The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) candidates contesting for Sheema municipality seat have been left in uncertainty after minister of science, technology and innovations joined the race despite being a sitting MP for Sheema north constituency.
Dr Elioda Tumwesigye was on Tuesday evening nominated in Kyadondo by NRM electoral commission despite calls from some party members that he should not be nominated since he is a sitting MP.
On Wednesday morning, a group of youth also held a procession through Sheema municipality protesting the nomination of Dr Tumwesigye with fellow contestants accusing the minister of greed since he’s currently serving his fourth term as an MP.
Some of the party leaders in the district warned that if President Museveni, who is the party chairman does not intervene, there is a likelihood of the Opposition taking advantage Sheema municipality.
‘’I think it is necessary for the president to advise Dr Tumwesigye to give up on Sheema municipality seat because he is the current Sheema District NRM Chairman. In case he wins the election, the people might vote opposition [in the next general elections] because they are already fed-up of his political games,’’ Mr Kada Mucunguzi, one of the contestants said.
Mr Mucunguzi further noted that there are already divisions created by political leaders in the district which are yet to be resolved and the minister’s decision will only escalate the problem.
Mr Jonas Tumwiine, another contestants for Sheema municipality seat claims Dr Tumwesigye has failed to unite people of Sheema District and this will culminate into deeper divisions if he does not drop out of the race.
‘’He failed to bring his people together and he is creating more divisions and it was shown clear to the president when he came to Sheema on March 17, there were three functions in one village because one was for the closure of mosquito net distribution and another was meeting of Muslims in Sheema and another was his (Dr Tumwesigye) function of thanksgiving held on the same day in the same village,’’ Mr Tumwiine said
Mr Tumwiine said Dr Tumwesigye has done a lot for Sheema but he should let another person join him in the development of Sheema Municipality since he is already a sitting MP.
On May 7, 2018, one of the contestants in the race, Mr David Kamukama through his lawyers petitioned the NRM electoral commission chairman protesting the nomination of Dr Tumwesigye.
On the same day chairperson Uganda Electoral commission Justice Byabakama Mugyenyi Simon wrote to NRM electoral commission in response to communication from the EC over the eligibility of a political office holders vying for political offices in the newly created electoral areas.
‘’The commission acknowledges the receipt of your communication dated May 4 2018, seeking clarification in respect to eligibility of political office holders vying for political offices in the newly created electoral areas,’’ the letter read in part.
‘’Further, article 257(2)(b) makes reference to an office in the public service, and does not include a reference to the office of the president, the vice president, the speaker of deputy speaker, a minister, the attorney general, a member of parliament or a member of any commission, authority, council or committee established by this constitution…… the foregoing article therefore does not prohibit the holder of the foregoing office(s), in the regard a member of parliament, from contesting in any election before resigning his or her office or appointment,’’ the letter reads in part.