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Lukyamuzi and daughter eye Rubaga South, Bayiga strong, Oryem back for Okello seat

By Vision Reporter

Added 14th May 2010 03:00 AM

In 2005, the Conservative Party (CP) leader Ken Lukyamuzi was thrown out of Parliament for failure to declare his wealth.

In 2005, the Conservative Party (CP) leader Ken Lukyamuzi was thrown out of Parliament for failure to declare his wealth.

Accordingly, he was disqualified from running again, so he fronted his daughter, Susan Nampijja, who won the election.

All seemed to be sailing smoothly until court ruled recently that Lukyamuzi should not have been dismissed from Parliament and is eligible to run for the seat.

All indications are that Lukyamuzi, who refers to himself as ‘The Man’, wants the seat. What then does he do with his daughter?

Both Lukyamuzi and Nampijja have dismissed talk that they are fighting over the seat. “I am not fighting my father and there are no political differences.

I have enjoyed a good political relationship with his encouragement, counsel, support and good example, which have kept me on course,”
Nampijja told Saturday Vision.

Lukyamuzi added: “I would be the last to work for Nampijja’s downfall.” He described her as a good performer who has made him proud by upholding the values of her parents and those of the party.

The stark truth, however, is that to-date father and daughter have not reached an agreement on who will stand in Rubaga South. “Whether I stand in Rubaga South or not cannot be determined by me.

It is CP to decide and we shall cross the bridge when we reach there,” she said, adding that she might even contest for the party presidency.

Lukyamuzi is non-committal. The decision, he says, will be made by party members at the National Executive Committee meeting at the end of this month.

In any case, Lukyamuzi says, there are many options for Nampijja. Lukyamuzi is contemplating fronting her to compete with Nabilah Naggayi for the Kampala Woman slot. He is also considering the possibility of Nampijja standing in Beti Kamya’s constituency, Rubaga North.

The other option being considered is to go to Masaka district, where Lukyamuzi was born. There, she could stand for Woman MP or challenge Lt. Pius Mujuzi for Kyotera County.

But these options will not be necessary if Lukyamuzi succeeds in becoming the joint opposition flag bearer for the presidential elections, being president of one of the parties in the opposition alliance, the inter-party coalition.

Others are Kizza Besigye of the Forum for Democratic Change, Olara Otunnu of the Uganda People’s Congress and Kibirige Mayanja of JEEMA.

“Until the IPC national conference decides who will be the 2011 cooperation’s flag-bearer, I can’t choose where my candidature will fall,” Lukyamuzi says.

But whether it is Lukyamuzi or Nampijja, the CP flag bearer in Lubaga South has to be ready for serious competition.

The seat has attracted interest from Wasswa Lule, Moses Kasibante, Joseph Balikuddembe, Vincent Mayanja and Church Ambroze Bukenya of the Democratic Party, Kenneth Kayongo of the (National Resistance Movement), as well as John Kikonyogo of the FDC.

Mayanja, a resident of Kabowa and holds a position in Norbert Mao’s camp of the Democratic Party, while Bukenya is a councillor in Rubaga Division and a special DP mobiliser for the youth.

Buikwe south
The Democratic Party (DP) and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) will lock horns in Buikwe South in the newly-created Buikwe district.

The seat is currently occupied by the former DP secretary general, Dr. Lulume Bayiga, who intends to stand again.

He will face either David Mutebi, a businessman and Anthony Mukasa, the former area MP both of the NRM.

In 2006, Lulume lost to Mukasa, the NRM flag bearer, but he successfully appealed against the results on grounds that there were malpractices.

Court nullified the results and declared the seat vacant, which called for a by-election. Lulume defeated Mukasa with a margin of about 5,000 votes despite the fact that many NRM senior politicians, including President Yoweri Museveni, visited the constituency and campaigned for Mukasa.

To turn the tide and win back the constituency will not be an easy task for the NRM. President Yoweri Museveni seems to know this better than anyone else.

Recently, during his visit to the constituency, he vowed to use all the political skills he has to make sure the NRM regained the seat from DP.

