared to Ankole region, Kigezi tried to control violence and play mature politics.
Elections were driven by real cash, religion, partnerships and service delivery especially incumbents.
The biggest winners were Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi of Rujumbura in Rukungiri District who showed Julius Muhurizi his seniority and Hon David Bahati of Ndorwa West in Kabale District.
In the region Politicians used money to an extent of measuring it in kilograms packed in sacks. It is strange but very true. Those who exhibited money and used it to the fullest include Hon Dr James Nsaba Buturo of Bufumbira East in Kisoro, Hon David Bahati of Ndorwa West, Hon Chris Babyomunsi of Kinkizi East, Hon Henry Musasizi of Rubanda East and Hon Jim Muhwezi of Rujumbura. All candidates in Kigezi spent a lot of money but these big spenders went extra miles in giving out hard cash to voters through different ways.
The competition was so stiff which made the well to do politicians spend beyond their planned budgets.
The biggest losers were Patrick Besigye Keihwa the Chairperson Kabale district who lost to Nshangabasheija Nelson Babababa and Rtd Gen. Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile a high level and senior army officer who lost to youth after spending close to one billion campaigning in Kabale municipality.
The toughest competition was in Kinkizi West between Hon Chris Babyomunsi Ekitooma and Nkwasibwe Deus Omusisa, Rubanda East between Kenneth Jogo Bibyabarema and Hon Henry Musasizi. Other hottest area was in Rukiga District between Hon Caroline Kamusiime and Elizabeth Aturinda and Bufumbira South between Hon Sam Bitangaro and Eng. Alex Seruganda.
Kigezi elections were generally peaceful and the most peaceful constituenccandidates were Bukimbiri county in Kisoro District and Kabale Municipality. Women elections had mild violence and Kabale women elections emerged the most peaceful compared with others in the region.
Most women candidates were young and dynamic who came from powerful families.
They were heavily funded by their families beyond the limit especially Media Kaharata whose father Kaharata almost closed his hard ware shop in Rukungiri to send the daughter to the parliament.
Hon Sarah Nyinabashitsi Mateke, Hon Akampurira Prossy, Hildah Kabarungi and Hon Caroline Kamusiime who loaded, still went ahead draw more cash from their families to create a big Political space.
In Rukungiri Hon. Mary Paula Kebirungi Turyahikayo in Rubabo, trounced serious men including senior military officer Major Katamba who claimed to have been sent by president Museveni. Major Katamba and Ndindirize lost to Paula and all are planning a serious come back on independent ticket.
The withdrawal of Besigye from Politics has weakened FDC in Rukungiri where all his favorite candidates lost including his commander in chief Ingrid Turinawe. NRM may take back Rukungiri again sitting none Political candidates who won. Jim Muhwezi will have the toughest competition and all winning chances are on his side.
Besigye penetrated Rukungiri through the church and every Christmas when other Politicians plan to spend their holidays with their families spending big, he reserves his five million to his church St Emmanuel Cathedral Kinyasano, North Kigezi diocese. He also makes sure that prior to Christmas day, there meat, bread and soda in every home of a church leader. The opposition in Rukungiri is the love for Besigye
Even Canon Fred Tumuheirwe Turyamuhweza who will be meeting Jim Muhwezi in general elections, penetrated through his church.
His mother who is also a Canon in same church is a blessing to his Political career. Rukungiri Christians vote for FDC because of Besigye who is always with them. At the consecration of the current bishop of North Kigezi Rt Rev Benon Magezi , Christians expected president Museveni to be their chief guest at St Emmanuel Cathedral and got surprised with Hon Kahinda Otafire who represented him.
Christians were not pleased for the president who missed their biggest event. They thought he never respected their church like elsewhere and opposition started gaining.
But recently when Canon Dr Johnson Byabasheija the son of the soil carried the whole of Uganda Prison Service senior Officers to attend the Bishop’s thanksgiving ceremony, he closed the gap between St Emmanuel and president Museveni. Byabasheija with his men with hidden riches, made a big contribution which pleased Christians.
In Kisoro most of the candidates who lost in NRM primaries are coming back as independents including the famous Hon Sam Bitangaro.
The king maker Hon Dr Phelemon Mateke played a big part in elections.
The combination of Mugisha Peter the RDC, Operation Wealth Creation Coordinator and Commander of Kigezi UPDF Reserved Force Can. Keita lost terribly with their candidate Bazanyamaso who eyed LC5 seat. Make defeated all the big guys who sponsored and promoted Bazanye.
