The election year, 2011, is around the corner. Incumbents will struggle to retain their seats while many others will vie to replace them.
The contests will cut across; from president, parliamentary constituencies to local government.
As the temperatures begin to rise, Saturday Vision puts a barometer on the political climate; analysing the aspirants and the issues that are likely to influence voter choices
AGAGO, PADER DISTRICT
Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo, the Leader of the Opposition in parliament, is facing stiff competitors from the National Resistance Movement and the Democratic Party.
Â But some members of the community say no credible son of the soil should want to stand against a man who has achieved such a status.
â€œThere is nothing Prof. Ogenga has not done that someone can go and do in parliament again,â€ Charles Komakech Todora said.
He argued that Prof. Ogenga was one of the key persons who trekked to Garamba forest to meet the LRA leaders to advocate peaceful resolution of the LRA war, adding that at one point, LRA deputy Vincent Otti threatened to kill Ogenga.
A cross-section of say Ogenga played a big role in lobbying for the Pader-Abim power line which was commissioned recently by the president.
Stella Akello of Patongo sub-county said without Ogengaâ€™s intervention, the power line would have just gone straight from Pader town to Abim district via Patongo town council, missing Kalongo town.
Patongo town council residents also hail Ogenga for lobbying the ministry of local government to grant Patongo and Kalongo town council status to take services closer to them.
Charles Bongomin of Kalongo town council says Ogenga also used the constituency development fund to purchase 10,200kg of upland rice seeds and distributed them to 10 sub-counties.
Komakech says through Ogengaâ€™s efforts, all the roads in Agago now undergo routine maintenance done by the Government. Â
Â He added that Ogenga also advocated seed secondary schools at Patongo and Omot sub-counties and gave 15 football teams in Agago sh200,000 each.
One of his challengers is Christopher Okidi (DP), a former guild president of Gulu University, who says his vision is expounded in his campaign manifesto titled: Agago County Strategy Paper, which he said would guide his leadership once elected.
Okidi, 24, said during his guild presidency, he donated textbooks to five secondary schools and 18 primary schools in Agago, adding that this year three more schools will benefit from his donations.
Â â€œI support a boy from Lacekocot at Negri Primary School and a girl from Lukole at Bright Valley, both top schools in Gulu. My Northern Region Go back Home Project has helped disabled, formerly displaced persons go back to their homes,â€ he remarked.
With support from the Open Society Institute based in New York, Okidi distributed balls to 15 sub-county soccer teams and organised a successful tournament to restore social relations among youth who have borne the brunt of a two decade war.
Â â€œI can lobby and advocate for my people, but most importantly, I am determined to win this election on behalf of the youth, widows, children, orphans and the disabled, who bore the greatest brunt of the conflict.
Their support has convinced me that we have done good work and that this is not a vain attempt,â€ Okidi explained.
Â Charles Komakech Gatete (NRM) wants to foster co-existence among Ugandans regardless of their tribe, religion and political affiliation.
Â â€œThe incumbent is not fostering unity and co-existence among Ugandans. Instead he is arrogant, segregative and encouraging disunity. In most cases demonstrations in Kampala and MPs walking out of parliament are led by Acholi MPs,â€ Gatete said.
Â As leaders, Gatete argues, they should play role in wiping out the negative picture that has been painted of the north by people in other parts of the country due to the LRA war.
He added that poverty levels are high in Agago and many people take tea without sugar.
Gatete says he set up Agago youth advocacy forum to network youth and mobilise for peace building, economic empowerment and good leadership.
â€œThis forum has got branches in the 15 sub-counties with headquarters at Patongo. Even the elderly have joined it to benefit from the revolving fund for loans.â€
He explained that he formed a 10-man task force in each of the 15 sub-counties to sell his ideas to the community. All the district councillors and LC3 chairpersons in Agago, he added, support his candidature.
â€œThe Professor should mentor his successor and develop the capacity of those to replace him,â€ Gatete remarked, adding that Ogenga is only interested in national party matters and not the people who voted him to parliament to become the leader of the opposition.
