SHEEMA – The battle lines have been drawn between candidates seeking to carry the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag for the Sheema Municipality MP seat.
Four people are in the race. They are Mr David Kamukama, Mr Patrick Mutabwiire, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation; and Mr Dicksons Kateshumbwa, a former commissioner at Uganda Revenue Authority.
Analysts say the actual race is between Dr Tumwesigye and Mr Kateshumbwa.
Dr Tumwesigye, who is the incumbent Sheema municipality MP, went to August House after the July 27, 2018 by-election.
Before beating Ms Plan Virginia Mugyenyi of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) in the general elections, the legislator had already beaten seven contenders in the NRM primaries.
However, this time round, it’s not going to be an easy ride for Dr Tumwesigye’s re-election on NRM ticket.
Mr Kateshumbwa recently donated sanitary pads to girls, distributed food items to vulnerable families, and fenced the matooke market and gave Kiziba Muslim community a water tank.
While returning from the nomination exercise in Kampala on August 9, Mr Kateshumbwa made a triumphant entry into Sheema Municipality.
Mr John Asiimwe, a voter, says the tight race is between Dr Tumwesigye and Mr Kateshumbwa.
“A lot of money is exchanging hands but it’s not going to be easy since all the two are Anglicans,” he says.
In Sheema and Greater Bushenyi districts, politics has often been polarised around religion. The divisions between Catholics and Protestants are so deep rooted that when it comes to the ballot, one group doesn’t think about competencies of candidates.
Residents interviewed by this website say that Dr. Tumwesigye has been fomenting disunity on religious and political lines in Sheema something that many people believe has retarded the development of the area.
Many elites from Sheema who live in Kampala have thrown their weight behind Kateshumbwa, aka Katesh, whom they say is a fresh breath of fresh air in the politics of the area.
Ahead of the elections on Friday, the NRM party members register display exercise in Sheema District has been marred by missing names.
NRM party loyalists turned up to check on their particulars on the register in vain.
The aspirants now argue that the names of their supporters have been deleted and replaced with new ones. The most affected Sub counties, Kitagata, Itedero and Kabwohe town council.
Mr Kamukama, a contestant in Sheema Municipality says there are a lot of illegalities being done the party registers witnessed with an outright alteration of names. He says that his supporters could be turned away from the polling stations because their names cannot be traced on the register.
Anthony Mugarura, a resident of Itendero cell, says his name was deleted and never given a reason why. He wonders whether the party secretariat can organize free and fair party primaries.
“The fact is my name was deleted and no reason was given to me I have been in that register for over 15 years why I was removed I don’t know,” he said.
Dr Tanga Odoi, the Chairperson of the NRM party Electoral Commission, says that all registrars should scrutinize the registers and allow those who were deleted to vote.