By Vision Reporters
MAYORAL elections conducted yesterday saw most incumbents retain their seats. Partial results also showed that the opposition maintained a strong a grip on urban centres.
The exercise that was conducted in the 22 municipalities and the five Kampala city divisions, was more peaceful than the district chairpersonsâ€™ polls.
In Bushenyi/Ishaka municipality, Jackson Kamugasha (independent) retained his seat. Business came to a standstill when his supporters jammed the streets to celebrate his win.
Declared results showed that Kamugasha scored 8,342 votes, while his closest opponent, NRMâ€™s Jaffari Bassajjabalaba, got 3,596 votes.
Shouting ekijegyere twakicwa (meaning, we have cut NRMâ€™s chain), Kamugashaâ€™s supporters jubilated in a convoy of more than 70 vehicles and boba-bodas.
They drove from Ishaka town up to Nyakabirizi town under a heavy down pour.
Asiki leads in Arua
In Arua Municipality, results declared showed that the incumbent, Charles Asiki of the NRM, had retained the seat.
According to results announced late last evening by Rose Acima Atima, the district returning officer, Asiki polled 6,169 (50.93%) of the votes cast in the 58 polling stations.
He beat his challenger, Juma Bakhit of UPC, who got only 4,921 (40.63%) votes. Kafu Nasuru, an independent candidate, got 158 (1.3%).
Another independent candidate, Andaku Dudu, collected only 81 votes (0.67%) and JEEMAâ€™s Tipele Abdulzaki managed 41 votes, which is 0.53%.
FDCâ€™s Mafabi takes Mbale
Forum for Democratic Change candidate Mutwalibi Mafabi Zandya was announced winner of the Mbale municipality mayoral elections.
Mafabi polled 7,282 votes, representing 37.98%. His closest rival, Alfred Magomu (independent), got 3,596 votes, representing 18.75%.
Hajjat Jamila Naleba, the NRM flag-bearer, was in third place with 3,038 votes, representing 15.84%.
FDC supporters were already celebrating through Mbale streets as the Electoral Commission officials tallied the results.
Kabbyanga ahead in Kasese
NRMâ€™s Godfrey Baluku Kabbyanga was by last evening (7:30pm) ahead of his sole challenger, Nelson Ndungo (FDC), by about 4,000 votes in the race for the Kasese mayoral seat.
According to provisional results from all the 70 polling stations in the municipality, Kabbyanga had polled 10,075 votes against Ndungoâ€™s 6,084.
On receiving the provisional results, Kabbyangaâ€™s supporters poured onto the streets in celebration knowing their candidate would be the first elected mayor of the municipality created in July 2009.
Ndungo was the LC3 chairperson of Kasese town council but lost to Cosmas Byaruhanga, the outgoing interim mayor.
Both Kabbyanga and Ndungo have been ministers in the Rwenzururu kingdom. While Kabbyanga was the kingdomâ€™s finance minister, Ndungo held the lands minister portfolio.
They both resigned to vie for the mayoral seat.
Kayanja edges Kabuye in Entebbe municipality
Provisional results declared in Entebbe municipality show that DPâ€™s Vincent De Paul Kayanja was destined to dethrone NRMâ€™s Stephen Kabuye who has been mayor for 21 years.
At almost all polling stations which had finished tallying results, Kayanja was leading.
At Kitoro Leisure Park M-N polling station, Kayanja got 121, while Kabuye scored 55 votes. At the Kitoro O-Z, Kayanja garnered 149 votes, while Kabuye secured 63 votes.
At A-L Kayanja got 237 votes and Kabuye secured 118, while at E-L, Kayanja had 218 compared to Kabuyeâ€™s119 votes.
At Mayorâ€™s gardens polling stations N-M, Kayanja had 120 votes and Kabuye scored 41, while at the Survey training institute, Kayanja hit 118 and Kabuye beat him with 274.
At other polling stations at the institute, Kayanja got 65, while Kabuye managed 109. Elsewhere, Kayanja got 63 as Kabuye collected 168 votes.
In Kiwafu East polling stations, Kayanja polled 179, while Kabuye got 160; Kayanja scored 86 as Kabuye managed 48 and elsewhere, Kayanja had 157 votes compared to Kabuyeâ€™s 152.