Â Rock Okidi, who has been a member of UPC, joined the NRM before declaring his intention to unseat Ogenga.
Â While in exile in the UK in 2006, Okidi said he was prevailed upon by LRA leader Joseph Konyâ€™s supporters and the Vice-President of Southern Sudan, Gen. Dr. Riek Machar to support the LRA delegation during the Juba peace talks.
He explains that he did it to restore peace in the north so that people could return home and lead normal lives. Okidi has developed a programme for the socio-economic development of Acholi.
Through it, he registered a commercial farm, Akongo Development Estate Limited for the community.
This year he opened up an 100-acre piece of land where he planted a variety of crops.
He mobilized 100 small-scale farmers and registered them as Agago commercial farmersâ€™ association, to solicit for three tractors.
Through consultations, Okidi said he is forming a strong, reliable, competent, transparent, accountable Â and experienced people to form a constituency development committee that will help him implement his development plans.
He, who lives at his birth place in Patongo, says: â€œMy aim is to offer clean, courageous, mature, experienced, transparent and accountable leadership.â€ Â
His priorities are peaceful co-existence, settlement of disputes, especially those arising over land ownership, poverty eradication, unemployment and food security.
He is urging small-scale farmers to adopt commercial farming by accessing modern agricultural equipment, improved seeds, finance and national and international markets.
He also hopes to improve education, establish a rural polytechnics centre in every sub-county for skills development for the youth and strengthening Acholi cultural values.
RUBAGA NORTH, KAMPALA DISTRICT
This is one of the constituencies to watch.
All the major political parties in the country seem to be doing one thing in Rubaga: assembling potential candidates to take on the incumbent, Beti Olive Kamya, formerly of the FDC.
Some parties are even reluctant to reveal their aspirants, for fear that they might be weighed against others early in the game and found wanting.
Only the NRMâ€™s deputy treasurer, Singh Katongole and member Ismail Seguya, the director of Old Kampala High School, have openly shown interest. Katongole and Seguya recently met the youth and declared their intentions.
Aspirants from the Democratic Party (DP) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) whom Saturday Vision contacted, said they preferred to remain underground until their parties held primaries.
Most of those who want to take Kamyaâ€™s seat are taking advantage of the fact that she was expelled from FDC. they believe she has lost her popularity. But she has repeatedly said the expulsion is of no political consequence.
She argues that her relationship with the people of Rubaga North started before she joined FDC and that because of that the expulsion doesnâ€™t affect her political career.
Kamya will contest for the seat under the Uganda Federal Alliance, which she plans to register as a political party before 2011.
Today, it is just a pressure group advocating a federal system of governance in Uganda.
If she fails to register UFA, Kamya can contest as an independent candidate or cross over to another party.
Sometimes Kamya talks about DP as a party with a good motto of â€œTruth and Justiceâ€ and has been sporting outfits in green, the DP colour, as well as hobnobbing with DP leaders.
Some of the advantages she might have over others in the race include her support for the demands of the Mengo government like federo.
Rubaga North has a big number of Mengo supporters and to win it, one needs strong ties with the kingdom.
Kamya has contested for the seat twice, in 2001 when she lost and in 2006 when she won with a landslide victory.
She understands the political terrain of the constituency perhaps better than anybody else.
A candidate who is coming out to challenge Kamya must therefore be popular and any of the two NRM aspirants could give her a run for her money. Katongole resides in the constituency and is a well known and respected businessman.
He has enough funds to finance a campaign in the urban constituency, an advantage he might have over the others.
Katongole has been assuring voters that he is not looking for a job, but for a platform to serve them.
He promises to use his salary and the constituency development fund to create jobs for the youth and boost incomes.
An orator who has the power to swing voters to his side, the only thing Katongole has to work on is to convince the Mengo diehards that he can advance the interests of the kingdom while in Parliament.
Seguya, on the other hand, has been in the education sector for some time and many youth who have gone through his school support his cause.
