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NRM, Opposition draw battle lines in Mukono

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th April 2011 03:00 AM

THE National Resistance Movement and the Opposition are set for another tough battle in Mukono. The NRM and Democratic Party camps in the constituency have drawn battle lines.

THE National Resistance Movement and the Opposition are set for another tough battle in Mukono. The NRM and Democratic Party camps in the constituency have drawn battle lines.

By John Semakula

THE National Resistance Movement and the Opposition are set for another tough battle in Mukono. The NRM and Democratic Party camps in the constituency have drawn battle lines.

Initially the war was between Betty Namboze (DP) and the Rev. Peter Bakaluba (NRM) in Mukono North constituency.

Now it has been taken over by Ronald Kibuule (NRM), an NRM youth and Hanifa Nabukeera, a former DP legal adviser for Mukono district.

Kibuule is said to have ties with President Museveni, security minister Amama Mbabazi and the president’s brother, Gen.Salim Saleh.

Last year, after Nambooze, who is now the Mukono Municipality MP-elect, won a court case against Rev. Bakaluba Mukasa, the opposition deployed its top guns, including party chiefs Col. Kizza Besigye (FDC) and Nobert Mao (DP) to back Nambooze in the by-elections.

The NRM also sent its top guns, commanded by President Yoweri Museveni and Mbabazi, the secretary general. The battle was won by the opposition.

It’s been said that history repeats itself and this is what is happening in Mukono North.

Following the creation of Mukono Municipality, the former urban sub-counties of Goma and Mukono town council were turned into a constituency, while Nama and Kyampisi sub-counties remained in Mukono North.

The creation of Mukono Municipality gave relief to the NRM camp, which had suffered pressure from the opposition’s strong urban support.

The NRM had the backing of the rural voters whose populations were small and as a result, the opposition usually trounced its candidates.
The new Mukono North, therefore, gave the NRM a chance to win.

In the short run the move seemed to have provided a solution to the bad blood between the DP and NRM, but it is not clear whether it will stand the test of time.

Before the parliamentary polls, both Kibuule and Nabukeera participated in their party primaries. And whereas Kibuule sailed through in the primaries, Nabukeera lost to little-known Steven Mutyaba, a fresh graduate from Makerere University.

However, with the backing of Nambooze and Mukono South MP Dr. Lulume Bayiga, Nabukeera ran as an independent candidate.

The DP camp in Mukono believes that Nambooze backed Nabukeera, especially because Nabukeera had been her campaign manager.

On nomination, day both Nambooze and Lulume accompanied Nabukeera to the district headquarters where the exercise was conducted.

Nambooze also campaigned for Nabukeera, but because she was involved in her own campaigns in Mukono Municipality, Nambooze did not campaign as much for Nabukeera in Mukono North.

But despite being backed by Nambooze, Nabukeera lost to Kibuule with a margin of over 10,000 votes. And like Nambooze, who petitioned court after losing to Bakaluba in 2006, Nabukeera contested the results and went to court, accusing Kibuule of bribing the voters. Court is yet to hear the case.

If granted a by-election by court, Nambooze’s camp plans to camp in Mukono North and comb all the corners in a do or die campaign geared at seeing that Nabukeera wins the seat.

But what is not clear is whether they understand the value NRM attaches to Kibuule and the strategies the party has in stock to prevent the seat from being grabbed by the opposition.

NRM, Opposition draw battle lines in Mukono

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