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Will Rukungiri wrestle the presidency from Museveni in 2021?



As the clock slowly ticks away to the 2021 polls, the battle for the presidency is shaping up between Rukungiri and Kiruhura, with President Museveni set to be given a run for his money by two of his former trusted allies.

Even before nominations are opened up, six politicians from Rukungiri have already indicated that they will be challenging President Museveni for the country’s Number One office in next year’s presidential elections.
Lt. Gen.(rtd) Henry Tumukunde’s campaign is already up and running while Col. (rtd) Kizza Besigye is being courted by his party, the Forum for Democratic Change(FDC), to have a shot at the presidency for the fifth time.

Col. Besigye has been coy about his plans for 2021 but, as was the case in 2016, he is known to keep his cards close to his chest and spring a surprise against his political rivals.
Mr Charles Rwomushana, the former Director of Political Intelligence at State House, has also written to the Electoral Commission indicating that he intends to start consultations about running for the presidency.

Youthful politician Moses Byamugisha has also confirmed that he will be running for the presidency. Byamugisha came third in the 2017 race for the FDC presidency.
Mr Ambrose Kyomukama a Kanungu-based trader, and Ms Darlene Kamusiime, another Rukungiri politician, are also toying with the idea of running for the presidency, making up a list of six Rukungiri candidates for the presidency. These come up after the trial of Mr. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi who hails from Kanugungu which was formerly part of the greater Rukungiri contested against Museveni in 2016. Mr. Mbabazi was regarded as one of President Museveni’s inner handlers.

With Gen Tumukunde, Col Besigye, Rwomushana, Byamugisha, Kyomukama and Kamusiime, that means Rukungiri will be fronting four candidates against President Museveni in next year’s election.
Rukungiri is a crucial area in Uganda’s politics as its sons played a crucial role in the 1981-86 Bush War that brought this government to power.

Rukungiri businessmen financially supported the NRA rebels and some fighters have since admitted that the war would have been an uphill task without the logistical support of Rukungiri.
Businessman Garuga Musinguzi and others like John Nsheka, John Kyamatuuku, Salongo Nkumanya, Stephen Tukahirwa, Obadia Muheru, Stephen Banyenzaki and Charles Banya were the financial backers of the NRA war.
Suffice to note that on the night before the February 6th 1981 attack on Kabamba barracks, NRA rebels led by Mr Museveni met at Mathew Rukikaire’s house in Makindye, another critical contribution from the son of Rukungiri.

Rukungiri also contributed fierce fighters like the late Aronda Nyakairima,Col Kizza Besigye,Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.
As a member of the Nairobi-based NRA External Wing, Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was also very critical in mobilising resources to bolster the fighting forces.
However, most of those who contributed to the Bush War have since broken ranks with President Museveni, accusing him of betraying the ideals that inspired the war.

Col Besigye, Lt Gen Tumukunde, Mr Mbabazi, Mr Rukikaire and tycoon Garuga all do not look eye to eye with Gen Museveni and desperately want him out of the presidency.
In next year’s election, Mr Museveni will face the full wrath of the people of Rukungiri.
In the 2018 by-elections for the Rukungiri Woman MP, Mr Museveni got a sneak peek of what awaits him in 2021.
Mr Museveni was so desperate to win the election that he poured over Shs 2b into disparate groups in the district, as a sweetener for them to vote for the NRM candidate-Mrs Winnie Matsiko.
Mr Museveni and Mrs Matsiko were, however, humiliated as FDC’s Betty Muzanira polled 50,611 votes against Matsiko’s 46,379 votes.

That loss was particularly painful to Mr Museveni as he had camped in Rukungiri for days in a frantic attempt to humiliate Dr Besigye in his own backyard.
In next year’s elections, Mr Museveni will face the unfamiliar challenge of Lt Gen Tumukunde.
Lt Gen Tumukunde comes with the advantage of understanding the system inside out, having been the oil that run the NRM machinery in the 2016 elections.

That explains why Mr Museveni panicked when Lt Gen Tumukunde declared that he would be running for the presidency and arrested him.
In Col Besigye, Mr Museveni will face a seasoned opposition politician whose national appeal is guaranteed.

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Election Campaigns: Tumukunde Pledges ‘Special Attention’ to the Needs of the Elderly, PWDs in West Nile




Presidential Candidate Lt. Gen Henry Tumukunde has promised that once elected president, he will pay special attention to the issues and needs of the elderly and the people with disabilities in the West Nile region.

Tumukunde made these remarks today November 26, 2020, while addressing his supporters in Maracha, West Nile.

He stated that the NRM Government has lied to the people of Northern Uganda specifically West Nile, and the President Museveni, the NRM leader, has failed to deliver on his promises to the locals thus making the region lag behind in general development compared to other regions in the country.

“It’s the time, with no excuse, for the people of West Nile to say bye to Mr. Museveni after 35 years of leadership with total poor service delivery yet they are meant to eat on the national cake,” he said.

