12 January 2013

Uganda: Six Eye Butaleja FDC Ticket

THE Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has nominated six aspirants to contest for the party primaries to field a candidate for the vacant Butaleja district woman MP seat.

They are Suzan Baluka Were, a teacher at Bugwere High School, Rose Nabwire, a business woman and Winnie Mulera, a fresh graduate of Information Technology.

Others to tussle out in the party primaries scheduled for January 17 are the outgoing guild president of Mutesa I Royal University, Juliet Nabwire, a counselor with TASO Mbale branch, Hadija Yenga and Felistus Namwihiri.

Baluka and Yenga faced off in the controversial district party primaries in 2011 that tore apart supporters of the two candidates, prompting the latter to contest on independent ticket.

Then, Yenga accused Baluka of conniving with the district party chairman, Luka Wegulo, to declare Baluka unopposed as the FDC candidate.

The seat fell vacant after Cerinah Nebanda, the Butaleja woman MP, died under mysterious circumstances on December 14.

A disputed Government autopsy done in the UK indicates that the legislator died of drug overdose.

With six aspirants jostling for party endorsement, the competition is expected to be stiffer and FDC is bracing itself for eventualities.

"The rise in the number of aspirants willing to contest on the FDC ticket shows that our party is gaining ground and acceptance in Butaleja. We will sell our ideas among members of the electoral college and allow them decide on the appropriate person," Baluka said.

"The NRM Government has been promising to tarmac Mbale-Butaleja-Namutumba road in all the previous campaigns but has not lived to their word," Baluka said.

Mulera, who is already meeting with the electorate, said it is no longer about NRM in Butaleja, but service delivery.

Nabwire said she would not contest the outcome of the party primaries, provided they are free and fair.

FDC has 207 voters who comprise the electoral college in Butaleja district.

Wegulo said before the primaries, the party would convene a meeting with all the aspirants to allow them agree on one candidate.

He added: "If they fail to agree, we shall go for the primaries. To avoid friction that characterised the 2011 primaries, we will ensure every plan is communicated."

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