Kiruhura shuns Bobi, Ibanda cheers him

Tuesday February 02 2021
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This photo taken on December 21, 2020 shows supporters in Ibanda District donating money to National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi as he campaigned ahead of next month's elections. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

By DERRICK WANDERA

National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, yesterday received hostile reception from President Museveni’s backyard districts of Kiruhura and Kazo.
The NRM supporters confronted him with posters of the NRM presidential candidate in every town he passed.
At around 9:40am, Bobi Wine left Mbarara City, where he had spent the night, for designated venues at Rushere Sub-county in Kiruhura, Kazo main ground and later to Kitagwenda and Ibanda districts. 
 
Following the hostile reception he received in Kiruhura, Bobi Wine did not hold any campaigns in the towns but chose to wave to supporters who stood by the roadside. 
At the Kiruhura-Ibanda road junction, also a big signpost stood showing directions to Rwakitura, President Museveni’s home. At the foot of the sign post, a salon car parked and distributed posters and T-shirts, telling people to sing pro-Museveni songs. 

“Many of my supporters have been intimidated off the roads and campaign venues. We have decided to continue to the next venue,” Bobi Wine said on his way to Ibanda  District where he addressed a well-attended rally. 

Some people, who distributed Mr Museveni’s campaign materials at Bobi Wine’s campaign venues yesterday, told  Daily Monitor that they wanted to show him that the Opposition candidate was not welcome in the area. 
“He came from Luweero to Kiruhura. Let him just stay in his ghetto in Kamwokya because this area is for mzee (Museveni). He is not welcome here,” a resident said. 
At the road side, most people minded their businesses. 

NUP supporters say
A few supporters who were holding Mr Kyagulanyi’s campaign posters said many people are afraid of identifying with the Opposition candidate because they would be tormented by local leaders. 
“We (NUP) have enough support here but people fear to mention it. When you say you belong to NUP, they will look for you and question you,” Mr Samuel Abaho, a youth at Rushere Trading Centre, said. 

However, Bobi Wine regained happiness at Sazza grounds in Ibanda Town where he received many supporters at  his rally who gave him many gifts including cash. 
Despite police blocking supporters from the venue, many scrambled to give money to Mr Kyagulanyi as he criticised President Museveni for accusing him of being funded by foreigners. 

“Mr Museveni has always said we are supported by homosexuals and foreigners. Are these people [supporters at the rally] foreigners? They have intimidated all our supporters where we came from but thank you people of Ibanda for attending my rally,” he said. 
In his message, Bobi Wine assured the people of Ibanda that he would provide markets and fight for good prices of their farm products and make sure they gain from their hard work. 

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What they say

Tracy Mugisha a voter in Ibanda. 
‘‘We have a problem of prices in agricultural produce. Our coffee and beans do not have enough market. We hope that the next president tackles that.’’

Ivan Asiimwe, a voter in Kazo District. 
We need a lot of help because here people think that since Museveni is from here, we are well-off. Most people don’t want to say things because they are intimidated.”  

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