According to Tumukunde, Museveni’s years in power have been characterized with escalated cases of corruption involving losses of colossal sums of public funds.

“The country loss of USD 500 m annually through corruption, high risk institutions identified include police, judiciary, public procurement and disposal functions, public services, land administration, tax administration, national resources management and in the legislation,” Tumukunde noted.

“We shall start by solving youth problems, train them for self employment, improving the banking system and paying special attention to both the elderly and people with disabilities,” he said.

Today marks day two of Tumukunde’s campaigns in the West Nile region having been to Nebbi, Pakwach and Zombo yesterday.


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Election Campaigns: FDC’s Patrick Amuriat Gets ‘Rude Welcome’ in Bunyoro




After a streak of running battles with Police, Patrick Oboi Amuriat aka POA has yet again had a torrid time canvassing for votes in Bunyoro Region after he was pepper sprayed and two of his campaign meetings dispersed.

The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Presidential Candidate had been scheduled to traverse Kiryandongo and Masindi Districts on Wednesday November 25, 2020, according to the Electoral Commission (EC) Programme.

Amuriat started his day on a high, addressing mini rallies at Karuma and Diima trading centers (all in Kiryandongo) but  the situation got out of hand when a mammoth crowd of cheering supporters quickly formed a procession.

Sensing trouble, Police, commanded by Kiryandongo District Police Commander (DPC) Joseph Bakaleke, at first tried to deter the growing crowd from blocking the Gulu-Masindi high way but was overwhelmed.

Bakaleke and his squad tried to escort Amuriat to a venue they had organized away from the city center but all in vain. Instead, he (Amuriat) parked and started waving to crowds aloft his V8 vehicle, a move that triggered an altercation between the former and latter.

In the fracas, Amuriat was pepper sprayed by a yet to be identified officer but this only emboldened him.

“This dictatorship must fall and it is going to fall with this one (Bakaleke). You may want to tear gas us, pepper spray us or even kill us. We will never give up,” Amuriat ranted.

Amuriat after buying chapatis in Kiryandongo Town Council on Wednesday.

After being subdued, Amuriat drove to the periphery of the town where he addressed a minute rally before proceeding to Kiryandongo town.

In a similar fashion, he was swarmed by Party adherents who attempted to hold a procession but Police quickly dispersed them with tear gas and they took to their heels.

Upon realizing that he had been barred from meeting voters, Amuriat jumped out of his car purportedly to buy a chapatti but Police simply watched on and thereafter escorted him to the border with Masindi.

In Kijura town, Amuriat once again tested Police’s nerves by attempting to speak to residents but was interrupted by police officers who unsuccessfully tried to confiscate his mobile public address system.

Amuriat trying to retrieve his public address system from Policemen in Kijuura on Wednesday.

A combined team of Military and Police thereafter fired live bullets to scare the infuriated supporters. He was later driven out of town under military guard.

According to reliable sources, Amuriat will today, Thursday officiate at the launch of his Presidential manifesto in Hoima City. It is not yet clear whether the Party’s founding President Rtd. Col Kizza Besigye will grace the function.


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Nobert Mao Denounces Violence, Calls for Peaceful Transition of Power




Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party (DP) presidential candidate has denounced violence and pleaded for a peaceful transition of power in Uganda.

Mao said that all voters should stand against the violence that leads to bloodshed and instead embrace a peaceful transition of government from the current leadership of Uganda to a new leadership through the ballots.

He noted that Uganda has not undergone a peaceful handover of power since the overthrow of the governments of Milton Obote and Iddi Amin Dada by coups which led to consequence toppling of power by the National Resistance Army (NRA), now the National Resistance Movement-NRM led by Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

‘’The reason for this election is to see that Uganda witnesses what it has never witnessed before and that is a change of government without bloodshed,’’ Mao noted.

Mao made the statements during his two separate campaigns in Ongako and Palenga town council all in Omoro district on Wednesday.

His statements come at a time when Uganda is witnessing a wave of deadly violence and protests by people loyal to opposition parties and against the ruling NRM government.

Last week, Betty Aol Ocan, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) announced that the opposition would go for ‘’Plan B’’ if the election fails.

Last week police reported that more than 40 people were killed, scores injured and more than 300 arrested following protests against the arrest of presidential hopefuls Robert Kyagulanyi and Patrick Oboi Amuriat of the National Unity Platform and Forum for Democratic Change parties respectively.

Lawrence Okidi, an elder from Palenga town council praised Mao for typically living as a true leader of the Democratic Party who believes in a peaceful transition of power.

Betty Kilama, a voter and contender in Omoro district noted that Mao’s love for peace, intelligence and competence makes him deem to be elected the President of Uganda.

Talking about his manifestos, Mao said that he will improve electricity, roads, education in the northern region and also ensure compensation of those who lost their properties to the government.

Mao is seeking election for presidency alongside ten other candidates.





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