Why NRM lost Sironko to FDC for MP seat, local govt polls

Monday January 25 2021
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Budadiri West MP-elect Nandala Mafabi (FDC) performs press-ups as he campaigned in Bubutu Town Council, Namisindwa District, on December 9. FDC has swept all major political seats in Sironko. PHOTO | RACHEL MABALA

By Fred Wambede

The ruling National Resistance Movement  (NRM) in Sironko District is back to the drawing board after losing all the top slots in the just concluded parliamentary and Local Council elections to the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.

Sironko, which is the home district of FDC strongman Nathan Nandala Mafabi, has been predominantly NRM  until last week when all  party flag bearers lost in the hotly contested 2021 General Election.

Among those who lost include Mr Vincent Woboya, the incumbent MP and NRM flag bearer for Bududari East. Mr Woboya lost to FDC’s Isaiah Ssasaga, who got 15,776 votes and the former garnered 12,152.

The NRM flag bearer for Budadiri West, Mr Kosea Wambaka, also lost to Mr Nandala, who got 28,986 votes. Mr Wambaka got 11,526 votes.

The woman MP seat, on the other hand, was won by an Independent, Ms Florence Nambozo, who was backed by the Opposition after they realised that Ms Femiar Wadada, the FDC flag bearer, was unpopular among the voters.

Ms Nambozo defeated the NRM’s Asha Nabulo, a daughter of Mr Suleiman Lumolo, the district NRM chairperson. Ms Nambozo got 31,119 votes while Ms Nabulo secured 29,744 votes.

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The Opposition also managed to take the district chairperson seat after the FDC candidate, Mr David Livingston Giruli, trounced the NRM flag bearer, Mr Alex Nabende, with a difference of 10,454.

Mr Jackson Magombe, an opinion leader, told Daily Monitor that FDC’s victory is a sign of the growing disdain among the voters toward the NRM party and its leadership in the district.

“The voters delivered a huge blow to the NRM party in the district and I am not surprised because there has been growing disdain among the voters,” Mr Magombe said.

Mr Eric Waniaye, a resident of Sironko Town Council, said they voted out NRM because of its failure to tackle corruption and poor service delivery.

“Between 2011 and 2016, when the FDC was in control of the district, service delivery was better compared to the  years NRM has been in charge,” he said.

Mr Waniaye said Sironko remains one of the districts with poor access to healthcare despite having voted NRM leaders for long.

“Most of the health centres lack drugs and other essential medical equipment. The drugs are always stolen due to poor oversight by our leaders,” he said.

Mr Justin Nagami, a staunch NRM supporter and resident of Busulani Sub-county, said the intrigue and division also cost the party in this year’s elections.

NRM intrigue

“The NRM party performed badly not only because of poor service delivery but infighting,” she said.

Ms Nagami said the NRM leaders, despite being close to President Museveni, failed to lobby for better roads, health services, extension of safe water and skilling programmes.  Mr Ssasaga, the Budadiri East MP-elect, said people voted the way they did because they had been disappointed. 

“When FDC was in charge, the district was receiving about Shs30 billion in funding from the central government but that figure has stagnated since then due to lack of lobbying skills by NRM leaders,” he said.

Mr Ssasaga said the district performance in various sectors such as education and health, among others, has also declined.

A section of residents also attributed the poor performance of NRM flag bearers to supporting the re

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