Opposition MP Candidates in Nakasongola, Nakaseke Struggle to Make inroads

Since Nakasongola was created in 1997 and Nakaseke in 2005, NRM Members of Parliament have been sailing through with no opposition candidates in the race.
Musoke Nathan NUP MP Candidate for Budyebo County

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Opposition Parliamentary candidates in Nakasongola and Nakaseke districts are struggling to make inroads in areas considered as strongholds for National Resistance Movement.

In 2016, President Yoweri Museveni scored 84.46 % whereas his main rival Kizza Besigye got only 13.79% in Nakasongola. In Nakaseke, Museveni obtained 76.2% against Kizza Besigye’s 21.2 % of 64,557 total votes cast.

Since Nakasongola was created in 1997 and Nakaseke in 2005, NRM Members of Parliament have been sailing through with no opposition candidates in the race. 

However, ahead of the 2021 general elections, several opposition candidates have been nominated and now in campaigns canvassing for votes to oust NRM incumbents.

But the opposition candidates have met violence, intimidation and hostility as they campaign in areas considered strongholds for NRM candidates.

Ivan Kyeyune the NUP Candidate for Nakasongola County MP race explains that he has received death threats from NRM officials and security officials warning him against de-campaigning the party within its strongholds.

Kyeyune says that due to the threats, he has scaled down on campaign time and abandoned some venues for fear of his life. 

He adds that even his supporters have been put on the crime watch list by security operatives and his posters defaced.

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Lydia Nalujja the FDC Candidate for Nakasongola District Woman MP says that Gombolola Internal Security Officer blocked her campaigns in Nakitoma sub-county and forced to abandon some venues without talking to voters. 

Nalujja adds that in other areas, residents tell them that opposition candidates are not welcome because they may plunge the country into war.

Nathan Musoke the Budyebo County MP says that in some areas, village chairpersons have been summoned and other threatened by security as well as NRM officials for allowing them to campaign there without notifying them.

Musoke adds that their posters have been targeted and defaced because they are against NRM leadership.

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Several opposition supporters declined to be recorded saying that they may be harassed.  

Allan Mayanja, the NUP candidate for Nakaseke Central constituency and Violet Nakalema NUP candidate for Nakaseke District Woman MP were recently attacked and beaten by suspected NRM supporters at a rally held in Wakyato sub-county.

Mayanja says that the attackers faulted them for opposing NRM party and being Baganda.

Mayanja has registered the case at Police to arrest the perpetrators but none has been arrested till date.

Isah Ssemwogerere the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson says that Mayanja’s case is being investigated whereas other candidates are yet to report the complaints.

Ssemwogerere, however, faulted opposition candidates and supporters for provoking the NRM supporters as well as breaching Electoral Commission guidelines.

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The acts of violence targeting the opposition candidate seem to be denying them the opportunity to campaign in certain areas but give NRM candidates to consolidate the support there.

In Nakaseke North constituency, the opposition parties did not field a candidate over alleged intimidation of agents and hostility towards their candidates. This allowed NRM Parliamentary candidate Enock Nyongore to sail through unopposed.

In 2016, opposition candidates including Presidential candidates Kizza Besigye met empty venues after state operatives and NRM leaders threatened residents not to listen or vote for them.

In 2011, the FDC candidate for Nakaseke North, Moses Kabalema was attacked and his vehicles set ablaze because he supported the opposition.  

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