At the three polling stations at Bugonga, Kayanja had 83 votes while Kabuye got 70. Kayanja secured another 191 as Kabuye garnered 129 and elsewhere, Kayanja recorded 179 as Kabuye got 152 votes.
At Kigungu Primary School Kayanja got 469, while Kabuye afforded 449 votes.
Kezaala remains Jinja mayor
Jinja mayor Mohammed Baswari Kezaala yesterday secured a second term in office after trouncing five contestants in the municipal elections.
Kezaala got 11,484 votes, representing 47% of the total votes cast. His closest rival, NRMâ€™s Majid Batambuze, garnered 9,420 votes.
According to results that were declared by the district returning officer, Flavia Mujuluzi, at the district headquarters at around 10:30pm, FDCâ€™s Andrew Kasigwa came third with 1,829 votes.
Pastor Rajabu Ssentamu from Evangelic church in Jinja town followed with 1,240 votes, while former mayor Joel Kafuko Munyigwa, who was eyeing a comeback, managed only 155 votes. Robert Isabirye trailed with 47 votes.
Mujuluzi noted that the results were from 94 of the 95 polling stations in the municipality, adding that results from the remaining station would not affect the final tally given the number of voters there.
Kezaala was not at the tally centre when the results were declared although he was represented by the DP district chairman, Samuel Kitanda, and other party stalwarts.
These went into celebrations and joined a horde of supporters who were waiting outside the committee room, where the Electoral Commission had set up the tally centre.
News of the final results spread so fast, which reignited street celebrations that had earlier been sparked off by preliminary results that showed Kezaala to be in the lead.
Supporters went wild hooting and riding motorcycles through the streets. Others went jogging, while wielding branches and chanting slogans extolling Kezaala.
Victory in the way of Mukonoâ€™s Muyanja
In Mukono, incumbent Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga, who stood as an independent, was leading with 10,592 votes.
His closest rival, NRMâ€™s George Ssentongo, polled 1,559 votes, while DPâ€™s Ffeffeka had 731 votes.
NRM leads in Gulu
In Gulu, George Labega of NRM was leading according to provisional results from 82 of the 107 polling stations.
He polled 5,662 votes, while Patrick Lumumba Oola of FDC managed only 3,615 votes and Walter Odong of UPC had 1,633 votes.
Hoimaâ€™s Atugonza loses
In Hoima Municipality, the NRM candidate, Mary Mugasa, was leading Francis Atungonza, the incumbent and FDC candidate.
With only a few polling stations left by press time, Mugasa had polled 9,702 votes, while Atugonza had 760 votes.
Kampala race still tight
NRM's Godfrey Nyakaana and DP's Charles Serunjongi were running neck to neck in most of the polling stations tallied for the race for Kampala Central Division.
Kalumba Sebuliba (NRM) was leading his opponents in the Nakawa race, while in Kawempe, Hajji Mubarak Munyagwa, fondly referred to as Mugaati gwa bata (buttered bread) was leading.
Boda Boda rider wins Masaka
In Masaka Municipality, Godfrey Kayemba Afaayo, a boda boda cyclist and the FDC district chairman, defeated the NRM candidate and a prominent businessman, William Kalumba, to take the seat. He polled 11,276 votes against Kalumbaâ€™s 4,084.
NRM leads MasindiI
n Masindi, Joshua Amanyire Kiiza of the NRM was leading with 9,077 votes. Joab Busingye, the FDC candidate, followed with 2,335 votes.
FDCâ€™s Ruhemurana leads in Kabale
In Kabale, the FDC candidate, Dr. Pius Ruhemurana, was in the lead, while in Rukingiri, Charles Mukaru (FDC) was leading the NRM candidate, Saleh Turyamureeba, by a big margin
The NRM candidate, Jacob Kafureka, was also in the lead in the Ntungamo race.
PROFILES OF SOME OF THE CANDIDATES
Mukono - Johnson Ssenyonga
Mukono mayor Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga retained his seat despite stiff competition. Ssenyonga, an independent, is affiliated to the NRM.
He, however, did not contest the NRM primaries. He said he feared that his opponents in the NRM camp would rig the primaries. The NRM leadership in the municipality accused Ssenyonga of siding with the opposition, especially the area MP Betty Nambooze, with whom he held joint campaign rallies.
Ssenyonga won the mayoral race since he had massive support from the women and youth.
