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Kyamadidi, Ngabirano in fierce battle for Rwampara

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Rwampara incumbent MP  Vincent Kyamadidi accuses Rwizi region

Rwampara incumbent MP Vincent Kyamadidi accuses Rwizi region police commander Hilary Kulaige of failing to protect voters in Rwampara County during the NRM primaries at NRM offices in Kamukuzi, Mbarara District, last year. Photo by Felix Ainebyoona  

By RAJAB MUKOMBOZI & Felix Ainebyoona

Posted  Sunday, January 24  2016 at  02:00

After being defeated in the NRM primaries by Mr Charles Ngabirano, Mr Vincent Kyamadidi is running as an Independent for Rwampara County.

Over the past months, both candidates and their supporters on several occasions have engaged in violent clashes, with local authorities warning the camps to stop the lawlessness.

Mbarara- On January 14, the incumbent Rwampara MP, Mr Vincent Mujuni Kyamadidi, was nearly lynched while vote hunting in hilly Mwizi, the home sub-county of his political nemesis, Mr Charles Ngabirano.

His vehicle was reportedly pelted with stones by his opponent’s supporters. This is just a microcosm of how violent the contest, mainly on the side of the two, has become.

The other competitors, Ms Mercy Mworozi (Ind), Gordon Mutiima (Ind) and Wilberforce Ahimbisibwe of the Forum for Democratic Change are underdogs, perhaps because they are new comers.

About 10 years ago, Mr Kyamadidi was not known, at least in the political circles of Rwampara. He was relatively of young age and came from a humble background.

He had an underprivileged childhood, having been raised by his peasant mother singlehandedly in the hills of Bugamba Sub-county.
The fight in him or perhaps luck catapulted Mr Kyamadidi to Makerere University where he graduated with a Social Work and Social Administration degree.
He then secured a job at Mbarara University of Science and Technology as an administrator; then later worked at Mbarara District local government as personnel officer.

Mr Kyamadidi was among the proprietors of Excel, a private secondary school in Mbarara, that has since collapsed.

He honed his oratory and political skills through political commentary on FM radio stations and emceeing at parties. Politics then beckoned and Kyamadidi jumped into the murky waters he finds himself in today.
In 2006, he was elected to represent Bugamba Sub-county in Mbarara District Council. He then took a shot at Rwampara MP seat, hitting the target in the 2010 NRM primaries.

He surprisingly snatched the flag from Mr Ngabirano, who like his predecessor, Amon Muzoora, had served one term as the MP.
Mr Kyamadidi did not have much to offer other than his gift of exciting peasants with rhetoric and out-arguing his critics using facts, suspected lies and exaggerations.

His supporters then fundraised money for running his campaigns, buying him a motorcycle to enable him reach the voters.

Mr Kyamadidi went on to defeat Israel Kazooba (FDC), Ellady Muyambi (Ind), Eric Sunday Kanyabigyeya (Ind) and Julius Nkwatsibwe (Ind) in the 2011 general election.

After losing, Mr Ngabirano an equally articulate and down to earth gentleman did not wallow in self-pity, he went back to the drawing board.

Five years later, he flexed his strong financial muscle and dealt a devastating blow to Mr Kyamadidi in the October 27 , 2015 NRM primaries.
Even when Mr Kyamadidi petitioned NRM’s electoral commission to have the exercise repeated, which wish was granted, Mr Ngabirano still prevailed as results from the November 20 re-run released by Dr Tanga Odoi, the NRM EC boss indicate.

Mr Kyamadidi polled 12,983 votes to Ngabirano’s 31,228 votes in the eight-man race that was not devoid of violence and rigging.

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