“The Electoral Commission in Kasese has cleared the first candidate to vie for the Busongora South by-election scheduled for August 18th, 2022. NUP’s Mbaju Jackson Kathika was dully nominated at 11:00 am. Having been nominated, he is optimistic about victory in the polls” (NBS Television, 08.08.2022).
“The increasing number of NRM members opting to run as Independents in the Busongola by-election in Kasese district is giving party officials a headache. The party officials are worried that the numbers might put pressure on the NRM flag bearer should they be nominated. This was revealed during an NRM Delegates Conference to flag off Mujungu Gideon as the party’s flag bearer” (NBS Television, 07.08.2022).
In Kasese district in the Busongola South By-Election scheduled for the polls on the 18th August 2022. There are already three major candidates. The NRM own flag-bearer Thembo Gideon Mujungu who won in the General Election of 2021 and was recently “nullified” in the courts. That’s why the county is again having elections for the seat in Parliament.
The other important flag-bearers are the National Unity Platform Jackson Kathika Mbaju, the former MP (FDC, 2016-2021) and who ran as an independent in 2021, but is returning as a NUP Flag-bearer in 2022. He was the runner-up in 2021, as the NUP flag-bearer of 2021 was Michael Masereka and he came in at 9th out of 10 candidates. So, they went for a more viable option this time around.
While the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) own flag-bearer is Kighema Alozious Baguma. In the 2021 elections he came third and after the then independent candidate Mbaju. That’s why this campaign and by-election will be interesting. Mbaju lacked about 100 votes to win over Mujungu in the General Elections, while Baguma needed about 700 votes to conquer the NRM flag-bearer. Therefore, these three are neck-in-neck.
We should also wonder if Kafunda Boaz returns to the polls again. As his a former MP (2011-2016) for the region, but only came in 6th of 10. Maybe he wants the “pure democracy” as he wanted applause for celebrating the arrest of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. Well, time will tell really.
Here is another contested race and Kasese has been a stronghold for the FDC. That has been well known for some time. That’s why at one point they had all MPs, but now times are maybe changing. However, it is interesting that the NUP picked up a former FDC MP and former Independent for this race. This will certainly make it contested and make it harder to gain the total majority of one of the opposition. That will benefit the NRM flag-bearer and could be a reason for victory. This is just speculation, even as we all know that the NRM state machinery is in the works and eventually the malpractices and the intimidation will start. That’s why by-elections looks like war-zones and not “democratic inspired events” anymore.
It is also interesting that the NUP is fielding a candidate, as the NUP knows the history of Kasese. As they have a statement of unity and planned to work together in elections. They are certainly doing so elsewhere in By-Elections. However, right here… they are seemingly very keen on contesting. I wonder how that will play out or if this is a strategy by both parties.
Busongola South By-Election will be something to look out for. There are so many flag-bearers that this will turn interesting… Peace.