He offered scholarships to the needy children in the school he established in 1999. he has been active in politics, supporting the NRM party and funding its activities in Rubaga North.
The constituency has five parishes of Lungujja, Kasubi, Lubya, Nakulabye and Namirembe-Bakuli with about 80,000 registered voters.
In 2006, Kamya defeated Tom Kayongo of the NRM, who was the incumbent and several others.
Voters in Rubaga North are unpredictable and this will make it an interesting campaign to watch.
BUNYOLE, BUTALEJA DISTRICT
Two people have declared their intention to contest for the seat currently held by Emmanuel Dombo.
One of them, Dawson Muloki Mawuta, is the principal of Kabwangasi primary teachersâ€™ college in Pallisa district and the acting cultural leader for the Banyole.
He enjoys support from many local politicians including minister without portfolio Dorothy Hyuha and LC5 chairman Richard Waya.
The twoÂ backed Mawuta after discovering that Dombo was supporting Selina Nabanda, who intends to stand against Hyuha for the district Woman MP seat.
Â Mawuta enjoys support in Hirimutu and Mazimansa sub-counties and Busolwe town council.
Â He was one of theÂ local leaders who met the President to request that Butaleja, which was part of Tororo, acquires district status.
Â Mawutaâ€™s appearance at several functions in the district has always caused excitement among his supporters.
Â Another candidate, Yusufu Mutembuli, is a lawyer with a private firm in Mbale town andÂ the president of the Democratic Party in the eastern region.
Most of his supporters, particularly the youth, feel the constituency needs a young person like him. The incumbent, Dombo, has been in parliament for three terms and is perceived as one of the strongest politicians in the district.
He attends as may functions and burials as he can and his support of Selina Nebandah against Hyuha has reportedly made him more popular.
Dombo says he is not afraid of his political rivals. He is also seen as man who mixes with people freely regardless of their status.Â
He will have to first Â battle it out with MawutaÂ in the NRM primaries.Â
Eudia Kwizera will be seeking a second term in 2011. She will face stiff competition in the NRM primaries from Sarah Mateke and Rose Kebagyenyi.
Kwizera lobbied for widows who secured over sh40m from the government to set up sheep rearing projects. She rallied her people to from groups where some youths have benefited from SACCO funds.
She donated plastic water containers and tarpaulines to villages from the constituency development fund.
But she will face stiff competition from Sarah Mateke, the daughter of Dr.
Philemon Mateke, the Kisoro LC5 boss.
It is said she won in 2006 mainly because she had Matekeâ€™s backing.
Sarah Mateke is the senior assistant town clerk of Kisoro town council.
She holds a degree in administration from Bugema University, a post graduate diploma in Administration and Management and she is pursuing a Masterâ€™s degree in development studies.
She has made contributions to religious groups in support of their development projects.
Mateke plans to extend water and power to Nyarusiza and Muramba sub-counties and establish income generating projects for the locals.
She will have the backing of her father, who is very popular and who has hinted at not contesting for the LC5 seat again.
Mateke has been on the political scene since Obote regime and has contributed much to the development of the district. In her mid thirties, residents describe Mateke as social.
Kabagyenyi, 36, the district agricultural officer, is well known in the district where she has been assistant agricultural officer since 1995 todate in Nyarusiza and Muramba sub-counties.
She is a graduate of Makerere University with a Bachelors degree in agriculture and she is currently pursuing a Masters in agricultural extension.
She has good relations with the people, especially farmers.
Farmers say as a result of efforts of the agricultural department, they now export irish potatoes to Juba and Kenya. Kisoroâ€™s irish potatoes form a sizeable part of the countryâ€™s food basket.
Kabagyenyi will also be the only catholic candidate in the race, which could work in her favour.
She is also said to have new backers, who may boost her campaign financially.
But Kabagenyi, who lost to Kwizera in 2006, has not had time to meet many opinion leaders as she is pursuing a degree.
Compiled by: Chris Ocowun, John Semakula, Moses Bikala and Darious Magara
Ogenga, Kamya, Dombo to face strong competitors