By Misairi Thembo Kahungu
It is not over until it is over. One simple statement that is always made by Africans. This has has somehow been hinted on by one of the candidates already nominated for the Busongora South Parliamentary by-elections slated for August 18.
As I was writing this article while on bus traveling to Kampala, seven candidates had been confirmed as dully nominated.
To avoid being seen as erilhabirirya (get to your camp for translation) my favourite candidate, I will list them according to their order of nominations. Mbaju Jackson Kathika of National Unity Platform, Businge Bernadette of Democratic Party, Alozious Kighema Baguma of Forum for Democratic Change, Doreen Izagire an Independent Candidate, Thembo Gideon Mujungu of National Resistance Movement, David Mulindwa Isimbwa an Independent Candidate, and Juma Munizero an independent candidate.
However, by the look of things as per pre-nomination events, it is likely to be a four horse race. These are; Mbaju, Kighema, Mujungu and Mulindwa. Three slogans are already flying in three camps whose candidates have their umbilical codes in Mbunga Sub-county. Silhuhwere (it is not over) for Mbaju, Musabuli (saviour) for Mujungu and Mulekya (resolver of disputes) for Kighema.
Going by the most recent political battles in Kasese District, the battle may be for the candidates on the ballot paper but the war of words will attract other players. I will stick on those from Kasese that are going to lead the vote hunting for their camps (especially for the three Mbunga hailing candidates).
Mbaju has drawn speakers from the former FDC supporters-Gideon Ntabose, Ezra Kamba, Kasoke Ernest, Elly Magwara and Aziko Milton. There are also two figures in Jonen Bwambale former candidate in Busongora North like Magwara and Sam Baluku the former candidate in Kasese Municipality.
On the side of Mujungu (the immediate former MP) has the team led by Dr Crispus Kiyonga the NRM boss in Kasese, Godfrey Kabbyanga the State Minister for National Guidance, the two MPs in Ferigo Kambale and Kitanywa Sowedi.
Kighema will have speakers led by Saulo Maate the FDC boss in Kasese, MPs Florence Kabugho, Harold Muhindo and Atkins Katusabe. Others are, Chance Kahindo the Mayor Kasese Municipality, William Nzoghu former MP Busongora North, Robert Centenary former MP Kasese Municipality, Sibendire Bigogo the former LC 5 boss and Safari Martin LC 3 Chairperson of Central Division.
Scores to settle
As discussed above, the candidates may have less as there is nothing new other than their manifestos that are still fresh in minds of the voters. Mujungu may face a few questions of accountability since has been in Parliament for over a year. For Mbaju it may be reference of the past term while Kighema is to insist on a new chapter being written for the Constituency.
Kitanywa, Nzoghu, Jonen and Magwara have brought a rematch of Busongora North battle to the neighbouring constituency. Kitanywa is for Mujungu while Nzoghu is for Kighema. Magwara and Jonen will speak for Mbaju. Who wins the rematch?
Ferigo, Centenary, Ntabosi and Sam had results declared in that order after their battle for Kasese Municipality MP seat. They are all headed for Busongora South for their away leg of political match. Ferigo roots for Mujungu, Centenary an FDC returnee is among key speakers for Kighema while Ntabose (who crossed to NRM not so long ago) and Sam will speak for Mbaju. Will away goals count?.
Florence seems to be going to continue eating Ekikusa (maize) with ease since her three rivals of the 2021 race seem not to be on he front row in the current situation. Fatuma Katembo of NUP is still silent unless she surfaces with pulicipo Bobi Wine. NRM ladies Sarah Ithungu and Marylin Kabugho seem to have something to settle internally and Busongora South might have come too soon. Florence may have no extra time in this match.
Harold, like Florence may have to eat his cake without pressure as he campaigns for Kighema. His two rivals- Dr Rude Monday of NRM and Kahungu Amon Philly of NUP have not yet arrived for the 100m race. Harold set, go..
Bigogo unlike his political rival Eriphaz Muhindi the LC 5 boss has been active in the field during Kighema’s consultative meetings and on nomination day. All eyes on Muhindi who has to show support for NRM’s Mujungu but also facing inner decision on Mbaju who openly voted for him. Bigogo seems to wait for the whistle as opponent may walk in late.
Chance Kahindo defeated Kabbyanga in one of the most guarded polls in the history of Kasese Municipality. They have all arrived in Busongora South with the Mayor of the town seeking to take control of the neighborhood while the Minister must appease the Appointing Authority as he ponders on his 2026 game plan. Two bold Speakers but who will bite deep?
It has always been a good and entertaining race between American sprinter Gatlin and Jamaican icon Bolt. This is the race between Kiyonga and Katusabe.
“From today to August 18, there is no sleeping. We are going to look for votes” said Kiyonga while speaking at Rwenzori International Hotel shortly after Mujungu’s nomination. On the other hand, Katusabe speaking at Mithibiri Trading Centre in Muhokya Subcounty at Kighema’s welcome rally said; “I am the one known for felling the NRM giant in Bukonzo West. We have come here to win and that win we must protect jealously”. Who becomes first human on Mars?
Three key players in Kasese politics remain silent as they have said no word publicly since the bye-elections were ordered. Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) national leaders Winnie Kiiza and Yokasi Bihande. The other is NRM’s Christopher Kibanzanga a former MP for Busongora South back in his opposition ripen times.
Other trio, I have only had a chat with Winnie Kiiza but I will keep the contents of it private. I will only engage her by the weekend to view her stand point on this exercise. May be she comes as an observer.