Kasese District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Winnie Kiiza, has quit elective politics fifteen years after she entered the House.
The former Leader of Opposition says she will remain active with the forces of change but will not offer herself for political positions in the 2021 general elections.
"I have talked and talked against overstaying in power, I will not be different if I sought office this time. I know the people of Kasese loved me and wanted me to continue being their Member of Parliament. It's a job I loved doing because I knew I had the backing of my people had their support. I want to thank you for the support you've given me," Ms Kiiza said on Tuesday.
Ms Kiiza added that, as leaders they need to democratically demonstrate peaceful retirement and give room for others to also lead the country since it’s what the FDC party believes in.
Kiiza thanked religious leaders, Dr. Col. Kizza Besigye, Gen. Mugisha Muntu and other politicians who have exposed her to the highest level of leadership in the country as the leader of opposition in parliament.
She revealed that she will be supporting any candidate in the opposition party who intends to come up to liberate the country.
One of her supporters, Ms Patience Biira said, “I feel so bad as a voter, I still need her service as a legislator in the district”
Kiiza served as the district councillor representing Kisinga and Kyodo Sub Counties for two terms before joining parliament for three terms.
In his statement, founder Alliance for National Transformation, Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu said Ms Kiiza represents the very best of political leadership.
"She has served not just her constituents but all Ugandans with dedication and integrity. Over and over again, I have seen her put country before self in both word and deed. As Leader of Opposition, Hon. Kiiza presided over one of the most inclusive and competent shadow governments we have had. Appointing her to that position was one of my best and easiest decisions," he tweeted.
The former teacher served as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament from May 2016 until August 2018 when she was replaced by Betty Aol Ochan.
The last race at a glance
Kiiza in 2006 beat Loice Biira Bwambale (NRM) who once served as Deputy Minister of Gender from 1992 to 1994 and a member of the National Assembly of Uganda from 1996 to 2001. Bwambale had held the seat from 1989 to 2006 before she joined the Rwenzururu kingdom as the first Deputy Prime Minister in 2010.
In 2011, Kiiza beat Rehema Muhindo (NRM) both in the general election and in the subsequent by-election in 2012. The first vote margin was over 6000 votes while in the second round the margin was over 40,000.
In 2016, Kiiza beat Jane Asiimwe Muhindo (NRM and now RDC Bunyangabu district) to tighten her strong grip on the seat.
So far over 10 women had shown interest to carry the NRM flag while in the FDC party; Kiiza had already faced 4 competitors from her party.
How Kiiza faired in the last 2 elections
In 2011, Winnie Kiiza polled 92, 108 beating Rehema Muhindo who got 90, 624 making a difference of 1484 votes.
In 2016, Winnie Kiiza polled 123, 170 of the 345, 130 votes cast to beat NRM’s Asiimwe Jane Muhindo who garnered 70,564 votes making a vote margin of 52, 606.
Some of the aspirants
Among those who are fighting for the NRM flag include; Sarah Itungu Masereka-Baleke who holds a Master of Arts in Economics Policy Management, Post graduate certificate in Program Monitoring and Evaluation, Post Graduate Diploma in management (Finance), Bachelor of arts (honor) in Economics among others. She is the CEO of Sisters Love Events Décor (Sled).
Others are; Jesca Ithungu Muluba holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and social administration, Sadress Kalengyo Kayiri, Doreen Lhusenge, Annet Asiimwe, Ester Kimbwembwe, Silvia Kalyaki, Grace Biira, Ithungu Norah Matsande and Merryline Kabugho Kighota.
FDC has so far four candidates including Ruth Kabugho who holds bachelor’s degree in counselling and psychology and a Post graduate diploma in Public administration. She is currently the FDC Secretary for social services at the district and also a lady councilor representing Bulembia and Central division in Kasese district council, Florence Kabugho, Annet Masika and Agness Kyakimwa.