DP, Independents dominate Masaka LC 1 nominations

The ruling NRM party could have injected money into Tuesday’s LC I elections but that was not enough motivation for its supporters to stand as its flag bearers.

At landing sites around Masaka and Kalungu districts, NRM flag bearers either did not get nominated or opted to keep the party card aside and stand as independents.

Party leaders in Masaka are blaming the low morale on a number of factors, notable among them is the UPDF-led operation against illegal fishing on Lake Victoria.

Since the operation was launched in February 2017, there have been various reports against the soldiers who allegedly brutalise the fishermen.

Several fishing villages have been closed and several lives lost at the hands of the UPDF enforcement officers and the locals are now looking at the village elections as an opportunity to avenge for the soldiers’ actions.

Umar Ssebulime, the NRM administrative secretary for the Masaka sub-region confirmed in an interview at the weekend that the party was finding it hard to identify candidates at landing sites because of the brutality meted out to them by the soldiers.

“The people at the landing sites are too angry with government and NRM,” Ssebulime said.

The ruling party also failed to field candidates in some villages in Masaka
Municipality, leaving the opposition Democratic Party (DP) to dominate the show.

For instance, in Kimaanya parish in Kimaanya-Kyabakuza division, out of 11 villages, DP fielded nine candidates while NRM could not find candidates to contest in four of 11 villages.

FDC has a single candidate while 16 of the candidates are Independents.
Ssebulime blames last year’s amendment of the Constitution to remove age limits as one of the factors working against NRM candidates.

“Because of the hostilities, many of our candidates have preferred to run as independents,” Ssebulime said.

LC I elections will be held on Tuesday, July 10, the first time since 2002 when the village elections were last held.