KAMPALA – As the clock ticks to the 2021 general election, political temperatures are rising as different candidates jostle for positions in the 11th Parliament. In Iganga Municipality, the political horizon seems to be shaping up with the battle lines clearly showing that the mother of all battles will be between Abed Nasser Mudiobole of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Abdulrahim Ali Bewazir aka Toto of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Mudiobole has twice been floored by NRM’s Peter Mugema aka Panadol but with the later suffering a humiliating defeat in the hands of businessman Toto in the NRM primaries, it seems the political tide is no longer in his favour.
“Panadol has been in Parliament for ten years and there is nothing he can show for it. In fact if he was clever, he would quietly bow out and bounce back in 2026,” said Isma Kakerewe, a resident of Nabidhonga.
Kakerewe said Panadol’s insistence on coming as an independent will only portray him as a selfish politician and destroy his chances of bouncing back into the political arena.
However, in an interview with PML Daily, Panadol insists he will beat Toto in a free and fair poll, saying the NRM poll was full of irregularities.
“The NRM primary was not an election and did not reveal the true strength of the contestants. I know my strength and will definitely emerge victorious in the forthcoming election,” Panadol said.
One of Panadol’s chief mobilizers, Martin Isabirye, in an interview with website said his candidate got wind of the plan to rig the election and diverted his attention to the general election, long before election day.
“We got intelligence information that Toto was planning to rig the election and decided to let him take the flag but we are fully certain he will remain with his flag,” said Isabirye.
But political observers say that if Toto and Panadol do not burry their hatchet, they will divide the NRM votes and give FDC’s Mudiobole a clear win.
“Panadol cannot be underestimated, he still has the support of many municipality dwellers, especially the women. In fact if the two NRM rival candidates do not find a common position, then Mudiobole will most likely take the day,” said Aaron Nakate, an opinion leader in the municipality.
Nakate said Mudiobole’s mistake is disappearing from the constituency only to emerge during election time.
“He comes towards election time and then disappears for good only to resurface when the next cycle of election knocks. People therefore look at him as somebody who is only interested in their votes but not their welfare,” Nakate said.
But while speaking at the burial of Abdallah Kataba at Nkono in Iganga Municipality, Mudiobole urged the municipality residents to entrust him with their votes, saying that the municipality is not an item to be bought by the highest bidder, a direct reference to Toto whose supporters address him by the moniker ‘investor’.
“I hear people saying investor, investor please our municipality is not up for sale,” Mudiobole said, amid chants from his supporters.
Toto on the other hand has urged the municipal residents to go all the way by casting their votes for him in the general election.
The race to represent Iganga Municipality in Parliament also features Francis Muganga, who is standing on the National Unity Platform (NUP) flag as well as independents Juma Ngobi and Tom Naigubya.