By Solomon Hamala
Today we take a look at Iganga, especially the parliamentary seat race, why the victors triumphed and why the other aspirants lost.
Iganga is a mass of 3 constituencies; Iganga Municipality, Kigulu South and Kigulu North.
Peter Panadol Mugema was announced Member of Parliament elect in this constituency, prolonging his tenure in office for another five years.
He floored 5 others including FDC candidate Abed Nasser Mudiobole, NRM’s Toto Abdulrahim Ali Bawazir, NUP’s Waiswa Denis and Muganga Francis, and Independent Juma Ngobi.
Mugema seems to have mastered Iganga politics, especially the final touches. He is fond of splashing monies on the streets, especially to the youths and women, who massively voted for him.
FDC’s Abed Nasser Mudiobole came second.
Mudiobole became elusive after losing the 2016 polls to Mugema, which also ended in court. He was never on ground to the extent that some of his voters thought he had exited the political arena.
This cost him a lot of support to Mugema’s advantage.
Mugema’s path to victory was also smoothed by a “weak” NRM flag bearer, Toto Abdulrahim Ali Bawazir.
Toto became financially drained towards the last days of the campaigns and was unable to finance the campaigns. It is said that he sold off some of his properties including a house and a car.
Toto’s other weakness was his lacking oratory. Swaying voters to his side was therefore very difficult for him. All these made Mugema’s victory easier.
Also, to Mugema’s advantage, NUP fronted 2 candidates, Francis Muganga and Waiswa Denis.
These shared votes, which could have pushed them a mile had they gone to one candidate of the Umbrella.
Also, these 2, together with the Independent candidate Ngobi Juma were new faces on the political scene, who some political pundits said had only come for “registration”.
The District Returning Officer, Mercy Ataho declared Milton Muwuma the next parliamentary representative of this constituency, dethroning the incumbent, Andrew Kiiza Kaluya.
Interestingly it’s the incumbent, Kaluya who ousted Muwuma in 2016, who had been to parliament for 10 years, and seeking his third term.
So it was literally a comeback for Muwuma.
Muwuma seems to have rectified his flaws for which he was ditched in 2016. And being a senior in this field, he floored Andrew and others from the primaries to the finals.
Andrew Kiiza was also blamed for abandoning the constituency after entering parliament.
He was accused of never coming back to his voters for consultations, and doing “nothing” for the constituency.
“He didn’t come back to consult the people, especially on the ’togikwatako’ bill. It cost him another tenure,” one political pundit noted.
Kaluya is also said to be struggling financially.
“He is chocking on debts. He sold his father’s pine plantation in Nakalama but the family has never received the money. Family pressure also escalated his problems”, an inside source from Kaluya’s camp narrated.
Second runner up in this race, Patrick Kayemba could not financially flex with Muwuma, who had the party’s backing.
Despite his achievements as district chairperson, Patrick Kayemba could not floor Muwuma. His ground coverage canvassing for votes was poor.
Muwuma was also aided by the number of racers in this race. 14 contested for this seat, and votes were spread, giving Muwuma an edge.
Bwino Kyakulaga Fred maintains the throne after being declared winner of the race in this constituency.
He once again beat longtime rival Ismael Badogi, who did not agree with Mercy Ataho’s declaration.
Badogi however revealed that he is not going to court this time like he did in 2016, since he says he didn’t get justice from there.
The money factor also aided the incumbent Bwino, whose rivals were not financially strong enough to run their campaigns.
DISTRICT WOMAN MP
Kauma Sauda Alibaawo goes to parliament to replace the incumbent Suubi Brenda Asinde, who dropped out of the race after losing the NRM primaries.
Asinde’s woes did work for the youthful Alibaawo who was declared winner by the returning officer.
Asindes woes started from not coming back to the voters on getting to parliament, and worsened by “togikwatako.”
Alibaawo’s victory can also be attributed to the financial backing of the big wigs in town.
She’s said to have had massive financial support from Iganga’s moneybags who financed her campaigns.
Her Closest rival was independent Mariam Seif, who lost right from the primaries.
It’s on record that all Iganga Woman Members of Parliament have been of the NRM party subscription.
This also partly explains why FDC’s Mariam Nantale who has contested for the 4th time now has not seen the heaven’s gates.
NUP’s Aziza Kakerewe, despite their party president Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine’s popularity, lost.
She was most popular in Iganga town, which is also her area of residence.
Ground coverage was poor in other constituencies, not only for her, but also Nantale Mariam.