Voters speak on why they kicked out 24 ministers, VP
What you need to know:
At least 24 ministers, including the Vice President, Mr Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, lost their parliamentary seats in the January 14 General Election. Daily Monitor spoke to various voters on why they decided to kick out the ministers
Vice President Edward Ssekandi (Bukoto Central)
The second highest citizen after the President, Edward Ssekandi was kicked out of Parliament by little known Richard Ssebamala of Democratic Party for Bukoto Central seat. Ssekandi had served as MP for Bukoto Central for over 20 years.
The defeat so overwhelmed the Vice President and former Speaker of Parliament that he was hospitalised.
Mr Henry Kibowa, a resident of Kyanamukaka village, said the vice president has represented the area for a long time but has not done any tangible projects for his people.
He added that it was time for him to be voted out to have new leadership. Mr Fredrick Ddembe, a resident of Kalingoma village, Kyesiga sub-county, Masaka District, said the constituency is a big pineapple growing area and Mr Ssekandi represented them for over 20 years but failed to establish a factory to add value to their pineapples.
Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, (State minister microfinance), Kyotera County
The minister lost to John Paul Mpalanyi Lukwago, a local businessman in Kyotera Town (DP). The minister was seeking a third term in Parliament.
Ms Dorothy Nabaggala, a resident of Kyotera Town Council, explained that people believed in presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi and so they decided to vote out anyone associated with President Museveni.
She also accused the minister of being a proud man who rarely socialises with his electorate.
Another resident of Kyotera County, Mr Lule Richard, says Kasolo got involved in many local fights with other stakeholders in the district including the Local Council 5 chairperson, Mr Patrick Kintu Kisekulo.
Joy Kabatsi, state minister (Transport), Lwemiyaga County
Ms Joy Kabatsi lost the Lwemiyanga seat to Theodore Ssekikubo in the hotly contested race.
According to Mr Isaac Gumisiriza, a resident of Kabukongote village, Lwemiyanga Sub-county, Sembabule District, Mr Ssekikubo represents their ideas as farmers in Parliament and voting a different person would be unwise.
He added that minister Kabatsi has held several ministerial portfolios including agriculture and now with transport, but she has not used her influence to lobby for them projects to develop their area.
Another voter, Mr Joe Billy Kisozi, a resident of Npusi village, Lwemiyanga County, attributed Ms Kabatsi’s defeat to abandoning the electorate, staying in Kampala and only returning during campaigns.
Minister Amelia Kyambadde (Trade), Mawokota North Constituency
Singer Hillary Kiyaga, aka Dr Hilderman, was in the previous elections in 2016, among Kyambadde’s campaigners who even composed a political song in praise of her as a blessing to the constituency.
She had won the previous two terms comfortably but never did she know that the artiste was a big force behind her victory.
Mr Kiyaga, who had accused the minister of betraying her electorate when she voted for the lifting of the presidential age limit clause from the Constitution contrary to the electorate’s position, decided to challenge her in this year’s elections and trouncing her.
Mr Henry Kasasa, a resident of Mpamire Trading Centre in Mpigi Town Council, said Ms Kyambadde is a good and hardworking leader but she fell because of the strong wave behind Kyagulanyi’s NUP party. He said voters were simply voting out anyone in yellow (NRM party colour) irrespective of their competence or service delivery to the electorate.
Beatrice Anywar (Environment), Kitgum Municipality
Ms Anywar was previously an Opposition legislator with Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), but along the way, she defected to the NRM party.
She contested on NRM ticket and was seeking a 5th term. She was beaten by Mr Denis Amere Onekalit of FDC. The businessman and former Makerere University guild president, said beating minister Anywar means a lot to him and FDC as a party.
Ms Anywar became famous in April 2007 when she led a public protest against the planned giveaway of Mabira forest by government to investors.
One of her electorate, Ms Agnes Lakabe, a resident of Kitgum Municipality, said she voted the minister out because she supported the lifting of the presidential age limit which gave President Museveni chance to contest for a life time.
“We voted her as an Independent candidate but she went to Parliament, crossed to NRM and kept on bragging on how she knows the President more than anyone else...,” Ms Lakabe said.
