Kamuli- The two main contenders for the Kamuli Municipality parliamentary seat by-election have hit the ground running with both candidates projecting a cocktail of excitement and anxiety in equal measure.
Speaking during her maiden campaign after getting nominated by the Electoral Commission, the NRM flag bearer, Hajjati Rehema Watongola, pleaded with the voters to allow her complete her term in office after being cut short on the grounds that her academic credentials were lacking.
As for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate, Ms Salaamu Musumba, she has decided to position herself as the ‘redeemer’ for both the economic and social injustices the people of Kamuli are enduring.
While addressing their first rallies at Mulamba and Buwanume Wards, the two rival candidates also pledged to run a ‘decent’ campaign.
They both promised to stick to issues and avoid situations that will see their supporters go overboard and out of control.
Speaking at KBS Radio grounds earlier in the week, Ms Watongola defended the credibility of her academic papers, saying her opponents are maliciously using it against her.
She also dismissed as false claims that she did not physically sit her A-Level exams leading to the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education. She said: “I am a victim of wolokoso. However, I sacrificed and finished my studies successfully. Now I am ready to serve again and kindly allow me to do so, this time to the fullest,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Musumba in her message at Buwanume Ward, said the new municipality needs to lay a firm foundation, something she is prepared to spearhead through legislation.
“We need to quickly change the psychology of the rural communities and help them think in terms of development. We must have places such as Namisambya, Busota, Buwanume and Nakulyaku to appreciate the municipality dynamics so that we can all develop together.”
Unlike Ms Watongola who appears to employ the conventional campaign methods, Ms Musumba uses freestyle, saying that is how she can get to her core of issues affecting the people of Kamuli.
Both also appear to be courting the institution of the Kyabazinga, with Ms Musumba going a notch higher by openly expressing her love for the Kyabazinga Institution in her campaigns.
Kamuli Municipality by-election
High Court in Jinja annulled the election of Hajjati Rehema Watongola (right) mid last year and declared Kamuli Municipality MP seat vacant following a petition filed by Ms Salaamu Musumba arguing that Ms Watongola lacked the requisite academic qualifications. According to the Electoral Commission results, Ms Watongola beat Ms Musumba to the seat, polling 8,175 votes against Ms Musumba’s 6,702 votes. Both were cleared by their parties as well as the EC for the by-election.