Ronald Okumu, a resident of West Land B Parish in Central Division, Kitgum Municipality says Anywar started as a darling but soon deviated to serve the interests of the same government she criticized.
Beatrice Anywar, The state minister for environment also the incumbent Kitgum municipality legislator.
The State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar
faces a stiff challenge to retain the Kitgum Municipality parliamentary seat.
will contest against Anywar for the seat. They are Henry Kissinger Oryem, who
was narrowly defeated by Anywar in the NRM primary elections now contesting on
an independent ticket, Albert Gladstone Agech of the Democratic Party-DP and
Denis Onekalit Amere of Forum for Democratic Change-FDC. The other candidate is
Jimmy Komakech Olanya Olenge of the Uganda People’s Congress-UPC party.
Anywar has had the longest political career for close to 16 years. She
first made her way to the parliament in 2006 after winning the Kitgum District
woman parliamentary seat on FDC party Ticket. She garnered 38,607 votes
against her closes rival Sarah Lanyero Ochieng’s 18,542 votes.
She soon rose to the country’s political limelight as a critic of the NRM
ruling government winning the hearts of many back home and across the country. Anywar became part of
environmental activists in the country who spearheaded a campaign against the
giveaway of Mabira Forest for sugarcane growing to earn the title ‘Mama
In the 2016 elections, she contested as an independent
having lost in the FDC primary elections.
Next year’s elections have put Anywar to a test of her past
political conducts. Until 2016, Anywar was a loyal FDC party member but
switched commitment to the NRM after being elected on an independent ticket, a
move that saw her getting appointed on December 14th last year as a Minister of
State for Environment.
Okumu, a resident of West Land B Parish in Central Division, Kitgum
Municipality says Anywar started as a darling but soon deviated to serve the
interests of the same government she criticized.
Okumu alleges that Anywar soiled her hands by lying in Parliament that the
people in Kitgum had voted in favour of removing the age that allows the
president to contest beyond the 75 age limit cap.
“When Anywar came to us for consultations in Kitgum, we clearly told her we
were not in favour of the age the limit bill being removed from the
constitution, we expected her to represent what we told her but surprisingly
she voted for its removal in Parliament,” Okumu says.
says if Anywar intends to win their votes, she will have to clarify on why she
misrepresented their voices in Parliament.
Ochieng, a businessman, and resident of Pager Division highlights concerns
surrounding donations of a tractor and a Fuso truck by President Museveni to women
groups and vendors in Kitgum Municipality through Anywar.
In May 2017, President Museveni while gracing a thanksgiving prayer for Anywar
in Kitgum Municipality donated a brand new tractor for women groups in Kitgum
Ochieng says the two donations especially a tractor has never been seen
after it was
handed to help women in the Municipality. One of the female vendors who didn’t
want to be named for fear of reprisals says a small group of women loyal to
Anywar was recently rewarded with proceeds of the tractor and the truck while
the majority failed to receive it.
has however refuted allegations that she is owning up a tractor and truck meant
for women and utilizing the proceeds without giving back to the intended
She notes that the tractor couldn’t be used within Kitgum Municipality because
there was no land for agriculture adding that the tractor was meant to be hired
out but not for agricultural activities.
“Municipality doesn’t have land, it’s a business center. The plan was to hire
the tractor out and get money. Indeed, we hired it out and gave out the
proceeds to 56 women groups recently,” she said.
Anywar also noted that she is not bothered with her record of voting for the
removal of the age limit cap from the constitution.
“I’m not worried, it doesn’t bother me at all, those talking about it are
opposition members who didn’t come along with me. They understood the age limit
to mean that President Museveni is to be in the chair which wasn’t correct. The
age limit bill removal has enabled the youth to participate in the elections
for the highest office,” She says.
George Ayella, the Kitgum District NRM party chairperson acknowledges that
their candidate’s popularity is low within Kitgum Municipality.
He notes that tension among some party members shortly after the NRM primary
election has continued to affect their candidate.
Ayella says with Oryem bouncing back as an Independent candidate, the votes
have already been divided and cast doubts of their candidate making a landslide
victory in next year’s elections.
Anywar, however, says she is not shaken about the other candidates
arguing that her age and Ministerial position are an advantage.
age and the fact that I am a minister is an advantage over my opponents. People
here understand very well what an MP can do and what a minister can do, they
cannot miss out to understand that I have an upper hand to deliver for the
Municipality than my colleagues say Anywar.
while campaigning in Kitgum Municipality, National Unity Platform-NUP
Presidential Candidate Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi criticized Anywar for
allegedly turning her back against people who elected her to represent them in
highlighted her defection to the NRM and voting for the removal of the age
limit cap from the constitution and called on the people of Kitgum to
vote her out. He endorsed Jimmy Olanya Komakech Olenge as a suitable candidate
in the race for Kitgum Municipality.
Bureau Chief, West Acholi