MASAKA- Ms Justine Nameere, a daughter to Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja, was defeated last weekend in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries for the Central Region youth parliamentary seat.
The NRM electoral commission returning officer for Central Region youth MP elections, Ms Jane Alisemera Babiiha, declared Ms Agnes Kirabo as winner of the polls that attracted 11 contenders.
Ms Kirabo garnered 212 votes (44.4 per cent) and her closest rival Felix Kayihura got 98 votes (20.5per cent). Ms Mastulah Nakibuule came third with 75 votes (15.7 per cent), Ms Justine Nameere got 35 votes (7.3 per cent), Mr Alvin Semambya collected 28 votes (5.9 percent) while Ms Joan Nanseko garnered 26 votes (5.4 per cent).
Other contenders; Mr Abdul Kiberu had 3 votes (0.6 per cent), Ms Rachael Namono got one vote (0.2 per cent), while Mr Hakim Mabingo, Mr Fred Mujjuzi and Mr Victor Sserunkuma all scored zero.
Of the 13 youth delegates who cast their votes in Kalungu, only five voted in favour of Ms Nameere while Kayihura got six votes. Ms Kirabo and Ms Nakibuule received one vote each and the rest received zero. Some youth in Kalungu who talked to media claimed they did not vote for their Nameere because she would not make a good leader.
“Ms Nameere is arrogant and her father promised youth in his constituency some projects and Shs 1m which he has failed to fulfil to date,” one of the youth delegates, who preferred anonymity, said in an interview on Saturday shortly after the election. In Masaka, Ms Kirabo collected five votes, Kayihura (two) and the rest got zero.
In Mityana District, Ms Kirabo polled 13 votes, Mr Kayihura (four), Mr Kiberu (three), Mr Sembambya (two) while others got zero. In the neigbouring Mubende, Ms Kirabo got 14 votes, Mr Kayihura (six), Ms Nakibuule (five) and the rest scored zero.
In Kalangala, Ms Nameere got two votes, Ms Kirabo (four), Ms Nakibuule (four ), Mr Kayihura (one), Mr Ssemambya (one) and the rest got zero. In Mpigi, other candidates got zero except Ms Kirabo who got five votes, Ms Nakibuule (three), Ms Nanseko (two) and Ms Nameere (one).
In Rakai, Ms Nameere polled seven votes, Ms Nanseko (four), Ms Kirabo (three), Mr Kayihura (one) and the rest scored zero. In Kyotera, Ms Nanseko carried the day with nine votes, while both Ms Nameere and Ms Kirabo got three votes each and others got zero. In Bukomansimbi, apart from Ms Kirabo who got five votes, Mr Ssembabye had three votes and Ms Nakibuule (two), and the rest got zero.
In an interview with Media on July17, Minister Ssempijja, who also doubles as the Kalungu East MP, said Ms Nameere was free to contest for any elective office like any Ugandan since she has the required academic qualifications.
“Being my daughter doesn’t deprive her right to vie for any elective position. I support and wish her well in her political endeavour,” the minister said. Shortly after elections on Saturday evening, Ms Nameere took to social media platforms insisting that she would stand as an Independent candidate.
In the 2016 general election, Ms Nameere contested for Bukoto East Constituency seat and lost to Florence Namayanja.
NRM party members also elected their parliamentary flag-bearers for Persons with Disabilities, Workers and Older Persons for all regions in Uganda and one female national representative for each of the groups.
Mr Julius Nganda, the Kalangala District NRM registrar, said the exercise was peaceful.
“Some youth tried to cause chaos but we controlled them. Everyone had to present their National Identity card in order to participate in the exercise,” he said. Despite NRM being unpopular in most parts of the central region, the party has been winning youth representatives for the region in Parliament over the years.
The regional youth parliamentary seat has previously been represented by Mr Faisal Kikulukunyu, Ms Rose Namayanja Nsereko, Mr Joseph Muyomba Kasozi, Mr Patrick Nakabale and Ms Sarah Babirye Kityo- all from NRM. It remains to be seen whether the NRM will retain the seat again in the 2021 General Election.
In Lira, a group of youth has protested a decision by the NRM electoral commission to block their candidate from contesting for the northern Uganda youth MP party flag.
Mr George Abudu was disqualified from the race just four days to the poll day on allegations that he has come of age.
This, however, did not go well with his supporters in Lango Sub-region who convened in Lira City and matched on the streets to showcase their annoyance last Thursday.
The protestors started their demonstration from Lira NRM offices in Senior Quarters B carrying placards reading; “Without Abudu no votes for Museveni, No Abudu, no participation in the upcoming 2021-2026 general elections”.
They want the NRM electoral commission chairman, Mr Tanga Odoi, to explain why their candidate was disqualified from the race.
In an October 1 letter, Mr Odoi cited reasons for Mr Abudu’s disqualification. “It was the commission’s finding that in 2016 Mr Abudu George participated in the election as Youth MP for northern Uganda with the National Electoral Commission as an Independent candidate where he declared his age as being 29. He further submitted documents of UACE from Dr Obote College Boroboro of 2008 which showed his age as 22,” the letter reads in part.
“Mr Abudu further submitted his National Identity card with …indicating his date of birth to be October 6, 1986, which would place him at 33 years old today and that the same Abudu George caused the change of his date of birth from October 6, 1986 to October 6, 1991. The commission finds that for Abudu George to claim that he is 29 years old, it would mean that he started school at the age of three years which is practically impossible.”
After Mr Abudu was blocked from the race, four people contested for the NRM northern Uganda youth MP flag. These include Mr Mandela Ekol, Mr Boniface Okot, Mr Jackson Obintu and Mr Simon Lubangakene.
Mr Okot was declared winner with 231 votes followed by Mr Ekol with 212 votes. Mr Obintu and Mr Lubangakene got 117 and 14 votes respectively. In eastern region, Mr Bernard Onen Odoi has been declared the winner of the NRM primaries for youth Member of Parliament flag.
Mr Odoi polled 188 votes defeating his main challenger Mr Judas Wanyama Thadeo who managed 142 votes. Other aspirants in the race were Andrew Taliwaku, Peter Arikos, Sarah Namukose, Moses Otekat, Kristian Kibuuka, Mr Noah Mwidu, Aliza Balunywa, Richard Wetungu and Samuel Eninu.
Mr Odoi told media that his election was a sign of trust that he has the capability to address issues affecting the youth in the region. “The results confirm that youth are capable of making right decisions, which are not based on cash handouts extended to them,” he said.
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