NRM, Opposition face off in final rallies for Bugiri

By Philip Wafula, Ronald Seebe and Asuman Musobya

President Museveni and the Opposition leaders yesterday stepped up campaigns for their candidates ahead of tomorrow’s polls.
President Museveni and Opposition leaders pitched camp in Bugiri Municipality the bigger part of yesterday, combing all corners for votes.
In the race is NRM’s John Francis Oketcho, Jeema’s Asuman Basalirwa and Forum for Democratic Change party’s Eunice Namatende.

Campaigning for Mr Oketcho at Bukooli Technical School in Bugiri Municipality yesterday, President Museveni vowed to constitute a team to investigate reports that the Opposition candidates in the Bugiri Municipality campaigns were playing the sectarian card during campaigns.
“As President of the country, if I get incriminating evidence that they (Opposition) were being sectarian, they will be charged in court,” Mr Museveni warned.
“Even if that person has been elected into Parliament, he or she will be withdrawn from the House,”he added.

The President announced that government will repair Bugiri Hospital ‘within a short period of time’, asking voters to elect NRM flag bearers who will remind him about the pledges he makes.
Mr Basalirwa, who was accompanied by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, also known as Bobi Wine, and other leaders, while closing his campaigns at Bugiri Bus Park, asked people to vote for him massively.
“You have been given money; please eat it. Others have been discriminated while those who are giving me money say they got it from ‘the people in yellow’. Please eat it but remember to vote wisely,” he said.

Jeema rally. Supporters of Jeema candidate

Jeema rally. Supporters of Jeema candidate Asuman Basalirwa gather at Bugiri Bus Park for his final campaign rally on July 25, 2018. PHOTO BYPHILIP WAFULA

Mr Basalirwa said the death of his supporter-cum bodyguard who was shot dead last week will be in vain if he does not win tomorrow’s election.
Asuman Walyendo, 28, was shot dead on Saza Road in Bugiri Municipality during a confrontation between Mr Basalirwa’s supporters and police.
Mr Siraje Lyavala, the former Bugiri chairperson who stepped down for Basalirwa, said he also wanted the seat but discovered that Bugiri was bigger than him.
Earlier, police arrested several of Mr Basalirwa’s supporters after raiding a hotel booked by Mr Kyagulanyi.
Mr Kyagulanyi said their supporters had been arrested due to Mr Museveni’s visit to Bugiri.

Besigye campaigns
Former FDC leader, Dr Kizza Besigye arrived in Bugiri Municipality at about 11am to drum up support for Ms Namatende.
Shortly after his arrival, Dr Besigye’s convoy was intercepted at Obama Street by police, but later left to proceed to Hindocha Primary School where Ms Namatende was expected to hold her final rally.
He said the government is improving since it has dropped people like former Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura “who were teargasing Opposition figures”.

“For Kayihura to ask the Opposition to help him yet he was working for the NRM shows that Mr Museveni’s government is about to ‘burst’ and FDC takes power,” he said.
Dr Besigye regretted that Uganda is one of the richest countries but its nationals are among the poorest and President Museveni is to blame.
“Suffering among Ugandans shows that Mr Museveni has failed to manage the country; so he should leave FDC to fix the country,” he said, adding that his premonition that Mr Museveni left power is becoming a reality.

FDC president Patrick Oboi Amuriat said his party is resolute in taking state power and are not about to relent even if it means shedding blood.
Ms Namatende promised expectant mothers Mama Kits once elected tomorrow. Joel Wamono (Independent) is the other candidate in the race
Tomorrow, voters will also elect the mayor and other municipal leaders.
The Bugiri Electoral Commission registrar, Ms Fiona Kunihira, said there are about 12,000 voters in the municipality which includes 19 villages and two sub-counties.

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