Three former Kayunga chairpersons have returned to contest for the district top political seat after they were thrown out of office many years ago.
The three that include Mr Steven Dagada, Mr Thomas Mulondo and Mr Boniface Bandikubi have joined four other new entrants; Mr Ffeffekka Sserubogo, Mr Andrew Muwonge, Mr Joseph Ouma and Mr Fred Ssemyalo.
The incumbent district chairperson, Mr Tom Sserwanga, was defeated in the recent National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries and chose to step aside.
Mr Dagada, who is the pioneer district chairperson, served in the interim period in 2000 and was re-elected in 2001 until 2006. In 2006, he lost to Mr Thomas Mulondo.
Mr Dagada, however, returned in 2011, contested for the same seat and won.
Mr Mulondo was elected in 2006 but served for only one year in office after the then Inspector General of Government, Ms Faith Mwondha, threw him out of office, accusing him of abuse of office and corruption.
He, however, later won the case but the judgment came when his five-year term had expired.
During Mr Mulondo’s suspension, the then district speaker, Mr Boniface Bandikubi, took over office of district chairperson.
This is because Mr Mulondo had by the time of his suspension not appointed a deputy.
Mr Bandikubi served for four years as district chairperson.
Speaking to journalists shortly after his nomination last week, Mr Dagada said he had decided to return and contest “due to cries from the electorate in Kayunga”.
“I had retired from elective politics, but after many people asked me to come back, I accepted because I also noticed that the foundation I laid for the district has been destroyed,” the 70-year-old said.
“The road network in the district is totally down and even the district office block, whose funds to complete it were on the account when I left office, is not yet completed,” Mr Dagada, who said this would be his last term if elected, added.
Assessing current leadership
He revealed that during his five-year term, he would also groom a person who can offer good leadership to the district.
“I admit my mistake of not grooming a successor; all those vying for the seat are incapable because I worked with them,” Mr Dagada, who is contesting as an independent, said.
But his decision to contest for the office he occupied for two terms has been received with mixed reactions among the electorate. Some said although Mr Dagada is hardworking, he played his part and has nothing new to add to the development of the district.
“He played his part now he should leave young blood to take on the mantle of leadership,” Mr Sam Kato, a resident, said.
On the other hand, Mr Mulondo said he has returned to contest for the top district seat he lost 13 years ago, because he had not been given time to fulfil his plans.
“I was thrown out of office when I had served for only one year. I have a lot to do for the district such as development of the poor infrastructure and enhancement of education standards,” Mr Mulondo, also an independent, said.
He vowed to unite people in the district who are divided along political, religious and tribal lines.
Mr Bandikubi said he is the only one suitable to lead the district because he was born and raised in the area and has property and projects there.
“I have been here [Kayunga] since childhood; I know what challenges my people face and because of this I know how to solve them,” he said.
Mr Joseph Ouma, a former deputy district chairperson under Mr Dagada, accused other contestants apart from Mr Bandikubi of being alien to Kayunga.
“Even if the district catches fire, they have nothing to lose,” Mr Ouma said.
The vocal and eloquent Sserubogo, who had earlier wanted to contest for Ntenjeru North parliamentary seat on the National Unity Platform (NUP) ticket, said he wants to empower women and youth through job creation.
“The youth constitute a big percentage of the population, but the district leadership has for long neglected them. I want to prioritise them when I get into power,” he said.
Mr Sserubogo, who is also a member of the Buganda Kingdom Lukiiko (parliament), said he will strive for unity of all tribes in the district.
NRM candidate speaks
Mr Andrew Muwonge, 36, who won the NRM party flag to contest for the seat, said it is time for youth like him to take up leadership.
“The old guard has done its part and it is time for us the youth to add on what they built. I want to ensure that I improve health, education and road infrastructure in the district because it is totally broken down,” he said.
Compiled by Fred Muzaale, Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa , Jessica Sabano, Joseph Kiggundu, Dan Wandera & Josephine Nnabbaale