Another resident, Mr Peter Okong, attributed Ms Anywar’s woes to alleged arrogance upon being appointed minister.
“For us, we voted her to represent us in Parliament, but instead of representing us, she was bragging of how she is ever in touch with the President. That is why we threw her out,” Mr Okong said.
Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu (government Chief Whip), Kiboga Woman
The wave of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party did not spare the Kiboga District Woman representative, Ms Ruth Nakabirwa. The government chief whip was defeated by NUP’s Christine Kaaya Nakimwero.
Mr Leonard Bogere, a resident of Kiganzi village in Kiboga Town Council, said Mr Nankabirwa had overstayed in Parliament yet she had not done much for them as the electorate despite holding various ministerial positions.
“She had also been threatening us the locals that if we didn’t vote her, we would regret as there won’t be any development. We decided to recall her,” Mr Bogere said.
Likewise, another resident, Mr Simon Senteza Kajubi, of Kibiga Trading Centre in Kiboga District, said when Ms Nakimwero expressed interest to contest against her, Ms Nankabirwa bragged that she could not manage people from State House.
According to Mr Kajubi, the voters decided to vote for Nakimwero to teach Nankabirwa a lesson.
Judith Nabakooba (Information), Mityana Woman representative
The ICT and the National Guidance minister, Ms Judith Nabakooba, was seeking a second term in the 11th Parliament but she was stunned by a journalist, Ms Joyce Bagala, in last week’s polls.
According to a voter, Mr Julius Tumusiime, a resident of Maanyi Trading Centre in Mityana, Ms Nabakooba only campaigned for herself and her party candidate, Mr Museveni, leaving out fellow NRM candidates at lower levels who decided to work against her.
Mr Tumusiime also cited the Internet shutdown by government ahead of last week’s elections as being one of the factors that annoyed voters and led to Ms Nabakooba’s downfall.
This, he explained that Ms Nabakooba was at the forefront of disseminating government messages on Internet shutdown that has affected work of many voters.
Another voter, Mr Abbasi Kazibwe, a resident of Kibibi Garage A, Busimbi Division, Mityana Municipality, reasoned that upon her appointment to Cabinet, Ms Nabakooba became too busy with the national duties and forgot about the electorate.
When contacted for a response to the claims, minister Nabakooba hang up on our reporter after introducing herself as a journalist.
Molly Kamukama (Kazo District woman MP seat)
Mr Wilson Kananura, a resident of Kazo Town Council, said Ms Kamukama suffered the wrath of voters who voted her rival, Jennifer Rwaburibate, because she was out of touch with them.
“She was not much on the ground. She only came after she had been dropped from PPS job and made minister. The reality is that she was beaten by the elite people of Kazo who stay in Kampala. They have a lot of political influence in the local communities,” he said.
He said, besides being suited for civil service, she did not have definitive shrewdness of politicians. Another resident, Mr Michael Arinaitwe, argued that Ms Kamukama’s defeat had a lot to do with her decision to contest as an Independent candidate following her loss in NRM party primaries.
“Kazo is an NRM constituency. People here go with the bus, a symbol for NRM,” Mr Arinaitwe said.
Ephraim Kamuntu (Justice), Sheema South
Mr Elijah Mushemeza finally brought the curtain down on Prof Ephraim Kamuntu’s tenure as Sheema South MP.
Mr Owen Tumusiime Byarabaha, a resident of Kibare village Kitagata Sub County, said: “It was a political wave that saw many ministers lose, so I don’t think Kamuntu was exceptional.”
However, Ms Shallon Musiimenta, a resident of Kyamurari in Bugongi Sub-county thinks Mr Kamuntu was only a victim of the people’s desire for a change.
“It is not that Kamuntu has not performed but rather people wanted to see a new face. In most villages, people can access water and electricity and all that were done during the time of Kamuntu,” Ms Musiimenta says.
Others like Mr Byarabaha believe that it was simply the right time for Prof Kamuntu who has been a constant in the politics of greater Bushenyi since the late 1960s to pass on the baton to someone else.
Mwesigwa Rukutana (State for Labour), Rushenyi Constituency
The State Minister for Labour, Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana, was beaten by Ms Naome Kabasharira.