Some voters told the President that they loved him so much and would vote for him in the next general elections, but asked him to allow them to support Lulume for the MP seat.

To prove their support for Lulume, they gave him a standing ovation as he walked to the podium to give a speech during a rally.

In front of the President, they accused their former NRM legislator of failing to represent them efficiently. To counter Lulume, the NRM must find a very strong, popular candidate.

Mutebi and Mukasa will contest in the NRM party primaries to determine who faces Lulume. On the ground, Mutebi appears to be more popular than Mukasa.

But there are already signs that the party’s primaries are likely to be won by Mutebi, who, being a virgin in parliamentary politics, does not have anything to taint his reputation.

Mukasa has scars from his years in parliament. Mutebi also has the support of the youth whom he has sponsored in several sports activities, especially in the popular Buikwe football tournament.

He is a financially established man who may need little or no external financial support to run his campaign.

Lulume has the ability to identify with the locals and he is a powerful figure in the national politics, which gives him an edge over his competitors.

Bunya west, Mayuge district
Incumbent and agriculture state minister Aggrey Bagiire (NRM) is up against economist Vincent Bagiire of the same party, who works with Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiatives (BROSDI).

Bagiire the minister, is a former agriculture teacher at Bukoyo Secondary School, who has helped farmers improve their standards of living.

He is a model farmer, who frequently swaps his expensive shoes for gumboots and attends to his exotic broilers at his home in Bugodi village, Baitambogwe sub-county.

Under the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), the beneficiaries are full of praise for the minister as his recent tours as minister to access the impact have coerced the district coordinator to deliver.

However, locals believe Bagiire should have worked harder to improve overall household incomes in the area.

The minister has also amassed political enemies whom he persecuted under the on-the-spot NAADS monitoring.
Some of the affected sub-county and district coordinators who served stints in jail seem to be working to show him the exit.

Meanwhile, former area MP Wilberforce Kiwagama has never forgiven the incumbent for grabbing the seat from him in 2006. His hand is evident in the storm of change anticipated to sweep through the constituency.

So real is the threat that the incumbent has started spending more time in the area, which has a limited supply of safe water.

The resident are therefore displeased at Bagiire’s decision to construct a borehole inside his premises, which people cannot access easily because of the presence of gun-wielding askaris.

His opponent, Bagiire, took advantage of this to set up a communal borehole in the vicinity, which villagers can access free of charge.

Vincent Bagiire has targeted rural communities in Bunya west over the years.

He is increasing incomes in poor farming communities by using communication technology both to facilitate the sharing of indigenous farming knowledge and to enable poor farmers to obtain better prices for their products.

Some of the ICT tools he uses include audio CDs, audio blogs, SMS, and a website. He also produces how-to guides and brochures.

Everything is translated into local languages for easy accessibility. In each community, the local knowledge broker is the first point of reference, responsible for disseminating content through whatever methods are deemed most effective within the local context.

Vincent also organises monthly and annual gatherings to facilitate networking and transfer of best practices among farmers.

His work started in Mayuge district with 100 farmers in 2004. Under BROSDI, a farmer, was two years later sponsored to attend a cheese making conference in Italy. Upon her return, she taught others what she had learned using the network.

This new skill, however, presented a new challenge:

The need for refrigeration, something that until then had never been relevant to farmers. Again through the network, a farmer from Tanzania shared a simple method of refrigeration that enabled the new Ugandan cheese makers to continue their craft.

Vincent Bagiire was appointed to the Ashoka International Fellowship in 2008 and joined staff and fellows discussing the importance of entrepreneurship with President Barrack Obama of the USA.

According to the Ashoka website, he has established a network of farmers’ groups and a mechanism for knowledge transfer among them to boost the yields from their farms and ultimately to address persistent poverty in rural Uganda.

The NRM primaries later this year that will decide which of the Bagiires will stand on the party ticket to tussle it out with other contenders.

Chua county, Kitgum district
After he was defeated by diehard UPC member, John Livingstone Okello Okello in 2006, state minister for international affairs, Henry Okello Oryem has bounced back.

