Early Political Pressure As Hoima Chairman Seeks Re-election

2976 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
In Hoima, the political dust is raising and it’s triggered by incumbent district Chairman George Bagonza’s dramatic turn around to seek re-election in 2016. Bagonza who is serving his 3rd term in office, declared he won’t seek re-election during his swearing in after the 2011 elections. However, Bagonza has made a U-turn and announced he would still be around to seek his 4th elective term in 2016.

As the political pressure continues to mount nationally over President Museveni’s sole candidature for the ruling NRM party ahead of 2016 elections, the heat seems to be trickling down to local government levels.
 
In Hoima, the political dust is raising and it’s triggered by incumbent district Chairman George Bagonza’s dramatic turn around to seek re-election in 2016. Bagonza who is serving his 3rd term in office, declared he won’t seek re-election during his swearing in after the 2011 elections. Bagonza told journalists at the Kasingo district headquarters in 2011 that he had served enough and needed to retire and concentrate on private business. This declaration triggered a frenzy of excitement among the political hopefuls, among them his Deputy Fredrick Byarubanga Kakoraki.
 
Others are Vincent Muhumuza, the district councillor representing Kahoora Division, Kadir Kirungi, the Busiisi Division LC3 Chairman and John Bahemuka, the Bugambe Sub county LC3 Chairman. Also in the race is Hannington Tibaijuka, the Buliisa district Health Inspector and Hoima FDC Chairman Jackson Wabyona.
 
Although the six had hoped for a level playing field in 2016, with the incumbent already declaring that he would retire, these hopes were brought to an end on May 1st when Bagonza made a U-turn and announced he would still be around in 2016.
 
Bagonza, a primary school teacher by profession, made the declaration during the district Labour Day celebrations at Hoima Boma grounds. The district chairman said he has never said bye to anyone and that if he was to do so, the whole district chairman cannot say bye in secrecy. In an Interview with Uganda Radio Network on Sunday, the district leader reaffirmed his statement, saying among the contenders he has not seen anyone to hand over the seat to.
 
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Although Bagonza’s deputy, Kakoraki has since gone silent on plans to contest as earlier declared, the other opponents are rather not allowing the incumbent to underrate them. Kadir Kirungi, a former district councillor in Bagonza’s council, says chaieman should just get ready for a tight competition. He also despises him for turning around, saying any visionary politician needs to stand by his word.
 
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John Bahemuka, the Bugambe sub county chairman, welcomes the incumbent to the race. He says being many in the race gives the electorate a greater opportunity to choose the best candidate. It however remains to be seen who wins the NRM primaries which precede the general elections. Apart from FDC’s Jackson Wabyona, all the other aspirants are NRM leaning.
 
With the oil discovery in Hoima’s Kaiso-Tonya area, the district is destined to develop as people from all over the world are being attracted to the district. According to Bagonza, a district chairman of a distinguished capacity will be much desired. On top of being an orator, Bagonza boasts of successfully pushing for the district to get its own headquarters in 2008, bringing an end to years of renting at the Bunyoro Kingdom buildings. The district spent 50million annually on rent at the Rukurato buildings.
 
Bagonza also praises himself for having lobbied central government for water projects among others. Hoima currently has six gravity water projects, all established during Bagonza’s term of office. But opponents say these are central government projects which would come regardless of who is district chairman.