Mbarara politics dominated by malicious rumors and bribery ahead of 2021 general elections
Politicians vying for different positions in Mbarara in Western Uganda have decried malicious rumors against them besides bribery ahead of the 2021 general election.
Mbarara having become a city effective July 1,2021, it is now divided into two divisions including North (Kamukuzi, Biharwe, Kakiika) and south (Kakoba, Nyamitanga, Nyakayojo) with each division set to have a representative in parliament besides other electoral positions both at division and city level.
Former Mbarara Member of Parliament (MP) Emma Boona who is among those vying for the woman MP seat has decried that there is a group of politicians who have ganged against her to the extent of bribing someone to spread rumors that she has pulled out of the race. Others standing for Mbarara woman MP include Jolly Kagira Tumwine, Rita Bwahika Atukwasa and Bonnie Kiconco Kashaija.
Jolly Kagira, who is one of Emma’s tight competitors, has disclosed that one of the woman MP aspirants had attempted to bribe electoral authorities to hinder her nomination.
Meanwhile, other intensely contested positions include Mbarara North MP seat where Mbarara municipality legislator Michael Tusiime is facing the National Resistance Movement (NRM) national entrepreneurs league chairperson Dr. Robert Mwesigwa Rukaari who is also the Honorary Consul of Morocco to Uganda, Mugisha Otatiina Celestine of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), Agaba Baringi Senate of NRM among others.
According to Agaba, there is early voter bribery which has been fueled by the virtual campaign system as some politicians have directly injected part of the campaign budgets into voters.
In Mbarara South, the current western Uganda Youth MP Mwine Mpaka is facing a tough race with politicians including Nick Kashaija Rutahaba of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Katete ward LC IV councilor Kagiko Imam Shafi.
On the other hand, incumbent mayor Robert Kakyebezi is facing strong men including FDC’s Stanley Katembeya, NRM’s Robert Kamugisha, and many more on the City Mayoral seat.
For western Uganda youth MP seat, 13 people have so far expressed interest and some have already started campaigning virtually.
The NRM roadmap is already in progress and voting in primaries will be by lining behind candidates.