SHEEMA. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party, reeling from defeat by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in the contest for Sheema Municipality MP seat two months back, has taken another political blow in the neigbouring Sheema North constituency.
NRM’s Naome Kibaaju defeated FDC’s Guma Nuwagaba in the Monday poll, while NRM’s Dr Elioda Tumwesigye on July 28 beat FDC’s Virginia Mugyenyi.
NRM leaders say what delivered victory to Ms Kibaaju, who polled 11,326 votes in Sheema North, was a combination of good organisation and mobilisation during the campaigns and on the voting day, the party’s accomplishments in the area and the candidate’s superior experience in politics.
“The reason we have won again is because NRM has performed. We have given people services; we have huge water schemes and every sub-county has access to water and [electric] power. We have good secondary schools and health centres,” Mr Yorokamu Katwiremu, the Sheema District NRM chairman, said yesterday.
Mr Nuwagaba, 42, polled 7,322 votes.
Ms Kibaaju used NRM structures to reach out to the 34,575 voters in the constituency. These are the youth, women, elderly, People with Disabilities, veterans and entrepreneurs.
Each of the six groups has five members so Ms Kibaaju had 30 members in each village as her primary mobilisers. The same number is at the parish, sub-county and district level.
“From the village up to the district, members of these structures were campaigning for Ms Kibaaju. These are very many and influential mobilisers that FDC, which has no structures in the constituency, would not match,” Mr Benon Karabareme, an NRM party mobiliser, told Daily Monitor yesterday.
Two Nyekundiire (volunteer) groups from outside Sheema were enlisted. One was tasked to mobilise people in informal sector; boda boda operators, those in saloons, matooke traders, taxi operators, welders and farmers.
Another group was tasked to mobilise people from Sheema North living and working outside the constituency. They targeted the working class and students. “We reached out to teachers and directors of schools and intuitions, people who are born in Sheema North but work outside. We also had a team of NRM electoral commission led by Dr Tanga Odoi and officials from the office of the party secretary general, who teamed up with the party leaders at the district. That is where our strength was,” Mr Karabareme added.
Mr Nuwagaba, however, said the election was not fair, citing voter bribery and intimidation.
“Sheema is not a battle ground, we have no terrorists, and we are peaceful Ugandans, there was no need for deployment of all these security equipment and personnel,” he said.
Mr Nuwagaba stressed that he does not agree with the election outcome but will also not be going to court, saying life is not about politics only.