Ms Peace Agaba, a voter, said Mr Rukutana believed his money would help him reclaim Rushenyi seat. She said he bragged a lot about his connections to State House and President Museveni, especially after the negative publicity he received during the September NRM primaries when he was arrested and later charged with attempted murder, assault, malicious damage to property and threatening violence. The minister was accused of shooting a supporter of Ms Kabasharira.
“He has been arrogant saying he will buy the voters,” said Ms Agaba, a resident of Kakanena in Rugarama Sub County.
Besides, all people he defeated in previous elections including Mr Justus Karuhanga, Mr Dan Rweiburingi and Mr Hebert Nyongozi, joined Mr Naome Kabasharira to form a united front against him.
Mr Tobias Mujurizi, a resident of Kakungu in Rubaare Sub-County argued that having been the area MP for over two decades also worked against Mr Rukutana.
“People just wanted to get rid of him because he has served for a very long time - more than 25 years. Voters are interested in new faces,” says Mr Mujurizi.
Dr John Chrysostom Muyingo (state for Higher Education), Bumunanika County
The State minister for Higher Education lost to his former aide Robert Ssekitoleko of NUP party. His loss is attributed to using a fraudulent campaign team that went on to solicit bribes from would be voters, promising them scholarships if the minister was given another mandate.
Mr Geoffrey Ssalongo Bwete, a resident of Kayindu Village in Kalagala Sub-county, said: “Muyingo had a campaign team that e extorted money from residents. When he got a wind of the fraud, it was too late.”
Another resident, Mr Patrick Ssemambo, a resident of Zirobwe Town, said Dr Muyingo was very silent on assisting residents to resolve problems of land grabbing and evictions.
When contacted, his bodyguard said the minister was in a meeting and promised that he would return the call but by press time, he hadn’t.
Rosemary Seninde (State, Primary Education)
A section of Waksio voters said Ms Seninde was another victim of NUP party powerful wave that swept through Kampala and Wakiso districts.
Ms Seninde, whom voters described as hardworking and humble, lost to newcomer, Ms Betty Naluyima of NUP.
“Honestly we all know that all people were annoyed with NRM party/government for mistreating Opposition candidates and we all felt that Uganda should be liberated by voting the Opposition ,” a voter, Ms Rose Nakafeero from Wakiso District, said.
Dr Kasirivu Atwooki (state in Vice President’s Office), Bugangaizi West
Dr Kasirivu who recently survived an alleged assassination attempt from armed thugs in his constituency lost the polls to Mr Fred Byamukama.
He had initially lost in NRM party primaries in September 2020 to the same Mr Byamukama but insisted to bounce back as an Independent.
Mr James Kamurungi, a resident of Kikwaya, said the minister has lobbied for several government projects but he had overstayed in the position.
He had represented Bugangaizi West constituency for 20 years since 1996. “The minister had represented us for several years and we wanted new blood,’’ Mr Kamurungi said.
When contacted, he conceded to the defeat. ‘‘Everything has its time like it was written in the Bible. God has made it that my time to serve stops here. My constituency is shining with good roads and electricity has been extended to all sub-counties, and I pushed for creation of new administrative units,’’ he said.
Ronald Kibuule, (State minister for Water), Mukono North
Minister Kibuule who was seeking his third consecutive term was defeated by a lawyer Abdallah Kiwanuka from the Opposition National Unity Platform party.
Ms Alice Muteesi, a resident of Namawojjolo, alleged that Kibuule has been causing arrests of residents on political grounds and it was time to show him the exit.
This according to Ms Muteesi climaxed a few days to the Thursday polls when supporters of his rival were arrested.
Mr Hussein Kimbugwe, a resident of Namubiru village in the same area, said Mr Kibuule had failed to protect his electorate from the rampant land evictions in his constituency. Mr Moses Kigaya from Kabembe village in Mukono North constituency said minister Kibuule is “a proud man” who was involved in inappropriate land transactions. He says they decided to vote him out in order to humble him.
When contacted yesterday, Mr Kibuule declined to respond, making his phone busy.
Jane Frances Akiror (Teso Affairs), Kapir County
The State Minister for Teso Affairs, Ms Jane Frances Akiror, suffered defeat in the new Kapir County in Ngora District to Mr Abraham Isamat (NRM).
