Why FDC party lost grip of Mbale City

Monday January 18 2021

Mbale City Woman MP-elect Connie Galiwango addresses journalists shortly after being nominated for the MP race in Mbale City last year. PHOTO | OLIVIER MUKAAYA

By Fred Wambede

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has lost its grip of Mbale City where three of it’s Members of Parliament lost in the just concluded national elections. 

The FDC presidential candidate, Mr Patrick Oboi Amuriat, also performed poorly in Mbale City where he scored 1,309 votes (1.91 per cent) against Mr Museveni’s 37,106 (54.01 per cent). 

National Unity Platform presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi got 4,586 votes (8.1 per cent).

Mbale has been an Opposition stronghold, dominated by the FDC but they performed poorly in this election losing all its flag bearers.

In Industrial City Division Constituency,  Mr Issac Nabende, the FDC flag bearer, lost to Mr Karim Masaba, an Independent.

In Northern City Division, Mr Paul Wanyoto, the FDC flag bearer, lost to Mr Sezi Wambedde, the NRM candidate.


Ms Maimuma Nambuya, the FDC candidate for Mbale City Woman MP seat, lost to Ms Connie Galiwango, an  Independent. She got 1,852  votes while Ms Galiwango got 40,729.  

Explaining why FDC trailed in Mbale, Mr Jack Wambedde, a former FDC MP in Mbale, told Daily Monitor  that when Budadiri West MP Nathan Nandala Mafabi was still recognised as a kingmaker, FDC had influence even outside Sironko District.

“He (Nandala) didn’t do much to market FDC flag bearers in Mbale District,” he added.

But in his home district of Sironko, Mr Nandala mobilised votes and secured victory for Budadiri East MP Isaiah Sasaga, claiming the seat from the NRM party. 

Mr Sasaga defeated the NRM flag bearer, Mr Vincent Woboya.

Mr Abdallah Magambo, a NUP mobiliser in Mbale, said Mr Amuriat was not a favourable candidate, especially for the youth.

The youth wanted to vote for change and for a presidential candidate ready to tackle youth issues .

“Amuriat couldn’t get more votes than NUP’s candidate because youth prefered  Mr Kyagulanyi and they mobilised for him,” he said.

NRM loses in city

Two NRM party flag bearers in Mbale City also lost in the just concluded parliamentary elections.

They include the NRM chairperson for women’s league, Ms Lydia Wanyoto, who lost to Ms Galiwango despite winning in the NRM primaries. 

She got 25,276 votes against Galiwango’s 40,729.

Another NRM candidate, John Wambogo (8,822 votes) for Industrial City Division, lost to Mr Karim Masaba (15,881 votes), who contested as an Independent. 

Formerly, Mbale District had two Opposition MPs and two NRM MPs. 

The Opposition MPs were Jack Wamanga Wamai (for Mbale Municipality) and Sizomu Gashom for Bungokho North.

The NRM party had Mr Michael Werikhe who represented Bungokho South and Ms Connie Galiwango as the district Woman MP.

Mr Werikhe, the State minister for Trade,  lost in the NRM primaries and did not contest after he was defeated by Richard Wanda. 

With the just concluded election, it has now left NRM with only one position.  After the declaration of  the results for Woman MP City, Ms Galiwango thanked her voters for the overwhelming support.

Some political analysts said the NRM party ‘fraudulently’ gave Ms Wanyoto the flag yet she was unpopular.  Others said Ms Galiwango gained support for voting against the removal of the presidential age limit. 

Mr Robert Kivangi, an opinion leader, said Ms Wanyoto lost in the city race because of the growing support for Mr Kyagulanyi in Bugisu Sub-region.

“The city has many challenges including youth unemployment.  Many of the youth were supporting the NUP party,”  he said.

Mr Ali Madoi, a resident of Mbale City and an NRM supporter, said the election of Ms Galiwango as MP represented the power of the people.  

Ms Galiwango said she will lobby for the construction of more roads in Mbale City and creation of employment opportunities for the youth.

“I am happy that I have been elected the first Woman MP for Mbale City and I will work for everyone,” she promised.

Ms Wanyoto said she will issue her statement on elections later.