The Independent (Kampala)

20 November 2012

Uganda: Corruption, Economy and Army Key Issues in the Debate

In the first of its kind Ugandans witnessed a debate among the presidential hopefuls who are racing for the top seat in the FDC party in order to replace Dr Kizza Besigye in three days time from now. The debate was moderated by a veteran journalist Peter Kibazo at the WBS Main Hall in Naguru.

The debate that attracted other political party candidates such as the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Mike Mabikke was one that simply played into candidates' strengths, with the three candidates of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Nandala Mafabi, Gen Mugisha Muntu, and Geoffrey Ekany showing up authoritatively on issues they feel they can serve Ugandans with.

Nandala Mafabi the leader of opposition and MP for Budadiri West spoke very authoritatively on the issue of corruption and the economy and how to tackle the issue of trade and aid while his counterpart Gen Mugisha Muntu reiterated strongly and authoritatively on the military. This therefore leaves Ugandans to take choice between the economy and the army.

Nandala says the people of Uganda want a leader who is accountable and has the skill and ability to manage the FDC party.

Ekanya raised an issue of unemployment that bites mostly the youth who take up over 70% of the country's population saying, "I am the only one who knows the plight of the youth in this country since I am part of them by age."

He lambasted at the way President Yoweri Museveni uses the insecurity of the region to plunder their resources and using it as a bait to attract sympathy from the western world to fund the deployment of the army in countries like Somalia. "I have been liaising with the government of Kenya to ensure that they too deploy in Somalia so that Uganda gets out of Somalia," says Ekanya.

Nandala Mafabi who appeared composed articulated issues like how to fight corruption and to build party structures that will ensure the party is strong so as to win the presidential election come 2016.

One of his supporters Doreen Nyanjura says, "Nandala Mafabi is the best choice for this election if people really mean what they have been yearning. Right now he has won because he has articulated issues that affect Ugandans most especially farmers. And I am sure he will win because I have seen the response of the people."

While Beatrice Anywar while jubilating after the debate said Gen Muntu is the best candidate to lead the main opposition party come Thursday's presidential election that will be held at Namboole stadium.

The debate was organized by the National chairman for the NGO Forum while telecast live on WBS TV. "We are not doing this because we support FDC no! but just because we want to show Ugandans what politics is, we have done it even with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) only that it was not televised," he added.

Each candidate had a chance of pitching a question to his fellow candidate that was done simultaneously then alter on question from the audience.

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