Though she had been appointed a minister, Ms Akiror did not have a constituency of her own hence the decision to contest the NRM primaries, which she lost before making a decision to contest as an Independent.
Mr Robert Ikara, a resident of Mukura Sub-county, said Mr Akiror’s defeat came down to her poor performance and arrogance during her term as a minister.
“When she was the Woman MP for Kumi District in the period between 2006 and 2011, she did not do much for her constituency. Her past could, therefore, have come back to haunt her,” Mr Ikara says.
She could not be reached for a comment by press time
Beti Kamya (Lands), Rubaga North
Majority of the voters in Rubaga North described Ms Kamya as a personality with two faces, meaning she could not be trusted with leadership, the reason they voted NUP’s Abubaker Kawalya.
“Today she is NRM, tomorrow she is Opposition. We cannot trust such a person,” said Mr Abu Karungi, a voter from Rubaga North.
Another voter, Stephen Mukisa, from Wakiso Town, said the minister does not associate with the locals because she is heavily guarded with the soldiers. When contacted, she said she would comment later.
Isaac Musumba (State for Urban Development) Buzaaya County
State Minister for Urban Development, Isaac Isanga Musumba, who was contesting as an Independent candidate suffered defeat at the hands of the NRM’s flag bearer, Mr Martin Muzaale, in what might as well be looked at as a repeat of what happened in the constituency in the 2011 elections.
In 2011, Mr Muzaale defeated Mr Musumba who is also the husband of Salaamu, the vice chairperson of the Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), but he (Musumba) bounced back to win both the NRM flab bearer’s position for the county and the 2016 parliamentary election too.
Mr Muzaale also made a comeback, first in last year’s NRM primaries which he won with 36,853 votes followed by Mr Paul Kintu, who had 7,812 Mr Musumba came a distant third with 5,121.
Kamuli District Youth chairman, Mr Asuman Munolo, told Daily Monitor that Mr Musumba had failed to read the politics of the times.
“He failed to dance to the new generation politics. He thought that all that mattered was talking and giving out money, but young people are now beyond that. They want to have a say in the politics and would want to give direction,” Mr Munolo says.
Mr Munolo also accuses the minister for having selectively distributed hoes, which were later discovered to have been from President Museveni.
During the launch of Ms Salaamu Musumba’s bid to oust Ms Kadaga from the Kamuli District Woman’s seat, which she had held since 1998 when the National Resistance Council (NRC) was expanded to include non-historical members of the NRM, Mr Musumba declared his support for his wife.
Mr Musumba who had previously campaigned against his wife in the name of the NRM this time round supported his wife. Mr Moses Kyondha, a former LCIII chairman of Kisozi Sub-county, heavily cost him.
Galabuzi Ssozi, (state Minister for Luweero Affairs), Busiro North
Minister Galabuzi lost his seat to NUP’s Paul Nsubuga with a section of voters in Busiro North, attributing his loss to being stingy with money.
“The minister used to give out money to only his groups in his home area and thought other groups were okay and happy with him. That is why we waited for this time to show him how relevant other groups where,” said Mr William Kanyike, one of the voters from Kakiri.
Minister Galabuzi did not pick our repeated calls and at press time, he had not returned any.
Minister Elioda Tumwesigye (Science, Technology and Innovation), Sheema Municipality
Some of the people in Sheema Municipality attributed Minister Elioda Tumwesigye’s defeat to Dickson Kateshumbwa to anger and disgust on the part of the voters who perceived him as greedy and selfish.
One of those who said she was motivated to vote against the Minister is Ms Jovance Kebirungi, a resident of Kitojo Ward in Sheema Central Division.
“People have been seeing Minister Elioda as selfish, having shifted from Sheema North to contest in Sheema Municipality (during July 2018 byelection). He failed to understand that it was because of that (thinking) that he even lost in NRM primaries,” says Ms Kebirungi.
But Mr Baker Muramuzi, a resident of Kabwohe Division, said the minister had done a lot in terms of development but his time was up.
Dr Tumwesigye was not answering our repeated calls by press time. He also didn’t answer our SMS messages.