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Two launch bid to unseat Baryomunsi in Kinkiizi East

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd July 2010 03:00 AM

TWO months ago the Kinkiizi East MP, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, was stunned when the Church of Uganda rejected his contribution of sh300,000 for allegedly saying he was the man behind developments in Kinkizi Diocese.

TWO months ago the Kinkiizi East MP, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, was stunned when the Church of Uganda rejected his contribution of sh300,000 for allegedly saying he was the man behind developments in Kinkizi Diocese.

By John Semakula
TWO months ago the Kinkiizi East MP, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, was stunned when the Church of Uganda rejected his contribution of sh300,000 for allegedly saying he was the man behind developments in Kinkizi Diocese.

Bishop John Ntegyereize wanted Baryomunsi to apologise for his earlier remarks before the Church accepts his contributions.

“We shall not accept his offerings any more since he is going around saying he is the one who has put up several projects in the diocese. I challenge him to name any,” the bishop said then.

The MP has since been accusing the Bishop of leading a religious campaign against him.

Baryomunsi, a Catholic, says the Bishop is turning the parliamentary race into a religious affair by fronting a Protestant, Rev. Kenneth Kanyankole against him.

“The top leaders of the Anglican Church have fronted a candidate to challenge me on religious grounds,” he said.

Kanyankole, who studied theology at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, is Baryomunsi’s greatest opponent. Like Baryomunsi, he too is vying for the seat on the NRM ticket.

Baryomunsi cautions that the rift between him and the Anglican Church could divide the people of Kinkiizi East along religious lines unnecessarily. But he says he is confident the Christian will not follow what their Bishop says.

“Kanyankole is not in a position to beat me even if the Anglican Church leaders are behind him,” said Baryomunsi.

On the other hand, Kanyankole, 44, says Baryomunsi is using the religious issue as a scapegoat. He says the MP is only struggling to win sympathy votes from Catholics.

But he warns that such antics will not be successful. “He wants to hoodwink the Catholic Church into supporting him. He is forgetting that the people support me because of what I have done.”

Kanyankole is the coordinator of the Kinkiizi Integrated Rural Development Programme, which is involved in fighting poverty. The organisation operates under Kinkizi Church of Uganda Diocese.

Baryomunsi’s other challenger, Lawrence Rwebishengye, is a new comer on the political scene, but claims to have a lot of support.

He says wants to unite the people of Kinkiizi East, so he is standing as an independent.

“Kanungu is neither for the Anglicans nor for the Catholics. It is also not for FDC or NRM and that is why the electorate needs someone like me,” he said.

Like Baryomunsi who resigned from his United Nations job in 2005 to join politics, Rwebishengye has also just left his job at the University of Dar-es-Salaam Business School.

He is one of the founders of the Kanungu Graduates Association.

Depending on how the leaders handle it, this campaign has the potential to cause deep rifts between Catholics and Protestants in the constituency, where the two religious faiths have similar numbers.

Two launch bid to unseat Baryomunsi in Kinkiizi East

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