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Rwampara County contest: Kyamadidi, Ngabirano to face off again

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Mr Vincent Kyamadidi receives a motorcycle from his supporters

Mr Vincent Kyamadidi receives a motorcycle from his supporters during the 2011 Rwampara constituency parliamentary election campaigns. PHOTO BY ALFRED TUMUSHABE 

By RAJAB MUKOMBOZI

Posted  Saturday, July 5   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

People of Rwampara are quick to say they usually give their MPs one term, mainly on the account of failure to perform to their expectations. Could this be the fate that awaits MP Kyamadidi?

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RWAMPARA

Mr Vincent Mujuni Kyamadidi’s stint in Parliament as Rwampara MP has largely been defined by controversies, though he has also made a mark in what is expected of him as a legislator.
He was subjected to three months suspension from the NRM on whose ticket he was elected, for criticising the party and going against its positions.

Back in his constituency, he fought with the party’s district chairman for Mbarara, Mr Jomo Mugabi. Although he lodged a complaint of assault and the matter had reached court, the two later settled it amicably.

There were images in the press of drunken Kyamadidi accosting police officers on duty, and others where court bailiffs were hacking into his garage at his home in Kamukuzi Mbarara to attach his Toyota Prado vehicle over debts.

Will such ugly displays be his Achilles’ heel is his 2016 re-election bid? People of Rwampara are quick to say they usually give their MPs one term. They say this is mainly on the account of failure to perform to their expectations. Could this be the fate that awaits Kyamadidi?

His outspokenness and combative displays have annoyed some of the voters here who are now castigating him for what they say is immaturity and indiscipline. But it has on the other hand earned him popularity.

Mzee Danson Kikaawa from Bugamba Sub-county says, “Our MP is open and frank, that’s why he has suffered, we will vote him back.” Mr Kyamadidi, who was LC5 councillor for Bugamba, went into the 2010 NRM party primary election as an underdog, limping on weak financial muscle.

Walking to campaign
However, some people, after realising his ability to articulate issues as he did while appearing on radio talk shows and emceeing at parties, mobilised money and financed his bid. They bought him a motorcycle and saved him from what some people had begun to call “walking to campaign”.

Mr Kyamadidi says he has courted controversy because of his shrewdness and openness which he says is in the best interest of his electorate.

“(Do) you know how I got elected? It was through popular vote; the community members organising themselves. Some area leaders thought I was not going through and never supported me. They got surprised. After I had gone through, I did not want to betray the people who supported me,” says Mr Kyamadidi. He says when he began fighting corruption, the heat was turned against him.

So, will he ride on being vocal to get back to Parliament? What has he delivered back in his constituency? Is it that of any concern to the voters?

Mr Charles Ngabirano, the immediate former area MP, says the incumbent has only capitalised on the projects he had initiated. “Our current MP has not initiated any new development projects for the people of Rwampara. The electricity, water projects he talks about are programmes I initiated,” says Mr Ngabirano who is plotting a comeback in 2016.

Mr Ngabirano who had ousted Mr Amon Muzoora five years earlier lost to Mr Kyamadidi in the NRM party primaries in 2010. He, however, has kept in close contact with the locals through tea growing and tree planting projects and wants to exploit this to reclaim his seat which he says was taken away from him prematurely.

The five-year tenure for an MP, he says, is a short time to accomplish ones programme and that he left when most of the projects he initiated had not gotten off the ground.

Other than focusing on national issues, Mr Kyamadidi justifies his seeking re-election on his intense lobbying that has given birth to extension of piped water to Kinoni, Nyakayojo and Nyeihanga areas, renovation of Mwizi , Bugamba and Nyakayojo secondary schools and reconstruction and upgrading of Ruti-Mwizi –Ryamiyonga and Nyakairu -Bugamba –Nyikibuga roads, the major roads in this constituency.

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