Candidates Set Priorities For the Hotly Contested Busongora South By-Election

Doreen Izagiire, an independent candidate who was also nominated on Monday has set out three main primacies and that is; improving the unity among the Busongora community, and improving the health and competitive education sector.
The DP candidate for Busongora South by-election Businge Benardette arriving for her nomination on Monday

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The candidates in the Busongora South parliamentary by-election have set priorities if they are elected next week. On Monday, the Electoral Commission nominated Mbaju Kathika of the National Unity Platform-NUP, Bernadette Businge of the Democratic Party-DP, and Alozious Kighema Baguma from the Forum Democratic Change-FDC for the Busongora South parliamentary by-election in Kasese district.

The candidates, who spoke to URN shortly after their nominations listed a number of priority areas including improving agriculture, health, education, and land rights once they are elected. The DP candidate said she will prioritise agriculture mechanization to enable farmers in the area improve on their productivity and produce pricing. 

She noted that Busongora South is a food basket for the region but unfortunately there has been very little response to the farmer’s challenges. Businge will also focus on elevating women voices at a national level and improving on the education of the girl child. 

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Alozious Kighema Baguma, the Forum Democratic Change-FDC candidate, on the other hand, wants to legislate on land rights, arguing that the constituency has for long been embroiled in land conflicts that on several occasions have led to lose of lives and destruction of property. 

The FDC candidate has also set out to prioritize the expansion of safe water coverage and improving the health sector in the area, which he argued that have lagged behind when compared to other constituencies. If elected, Kighema will spearhead the freeing of Rwenzururu cultural leader, Charles Wesley Mumere and the remaining royal guards who were arrested in 2016 during a joint security raid on Buhikira royal palace.   

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Mbaju told URN that the party manifesto speaks to better education and improved road infrastructure which he said that he had started working on during his term of office.

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Mbaju however re-echoed his demand to security forces in the district to distance themselves from influencing the local politics. 

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Doreen Izagiire, an independent candidate who was also nominated on Monday has set out three main primacies and that is; improving the unity among the Busongora community, improving the health and competitive education sector.

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Kasese District Returning Officer, Ismael Atwijukire said eleven aspirants picked nomination forms and four of them were nominated on Monday. Other candidates are scheduled to be nominated on Tuesday with campaigns beginning on Wednesday.  

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Alice Kabahuma, an electorate from Muhokya town demands that the successful candidate should focus on supporting the farmers with irrigation technology. She also feels that the by-election should have been between Mbaju who petitioned and Mujungu.

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The parliamentary seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of NRM’s  Mujungu last month on grounds that the elections were marred by gross irregularities. Three Justices of Appeal led by Fredrick Egonda Ntende overturned the decision of the High Court in Fort Portal and concurred with Thembo’s rival Jackson Kathika that there were irregularities at Katunguru Primary school, Katunguru Market, and Busunga Primary school polling stations in Kasese District. 

The Electoral Commission-EC has set August 18 as the day for the by-election.