Campaigns kick off in Kyotera as new district takes shape

Monday July 3 2017

By IVAN KIMBOWA

RAKAI. A mixed bag of excitement and political campaigns characterises Kyotera District as many prepare to contest for the top leadership positions in the new district.
Kyotera is among the 23 new districts that were approved by Parliament in 2015 and became operational effective July 1.
Already, political battle lines have been drawn across the various political divide, with several aspiring candidates bracing themselves to vie for the available local government leadership positions.
Both in Rakai and Kyotera districts, politicians are drawing lines on the basis of which side one is born from, level of inclination to the higher authorities in government, one’s closeness to key local opinion leaders, previous stand on the splitting of the district, among other factors that are traditionally known for shaping the politics of the area.
The already heated-up political ground in the district has of late been further stimulated by a notice of inquiry by the Electoral Commission to district chairperson Robert Benon Mugabi and woman MP Juliet Ssuubi Kinyamatama to choose which side of the district they wish to lead under the new arrangement.
Both Mr Mugabi and Ms Kinyamatama confirm to having received the communication to which they accordingly responded to by choosing to remain in Rakai.
By implication, either of their decisions means they could not be subjected to fresh elections until they complete their five-year term of office, even when new boundaries have been drawn.
According to Mr Mugabi, although he has strong attachments to both districts, he feels more comfortable and politically secure to remain in Rakai District.
He will, however, have to re-nominate names of people to take up roles in offices of the district council vice chairperson and district council speaker; whose current bearers have already expressed interest to contest for key positions in the new district.
Mr Charles Lubega Ziriddamu, the district speaker, also a councillor representing Kalisizo Town Council, is already traversing villages in Kyotera and promoting his bid to take up the district chairperson seat while Kakuuto councillor Agnes Namusiitwa eyes that of the district vice chairperson.
They both subscribe to the ruling National Resistance Movement party.
Other district chairperson contestants are Mr Kintu Kisekulo, who contested and lost in the previous election to Mr Mugabi, and Mr Anthony Mugerwa, a famous master of ceremonies in the area.
The woman MP slot has attracted Ms Robinah Ssentongo, who intends to contest as an independent, who still has a pending election appeal against NRM’s Kinyamatama, who she accuse of vote rigging in the March 2016 parliamentary election.
Others are: Ms Cissy Nantongo (NRM), a lawyer, Ms Daliya Naluyange Kibalama (NRM), Ms Rachael Nakitende and Ms Pricilla Nansubuga (DP).

Interim government
The new district is expected to form an interim government today that will tentatively run its administration affairs for six months until the EC conducts elections to choose substantive officer bearers.
EC spokesperson Jotham Taremwa, says they will soon release a roadmap for conducting elections in the district after securing funds.
“All those intending aspirants should wait patiently until the right time is declared,” Mr Taremwa says.

Resolution
The move to carve Kyotera District out of the old Rakai District started in 2008 and the resolution was passed in 2009.
The traditional Rakai District has a population of 518,008 people and 22 sub-counties.
The district was carved out of Masaka District in 1974 by former president Idi Amin and was among the first districts to be decentralised in 1993.
The district has four counties, including Kooki, Buyamba, Kakuuto and Kyotera, but two of which (Kakuuto and Kyotera) have been merged to form Kyotera District.

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