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Unfulfilled Pledges Haunt NRM Party in Bunyangabu District

Six years later, however, all the promises have not been fulfilled, leading to a rise of support for opposition political parties, with many youth crossing from the ruling party.

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Unfulfilled pledges by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are haunting the ruling National Resistance Movement – NRM party in Bunyangabu District.

While campaigning in the then Bunyangabu County in 2015, President Museveni who is seeking re-election, promised to elevate Katebwa and Kibate health center IIs to health center IIIs in Katebwa Sub-county and Kyamukube town council respectively. The health facilities were also promised ambulances.   

Museveni also said the government would construct a security road on Mt Rwenzori connecting Kasese, Bunyangabu and Kabarole District.  He also pledged to rehabilitate Nsura primary school and turn Nsura secondary school into a Seed School with more funding and structures to improve on its performance.  

Six years later, however, all the promises have not been fulfilled, leading to a rise of support for opposition political parties, with many youth crossing from the ruling party. 

It should be noted that NRM party has for a long time enjoyed bigger support for presidential, parliamentary and local council candidates.  

In the 2016 general elections, Museveni got 76 per cent in the then Bunyangabu County and others shared the remaining percentage. During a by-election in 2017 when Bunyangabu district broke away from Kabarole district, only one opposition candidate, Dorothy Nyakaisiki, contested under Forum for Democratic Change- FDC ticket on the district Woman MP seat.   

However, last year, 16 candidates for different races were nominated by Electoral Commission -EC on opposition parties’ tickets for this year's general elections. Of these, 10 were under the Alliance for National Transformation – ANT, four were from National Unity Platform - NUP and two were FDC.

Also, another 154 candidates for parliamentary and local council races were nominated as independents and most of them are leaning to opposition parties.   

Some residents say they will vote opposition candidates because what Museveni promised them over five years ago were never fulfilled and they feel like a district, they have not benefited much from the NRM government.  

Bazir Monday Mugume, the ANT mobilizer Bunyangabu district, says as residents, they have been patient with the NRM party and President Museveni but they have been let down by what he terms as deliberate neglect by the government.  

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The FDC candidate for Rwimi town council LC III race, Morris Muhindo, says the weakening NRM structure and poor performance characterized by unfulfilled pledges in the district has given chance to the birth of new opposition parties like NUP and ANT.   

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Masika Margret is one of the NUP supporters from Katebwa Sub County. She blames the government for neglecting the youth.   “You see most times these politicians come here and tell us, ‘vote for us, things will get better’ but after winning elections nothing is done,” she says.

The Bunyangabu District NRM chairperson Peter Musinguzi acknowledges that there are gaps in service delivery, which needs urgent attention.   He further notes that some of the pledges are in the pipeline, giving an example of Nsura Seed Secondary School, which he says will be constructed in the 2021/2022 financial year.   

He urges the government to reinstate the Luwero – Rwenzori Development grant which primarily focused on infrastructure development and put aside funds to facilitate a special budget for the youth following the enormous contributions by their parents towards the liberation struggle.