Many of the youthful aspirants for the seat have praised Okello Okello for advocating land rights and protection.

Simon Peter Loum says Okello Okello should be commended for defending the land of the Acholi. But he also criticised the elderly legislator, saying: “We criticize President Museveni for over-staying in power and yet there are some MPs who also want a fourth term. Okello Okello should set an example for such MPs by retiring,” he noted.

Loum, who is the deputy speaker of Kitgum local council and the FDC deputy secretary general, said: “I am building confidence of the voters and youth. In most cases the youth have been used by leaders and abandoned without any assistance. I want to show that as youth, we can also lead. My tag name is ‘let’s build tomorrow now,’” he says.

He plans to fight for employment for the youth. He castigated the Electoral Commission for giving the job of election supervisors to parish chiefs instead of the unemployed youth.

Among his priorities is peacefully resolving the rampant land disputes in the villages where people have returned from camps, without resorting to war.
Another aspirant is Eric Lakidi, (FDC), a veteran journalist and former personal assistant to Okello Oryem.

“I contested in 2006 and enjoyed massive support of FDC but I was knocked out on a technicality because I had not resigned as political assistant to minister Okello Oryem,” he said.
He has started moving from village to village talking to voters.

Richard Pacoto, (DP), a field supervisor with an international NGO in Gulu has met opinion leaders in most of the sub-counties in Chua.

The proprietor of a computer centre in Kitgum town, Pacoto says his focus is on helping the community develop proposals to access Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF II) money. He stated that there is need to support the youth and women to start poultry projects for income generation.

Abraham Aturu Balmoi Darabin, the LC5 councillor for Orom sub-county, has also declared his intention to contest as an Independent candidate. “I have started putting up an electoral task force right from the chairperson to the secretaries and mobilisers in each sub-county, up to the village levels.

The task force comprises youth, women and elders of right moral integrity,” Aturu said. He advises people to ‘eat and drink’ from other candidates but vote for him. Aturu added that he is also trying to mobilize and sensitise the community on how they can resolve land disputes without shedding blood.

Okello Oryem says his focus is ensuring that all children have access to secondary education. “By 2012, we should be able to have secondary schools in every sub-county in Chua county,” he said.

He explained that he engineered the building of seed secondary schools in Kitgum Matidi, Omiya-Nyima and Orom sub-counties and of Obyen community polytechnic at Kitgum Matidi, which was done by the government under education ministry.

“In the last three years, I gave scholarships for over 100 students in two universities in Uganda and others in China, India, UK and Algeria. Kitgum will produce one of the first petroleum engineers in Uganda,” Okello Oryem said.

The minister also added that he initiated a programme to empower the youth with farm implements to boost production.

“I have this programme in the five sub-counties that make up Chua county to enable the youth get oxen and ox-ploughs to increase agricultural productivity,” Okello Oryem said.

He said together with Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the former internal affairs minister, he and other people worked for peace in Acholi.

He said he spent a lot of time in Juba, southern Sudan, negotiating peace with the LRA team to bring to a peaceful end the 20-year insurgency.

“I got an ambulance for Kitgum Hospital, a lorry for the town council for garbage collection and (lobbied for construction of a) valley dam worth billions of shillings in Namokora sub-county,” he said.

He added that he provided grinding mills to women groups and supported the creation of nursery schools in two sub-counties. “I also renovated and roofed Omiya-Nyima and Namokora churches and contributed towards the construction of bridges on Omiya-Nyima-Kitgum road and Wol sub county in Pader district.”

The minister boasted that among all those wanting to contest for Chua, he was the most highly educated and more exposed both locally and internationally.

Dr Kizito Omona, (FDC), an intern at Gulu Hospital, is holding consultative meetings with FDC executives at sub-county levels about his candidature.

He says it is time for young leaders to replace the old politicians who have not done much to help the youth and vulnerable groups in the villages.

Compiled by: Jude Kafuma, John Semakula, George Bita
and Chris Ocowun

Lukyamuzi and daughter eye Rubaga South, Bayiga strong, Oryem back for Okello seat

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