Rubaga, Kampala - Joyce Ssebugwawo
Given that the division was once held by a woman, the late Winnie Makumbi, Ssebugwawo has a chance of winning. She was reported to be leading late last night. Makumbi was replaced by the incumbent Peter Ssematimba, who is running for the post of Kampala mayor.
Ssebugwawo, an FDC supporter, who made her intentions clear immediately after Makumbiâ€™s death, is said to be organised. She printed T-shirts, many posters and enrolled hundreds of youth to mobilise votes for her.
As if taking cue from President Yoweri Museveni, Ssebugwawo, according to one of her mobilisers, designed a strategy to reach out to students of voting age in the division.
Her schedule included visiting various secondary schools on special days like sports days. This was meant to build a relationship with students, their teachers and their parents. She is so close to the Mengo establishment; a relationship which many believe is an advantage for her since Rubaga is the official seat of Buganda Kingdom.
Jinja Municipality - Baswale Kezaala
Kezaala, the DPâ€™s national chairman, remains a strong political icon in Jinja district. He was in 2009 remanded to Luzira Prison on charges of abuse of office when he allegedly allocated a prime plot on Lubas Road in Jinja town to a Muslim association where he was a major shareholder.
He was also accused of using public funds to the tune of sh16m to pay for personal expenses. Kezaala started off his political career as the LC1 boss of Rippon village, became a councillor before he got elected to LC3 chair for Jinja central division. His exemplary service earned him the mayorâ€™s seat in 2006. He won again this time.
Bushenyi-Ishaka - Jackson Kamugasha
Kamugasha is the incumbent mayor for Ishaka municipality. He was reported to be in the lead yesterday. He joined politics as councillor for the then Ishaka town council to Bushenyi district. Kamugasha is a reserved politician and is adored as a performer. He is credited with transforming the municipality, which is now clean and organised.
He promised to work on the roads if elected and extend piped water to the rest of the town. Given his political background, Kamugasha has made his political calculations well. Coming from a staunch UPC family and a relative to UPC strong man Chris Rwakasisi, Kamugasha has stood as an independent in all elections. He rejected advances by NRM bigwigs in Bushenyi who tried to convince him to join the ruling party.
Mbale municipality - Zandya Mafabi Mutwalibi
Mafabi is an FDC party stalwart and was making a second attempt in the Mbale mayoral race. He was lucky this time around as results late last night put him in the lead. He is a businessman and deals in general merchandise in Mbale town.
By press time, the other contestants who included NRMâ€™s Jamila Naleba, Michael Nandala (Independent) and Wasswa Masokoi (Independent) were trailing and heading for defeat.
Arua Municipality - Charles Asiki
From the beginning of the campaigns, NRMâ€™s Charles Asiki, the incumbent, looked set for another victory.
He exuded confidence on the campaign trail as he told voters that he was not searching for votes but giving accountability for work â€œwell doneâ€ during the five years he was in office.
He cited improved garbage management, tarmac on formerly dusty roads, and promotion of adult literacy. May be he was right. The voters returned him with a resounding win.
Soroti Municipality - Alfred Aruo
The incumbent Soroti Municipality mayor and FDC candidate, Alfred Aruo, was a top contender from the start. By press time yesterday, he was leading the pack and appeared set for victory. Charles Elasu, the NRM flag-bearer, was his main challenger.
Aruo won in 2006 and has since maintained the confidence of the people with his dedicated service. His character has endeared him both to the opposition and his party members. Aruo improved garbage collection in the town.
Mbarara municipality - Wilson Tumwine
In 2001, Tumwine who was then a new-comer on the political scene in Mbarara, relied on the support of traders to defeat mayor Robert Rutehenda. In the following election of 2006, Tumwine was unopposed after his archrival FDCâ€™s Posiano Ntungirehi withdrew from the race.
He was headed for another round by press time. Tumwine is involved in business in Mbarara town where he owns several properties that include commercial buildings, a hotel and plots of land in a number of suburbs.
Compiled by John Thawite, Kigongo Sebalamu, Richard Drasimaku, Chris Mugasha, Esther Mukyala, Jackie Nambogga, Doreen Musingo, Joseph Wanzusi, Henry Nsubuga, Cornes Lubangakene, Paul Watala and Daniel Edyegu.