Mateke also supported the daughter stealthily and proved to be the biggest power broker in Kisoro. When UPC collapsed, Mateke took all tricks which he is using to disorganise fresh minds.
In Rukiga Fr Gaetano Batanyenda who supported Elizabeth whose husband is the manager of his Rukiga SACCO, made the game tough.
Kamusiime was very wise like the dove, she had to stretch beyond Rukiga Politicians and got home based support which disorganized local politicians and created her Political space.
Hon Kabafunzaki keeps talking about his cash London banks which never arrived. A humble and gentleman Hon Kakuru took the seat from giants who were threatening to pull heaven down in Rukiga.
Kabale NRM candidates are not safe with opposition especially Municipality and Ndorwa East. Sheikh Kassin and Dr Protazio may have the toughest competition with opposition.
Hon Wilfred Niwagaba is not willing to surrender his position at the time of snatching a big position from the parliament.
He is looking at the position of a Deputy Speaker or Chairperson of a fat committee. The mayor for Kabale municipality may not be easy for NRM unless miracles happen.
Rubanda where priests were campaign agents for candidates of their religions, most parts voted fair peaceful but with intimidations and violence in some areas especially Rubanda East.
Towards elections in Rubanda District, some candidates were on knees to get more burial ceremonies where they got big opportunities to meet big gatherings.
Rubanda East still has issues after Hon Kenneth Jogo Bibyabarema refusing to accept defeat. Tanga Odoi maybe the best person to handle issues between Musasizi and Jogo.
Kanungu is in shambles after elections. Religion, Chris and Deus issues are tearing apart Kanungu. Kanungu voters have pleaded to president Museveni to intervene before chaos deepens.
Garuga is also demanding for accountability for his cash which was not spent rightly which led to most of his funded candidates loose.
Kipande who was sure to win, lost terribly because of Sam Kajojo who joined the race late with stamina and changed the game. Sam lost to Mugisha Zepha but is coming back as an independent candidate. When Sam joins as an independent, he will affect every candidate. Eng. Sam who is young and very rich is not a joking subject.
Guns and violence were seated in the LC5 voting which scared away some voters.
Fr Andrew Tumukurate of Rutenga parish who was caught distribution money during elections has been taken to Kabale diocese pending transfer. This was done after a team of 30 religious leaders from all denominations including Muslims visited him led by Rev. Kanyankole. He was seen to a threat to the church and taken to rest his head.
Catholics in Kanungu have warned Rev Kanyankole who who led the delegation, the former Kinkizi diocesan Secretary to first deal with witchcraft and sabotage in his church before coming for their problems.
The war between Rev Just Tibesigwa, Rev Kanyankole and the bishop together with their wives have destroyed Kinkizi diocese.
Fr Maguru of Makiro Deanary has kept quiet and focused watching his priests in Nyamwegabira, Kihihi, Rutenga, Kambuga and others as Politics unfold. Catholics have decided to keep with their member Dr. Babyomunsi and have decided to send him back to parliament.
Byaruhanga Frank the Councillor for Mpungu sub county one of polished orators in Kanungu together with Fr Gaetano Batanyenda have increased the opposition in Kanungu through their Political propaganda using Kanungu based radios. Frank a close friend to King Ceaser has attracted attention in Kanungu District.
The toughest war between Chris and Deus had pulled Kanungu back to old religious traditions. But still, Mugisha Zepha and Sam Kajojo general elections may be the toughest in the region at Lc5 come 2021.
*List of NRM candidates in the region*
Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi
Mary Paula Turyahikayo
*District woman Mp*
Medius Natukunda Kaharata
Eng. Alex Seruganda
Hon. Dr James Nsaba Buturo
John Kamara Nizeyimaana
Hon Kwizera Edie
*Kisoro district woman Mp*
Hon. Sarah Nyinabashitsi Mateke
Abel Bizimana Zurupai
Hon. Chris Babyomunsi
Hon. James Kaberuka Niringiyimaana
Patience Kinshaba Nkunda
Hon. Carolyn Kamusiime
Hon. Adson Kakuru
Hon. David Bahati
Dr Protazio Begumisa
*Kabale District woman Mp*
Hon. Catherine Ndamira
*Kabale Municipality Mayor*
Hon. Henry Musasizi
Hon. Denis Sabiiti
Hon. Akampurira Prossy Begumisa
General elections will be so tough and constituencies to watch should be Ndorwa East, Rukiga women, Rubanda East and Bufumbira South.
By Robert Tumwesigye
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