New entrants in the race for district council chairpersons (LC5) have floored all incumbents in Bugisu and Sebei sub-regions in the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primary elections.
A quick survey indicates that the incumbents in the districts of Sironko, Namisindwa, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Bukwo, and Kween, all lost to new entrants, most of them in their youthful years and with little or no experience in political leadership.
The NRM party elections for LC5 seat, city mayors, city lord mayor, directly elected councillors and women councillors were held on Friday, last week.
In Sironko district, the incumbent, Mr Herbert Mulekwa, a teacher by profession, lost the flag to Mr Alex Nabende.
Mr Nabende, who has been LC5 councillor, representing Masaba Sub-county since 2011, won after he garnered 56919 votes.
Mr Mulekwa got 27397 votes.
Political pundits say Mr Nabende was headed for the victory because he had the blessing of NRM strong man, who also doubles as the district chairperson, Sironko District, Mr Suleiman Lumolo.
Mr Lumolo is also proprietor of Kampala Modernity Ltd, a leading importer of new and used Japanese cars and owns chains of retails in Kampala and Mbale.
“Mr Lumolo is a kingmaker in the politics of NRM in Sironko District and nobody can doubt that. Whoever he supports, he or she wins,so it is not a surprise that Mr Nabende has won,” Mr John Musoke, a local political analyst, said.
We also learnt that in exchange for Mr Lumolo’s support, Mr Nabende promised to mobilise the entire Budadiri East constituency to vote for her daughter, Ms Asha Nabulo Mafabi, in the NRM party primary election for the Woman MP seat.
This came to pass on September 4 when Ms Nabulo emerged winner after defeating incumbent Woman MP Florence Nambozo.
Ms Nabulo collected 37,644 votes against Ms Nambozo’s 30,649 votes.
Mr Sam Wambaka, an educationist, however, said the Lumolo factor played a huge role but also blamed the incumbent for presiding over a failed district, riddled with corruption.
“He had failed to create sense of unity in the district council. There has been a lot of infighting and corruption has been at its worst levels in the district,” he said.
Mr Mulekwa when contacted said the elections were not free and fair.
“The elections were not free and fair but I will not petition and I am yet to consider whether to run as an Independent or not,” he said.
In Bulambuli District, Mr Simon Peter Wonazofu, who has been the LC5 chairperson since 2011, lost to Ms Annet Nandutu.
Ms Nandutu, who formerly worked as community development officer, got 49,465 votes while Mr Wonazofu secured 24833 votes.
Local leaders interviewed by Sunday Monitor said Mr Wonazofu, who was also an MP in the 7th Parliament representing Bulambuli County, had run out of favour with voters. Mr Wonazofu couldn’t be reached for comment by the press time.
However, some locals also alleged that Mr Wonazofu was reportedly brought down by Bugisu’s business tycoon, Mr Stephen Wekomba, who supported Ms Nandutu’s candidature.
“Ms Nandutu backed Mr Wekomba and his agents after they persuaded her not to contest for the Woman MP seat,” Mr Paul Kituyi, a resident of Muyembe town council, said.
Mr Wekomba’s daughter, Ms Sarah Nambozo, is the incumbent Woman MP for Bulambuli District.
She was elected in 2016 after defeating the then minister of energy, Ms Irene Muloni.
In Namisindwa District, the incumbent, Mr William George Wopuwa, was defeated by Mr Jackson Wakweika.
Mr Wakweika got 72,482 votes against Mr Wopuwa’s 43,908 votes.
The residents say they voted out Mr Wopuwa because of poor service delivery. Mr Wopuwa was elected in 2016 but before that he had served as MP for Bubulo East in Manafwa District for two terms.
Mr Wopuwa did not respond to our repeated phone calls.
In Mbale District, Mr Apollo Watenyeli was declared winner after he got 24946 votes, while in Manafwa District, Mr Hosea Kimono Kigayi was declared winner with 43,510 votes, beating Harriet Nandutu, who got 19340 votes.
In Kapchorwa District, incumbent LC5 chairperson Christopher Chekwurui Songhor lost to Ms Everline Kubarika, who got 18,815 votes.
Ms Songhor got 179,815 votes.
In Bukwo District, the Incumbent, Mr Micheal Chebet lost to Julius Chelimo, who got 12,245 votes.
Mr Chebet got 5,546 votes.
In Kween, the incumbent, Mr Paul Machinjach, was defeated by Mr Moses Yeko, who got 21294 votes. Mr Machinjach, who got 6328 votes.
In Tororo, the District Council Speaker, Mr John Okeya, was declared winner with 173,124 votes.
The incumbent LC5 chairperson, Ms Stella Imukutet, declined to participate in the elections after she opted to contest for Tororo South County parliamentary seat as an independent.
The story was the same in Teso where new blood was seen emerging victorious beating either incumbents or those that had been fronted to replace the incumbents.
In Serere, the incumbent District Speaker, Okello Ejwijwi lost to Julius Oluka. Oluka will now face off with FDC’s Stephen Ochola. The incumbent, Joseph Opit Okojo opted to contest for MP NRM Flagbearer for the newly created Pingire County. He however, lost to Fred Opolot.
Bukedea saw, the incumbent Olemukan lose to Wilberforce Tukei. In Amuria it was Isaac Okello Omiat who took the flag.
Others are: Emmanuel Okello for Ngora, Victor Ekesu for Kaberemaido, Samuel Okello for Kalaki, Joseph Opul for Katakwi, Nelson Elunga Mandela for Kumi, Francis Akorikin for Kapelebyong and Simon Peter Edotu Ekuu for Soroti.
The incumbent Soroti LCV Chairman opted for a Mayoral position within the newly created Soroti City.