NRM elects cities mayoral flag bearers

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By Daily Monitor

Ten new cities, including Jinja, Fort Portal, Masaka, Mbale, Gulu, Arua, Mbarara, Hoima, Soroti and Lira become operational, the first regional cities outside Kampala.

And on September 11, they elected their maiden National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearers, who are going to tussle it out with Opposition and Independent candidates in the 2021 General Election.

Mbale City
In Mbale City, Mr Vincent Magombe, a businessman and road technician, who contested for the LCV seat in 2016 but lost to Mr Bernard Mujasi, has won the NRM flag for the mayoral seat.
Mr Magombe emerged winner after  garnering 5,3026 votes against his main rival, Mr Abdul Magoola, who got 2,6823 votes.

Victoria University

However, there was confrontation between the supporters of both camps at the tallying centre,  at Mbale District headquarters as each faction accused the other of vote rigging.
Mr Magombe said if eventually elected as Mbale City mayor, his focus will be on promotion of tourism and education.
“We must have better education standards in government-aided schools so that they can compete favourably with private schools,” he said.

Fort Portal Tourism City
In Fort Portal Tourism City, Mr  Edson Asaba Ruyonga, who served for three terms as mayor of Fort Portal Municipality from 2001 to 2016, was on Friday announced winner after polling 17,328 votes against Mr Paul Drake Kasande’s 7,241.

This is the fourth time Mr Ruyonga is standing for the mayoral elections since 2001 when he was a member of Opposition’s Reform Agenda now Forum for Democratic Change (FDC ) party.


Prior to the  2006 elections Mr Ruyonga crossed to the NRM party and was the party’s candidate for the mayoral race.

Hoima City
In Hoima City, incumbent mayor Grace Mary Mugasa lost to Mr Brian Mugenyi Kaboyo. Ms Mugasa got  8,459 votes, while Mr Kaboyo had 11,074 votes.


Speaking to journalists after being declared winner, Mr Kaboyo promised to transform Hoima into ‘a vibrant business hub’.

“The oil discovery presents a huge business opportunity for us, so I will mobilise people to tap opportunities from the petroleum industry,” he said.
He added that his programmes will focus on fighting poverty, advocating for the less-privileged and improving  the welfare of the people.

He claimed he is lobbying  investors from the United Kingdom to set up a specialised hospital in Hoima.
Mr Kaboyo is the first vice president of Kitara Football Club, and has been the head of protocol for the Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara.

Mbarara City
In Mbarara, the mayoral race attracted the incumbent/interim City Mayor, Mr Robert Mugabe ,aka Kakyebezi, Mr Herbert Kamugisha and Mr Justus Karuhanga.


Mr Kakyebezi emerged winner with 36,116 votes, followed by Mr Kamugisha with 9,303 votes and Mr Karuhanga with 1,234 votes.
Mr Kakyebezi is a former teacher at Kazo Modern High School in Kazo County and Nyabushozi High School in Kashongi.


 In 2002,  Mr Kakyebezi joined Radio West in Mbarara as a presenter and DJ.

In 2012, he enrolled for a Bachelor of Social Works and Social Administration degree at Bishop Stuart University, while still working at Radio West until he was elected NRM flag bearer in 2016.


Working as a radio presenter earned him a celebrity status on which he rode to win the mayoral race.

Soroti City
The Soroti incumbent LC5 chairperson, Mr Mike Egunyu, who expressed interest for the city mayoral seat, emerged unopposed.

Arua City
Mr Sam Wadri Nyakua beat Mr  Isa Kato to take the NRM flag for  Arua City mayor.   Mr Nyakua joined politics in 2011 as district chairperson for Arua to date.
 
Gulu City
Mr Alfred Okwonga was unopposed in the NRM primaries for Gulu City mayor.


He is the proprietor of Gulu Institute of Nursing and Midwifery, and Layibi High School.
Mr Okwonga is a commercial farmer in both Nwoya and Omoro districts.

In 2016, he contested  for Gulu mayorship but lost to Mr George Labeja, who garnered 6,556  votes against his 5,739.


Ms Aidah Akullu, a resident of Gulu West, says despite losing the election in 206, Mr Okwonga kept his foot on the ground. “Mr Okwonga is the only person who can take the mantle in leading the people in the new Gulu City.

His leadership skills have been tested when he was a councillor for Pece Division from 2011 to 2016,” she said.

Lira City
Mr Willy Omodo Omodo was declared the winner of the Lira City mayoral flag bearer in the controversial election held on Friday.
Mr Omodo Omodo, who had lost in nearly all the polling stations, emerged victor with 10,710 votes.


His rival George Mawa, who was in the early lead, trailed with 7,374 votes, according to the results announced by the assistant NRM returning officer, Mr Moses Okello.

No sooner had Mr Omodo Omodo been declared winner than Mr Mawa’s supporters started pelting stones at security personnel and electoral officials. This prompted the police to fire teargas to disperse the violent NRM supporters.


 Two hours later, calm was restored at the tallying centre and the NRM assistant returning officer declared the results for the LC5 flag bearer.

Mr Erick Richard Okello was declared winner with 21,745 votes, followed by Mr Bosco Twontoo, who got 5,991 votes and Mr Winston Ogwang came last with 12,657 votes.


But Mr Ogwang contested the results alleging that the entire process was marred by irregularities.

“I’m not contented with these results, because there was a lot of vote rigging and alteration of votes,” he said.


Mr Omodo Omodo is a former NRM party youth league vice chairperson for northern Uganda and former Oyam North parliamentary candidate in the 2016 polls.


 He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration and Management and joined President Museveni’s camp in the run up to the  2016 polls.

 Jinja City
 In Jinja City, Mr Robert Kanusu defeated Mr Julius Zziwa, Mr Jeff Bidandi and Mr Muhammed Ntuuyo.


Mr Kanusu polled 8,619 votes against Mr Zziwa’s 6,041, Ntuuyo’s 3,896 and Bidandi’s 1,778.

 Mr Kanusu was a staunch Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) supporter, who transcended his mandate as political aide to the party president, Mr Olara Otunnu.


However, all that changed on March 13, 2018 during Mr Nathan Igeme Nabeta’s rally as the NRM party flag bearer in the Jinja East Constituency by-election at which President Museveni was chief guest.

Mr Kanusu’s victory comes as a surprise having defected to the NRM in March 2018, and contested in a space perceived to be an Opposition stronghold.


Mr Kanusu grabbed headlines when, while UPC candidate for the Jinja LC5 seat, he went to a polling station, sent ballot papers flying in the air before assaulting a polling official.

Within the blink of an eye, the little known politician had turned a hero of Jinja residents when he was broadcasted on national TVs throwing about ballot boxes at Kayunga A Polling Station in Mafubira Sub-county headquarters in protest of what he described as well-orchestrated machinery to rig him out of a hard earned victory.


UNOPPOSED
The Soroti incumbent LC5 chairperson, Mr Mike Egunyu, who expressed interest for the city mayoral seat, emerged unopposed.
In Gulu,  Mr Alfred Okwonga was unopposed in the  just conlcuded NRM primaries for Gulu City mayor.

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