Elections

My target higher than being prime minister, says Mbabazi

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Independent presidential candidate greets his supporters during his campaign rally in Kangole County in Napak District yesterday. Photo by Rachel Mabala 

By  FREDERIC MUSISI & STEVEN ARIONG

Posted  Friday, January 8  2016 at  02:30
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MOROTO/NAPAK.

Go Forward presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi yesterday yet again had another day of haggling with police, who claimed to be working on orders of the Resident District Commissioners of Moroto and Napak to access venues of his campaigns in the two districts.

Mr Mbabazi’s first rally in Moroto that was to take place early in the morning at the Mayors Gardens was shifted to Boma Grounds, where police said all other candidates campaigned.

Boma Grounds, was however, only made available as a last resort.
The former prime minister, nonetheless, drew a modest crowd at Boma, to which he apologised to for the inconvenience and said the venue had only been assigned him just moments earlier.

“Everywhere I have gone an attempt has been made either to stop me or frighten you the people,” Mr Mbabazi said.
The Moroto RDC, Ms Hellen Pulkol, defended the decision saying Mr Mbabazi was reassigned another venue because the first one was close to the business centre and would disrupt business.
“It [Mayors Gardens] was even small compared to Boma,” Ms Pulkol added.

At Boma Grounds, Mbabazi who was initiated into the Karamajong culture and given the local name ‘Ariong’ [son of chief] said: “Those who think our message can only go out through public rallies are mistaken. You know, an idea is like when a woman is pregnant, when it is time to deliver, it is time. There is only one thing in life that is constant; it is change. Those who don’t know it are living in darkness.”

“I started from the bottom so I am going to the top. I finished being prime minister so I am going to the top, and I will. I don’t go backwards,” Mr Mbabazi added.

Mr Mbabazi, said Moroto and the rest of other districts are still lagging behind compared to where they should be given the money pumped to the sub-region for the last many years.

He promised to revive cattle trade in Karamoja through support of cooperative societies through his proposed sub-county model.
He said he will improve healthcare, education, veterinary facilities, boost access to clean water and as well support and invest in poverty alleviation programmes.

Mr Mbabazi’s next rally at Papac Sub-county did not materialise after police deployed heavily and blocked the way there.
Police also heavily deployed at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital to guard against any probable visit by Mr Mbabazi.
From Moroto, Mr Mbabazi drove to Napak; his first stop was at Kangole village, a shanty dusty town, where some of his posters had been defaced.

Police also tried blocking him here but after minutes of haggling they allowed him to hold the rally.
Here, he promised to support poverty alleviation programmes, support education, build and fix the healthcare system, and reduce electricity tariffs.

Napak has no secondary school, so residents urged him to make it his first priority when he gets to State House.