VOTERS in Mukono are getting ready for the LC 5 bye-election tomorrow.
By Charles Musisi
VOTERS in Mukono are getting ready for the LC 5 bye-election tomorrow. The bye-election follows the petition filed against Wasswa Kanakulya Banga by Francis Mukoome Lukooya disputing Bangaâ€™s A level qualifications, the minimum requirement for an LC 5 chairman. Court ruled in Lukooyaâ€™s favour.
The two candidates vying for the post are Francis Mukoome Lukooya and Ddamulira Kyeyune. Both are movementists but Francis Mukoome Lukooya the district Movement secretary, is considered the Movement candidate by most voters.
The bye-election for the district chairman has sparked off the resurgence of simmering rows between political heavy weights in the district.
â€œThere is a long standing conflict between Janat Mukwaya, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and his political rivals. They include all those who contested with her for the Constituent Assembly and parliamentary seats,â€ says a district official. â€œWhenever there is an election, the conflict resurfaces. The divisions here are based on personalities other than issues.â€
Mukwaya does not dispute the animosity between her and her rivals. However, she sees no reason why she should be the one to initiate reconciliation.
â€œWhy do they expect me to make the first move. If I have not reconciled with them, so what? How many MPs have not reconciled with their rivals. Why do they want reconciliation at this time?â€ asks Mukwaya.
She admits that she supports Lukooya. â€œHe has consistently supported the Movement from his youth. But I want a peaceful election. People must know that Ddamulira is not also free from violence. He was responsible for it during my election.â€
The rows have resulted in the involvement of high ranking government officials and army officers in what increasing appears to be a deliberate attempt to impose a movement candidate on the people.
Some military officers are reportedly campaigning for Lukooya, who is also the Movement secretary in the district.
Ddamulira, has submitted a formal complaint to the chairman of the electoral commission about the â€œdaily increasing insecurity in the LC 5 election campaigns.â€
At the meeting held at Ntenjeru sub-county recently, chaired by Sr. Magoba, the vice chairperson Electoral Commission, Ddamulira accused soldiers of â€œharassing and beatingâ€ his supporters.
According to the letter to the chairman of the Electoral Commission, dated February 7, 2003, â€œCaptain Muwanga is moving all over the district in full uniform along with two others, threatening people who do not support his candidate, Francis Mukoome Lukooya. He claims to belong to CMI. Capt. Muwanga shot at people in Ntenjeru trading centre on the eve of Tuesday February 4, 2003. The night before the Ngogwe sub county rally, the same person with his two uniformed colleagues along with councillor Harriet Nankabirwa went around Ngogwe sub-county, particularly Nangunga trading centre intimidating people they suspect not to be Lukooyaâ€™s supportersâ€.
Captain David Muwanga is
a special presidential assistant, under privileged youth, in charge of operati
The resident district commissioner, Charles Mubiru, launched investigations. â€œAs the chairman of the district security committee, I convened a meeting of all security officials in the district.
We discovered that Captain Muwanga is involved. He went to Ntenjeru at night with Lukooyaâ€™s posters. That was wrong,â€ reveals Mubiru. â€œWe resolved that he should be arrested if he continues.â€
But Muwanga discounts the accusations levelled against him. He alleges that Mubiru has been bribed by the Ddamulira camp: â€œWe all know that the RDC was given sh700m. Since then he has moved to Ddamuliraâ€™s side,â€ claims Muwanga. â€œHe is the only one supporting Ddamulira in his office.â€ Mubiruâ€™s response to bribe allegation is no comment. Muwanga does not deny mobilising people to vote for Lukooya. â€œIf we want the Movement to remain as a Movement, I have to support Lukooya. He is the secretary for the Movement in the district,â€ says Muwanga. â€œEven the District Movement chairman, Kagodo supports him.â€
Muwanga says he is not the only officer involved in campaigning: â€œEven Col. Kateregga is campaigning. Why do they talk about me only. They fear me because I am good at mobilising people to join the Movement. I convinced many DP youths to join the Movement.â€
Muwanga denies harassing Ddamuliraâ€™s supporters. â€œThey stoned my convoy and I shot in the air to scare them. They were carrying Kibaki and Besigyeâ€™s placards.â€
The Captain is still campaigning for Lukooya in spite of the RDCâ€™s directive.
Clearly, the RDCâ€™s directive has not been matched by a corresponding sense of urgency from the security officials.
There is a strong feeling among some voters that Vice President Speciosa Kazibwe and Janat Mukwaya are behind the soldiers. And there is scepticism over the effectiveness of the security committee to protect Ddamuliraâ€™s supporters from intimidation. This has fuelled suspicion that the Movement is trying to impose their candidate on the people.
â€œThe response of the security committee seems motivated by a desire to save the military from a scandal and then to punish the culprits,â€ says a councillor at the district headquarters.
â€œPolitical tension is likely to increase until justice is done. a more serious attitude by both the Electoral Commission and the security committee could reduce the tension.â€
With the perpetrators still at large and with political tension escalating, many people are beginning to doubt whether the culprits can be punished.
Richard Mukasa, 54, a businessman in Mukono says another issue causing political tension in the district, is the row between the mayor, Johnson Muyanja Sennyonga and Peter Bakaluba Mukasa, the Member of Parliament for Mukono North.
â€œThe mayor fell out with the MP due to a land wrangle,â€ discloses Mukasa. â€œNow the mayor supports Lukooya whereas Bakaluba supports Ddamulira.â€
Bakaluba says there is no land dispute: â€œThe problem is about a fence I erected. It has nothing to do with the elections. I supported Banga, when he was disqualified, we sat and decided to support Ddamulira.â€
According to John Ntege, the councillor, Ntenjeru sub-county, Ddamulira is likely to win. â€œAlthough he is a Movementist, he works closely with the multi-partyists. Most of the former LC 5 chairman supporters support him.
â€œLukooya is popular in Goma county, where he was the councillor and Nakifuma his birth place. He has also got support in Naama sub county.â€ Ends
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