By Evans Bwemondo
Rukungiri: Political temperature in Southwestern District of Rukungiri is boiling up after the race for the current District woman MP seat attracted four candidates; NRM’s Medius Kaharata, Innocent Nabaasa Kashobera (IND) Hon Betty Muzanira FDC’s and Hon. Winne Babihuga (IND).
According to the political history and politics of the district, it is likely to be the hottest seat in the District unlike the previous. The position that is currently occupied by FDC’s Hon. Betty Muzanira who snatched it from NRM the ruling party after the by-election in 2018. Today we have decided to draw for you the battle lines in their perspective profiles.
A 32year old a daughter to a businessman Mr. Bernard Mugarura Kaharata of Rukungiri town, a mother of three and committed wife to Mr Benson Akampumuza of Rubanga Buyanja.
Midius, holds a BA in Social Work and Community Development from Kyambogo University, Certificate of Administration, Law from LDC and an MA in Sustainable Peace and Conflict Management from Uganda Martyrs University. She’s an enthusiastic Entrepreneur, Researcher, Social Worker and promoter of Women empowerment.
Born and bred in Rukungiri, Midius is a youthful woman who believes that it’s the right time for her generation to be at the forefront of leadership in this district.
Midius pledges to fight for the recognition of Rukungiri in the national development agenda. Being an NRM candidate, she intends to work with the NRM government to push for youth and women empowerment projects, to advocate for easy access to social services such as access to clean water in communities, improve the health and education service delivery in the district.
Her campaign champion is best on transparency, effective leadership and development as the core agendas. Fighting for the downtrodden and vulnerable in society has always been Midius ‘s career choice and that she now wants to bring this into Rukungiri ‘s leadership. Therefore her representation of the women in the district will be a vote to promote the interests of all.
Midius has stated that she wants to change the face of representative leadership by giving the often ignored a platform to have their views heard, to work with people with disabilities, the elderly, the unemployed and farmers who lack finance and machinery, to improve their yields. Their concerns will be given equal and loud representation in parliament.
Ms Midius also pointed out that she’s committed to being the generational bridge that brings together the concerns of the elderly and the young alike so that together, the journey towards the transformation Rukungiri District is embarked on.
A celebrated journalist in Uganda who has worked on Uganda’s biggest media houses, started her career at TV and radio west, up to UBC and NBS tv, she’s also a renown activist for the rights of women and young people, a role she has played both on a national and global platform.
Nabaasa is a vocal journalist and her joining the race has shaken the popular political parties (FDC, NRM) with many worried that she could make history as the first independent woman MP in Rukungiri. Commonly known as Enyangyi Y’amatsiko, Nabaasa who is the youngest contestant in the race refers to herself as the ray of hope for the people of Rukungiri. She stands for Gender equality, economic empowerment and inclusive economic development.
When asked why are contesting Now? She said; it’s time for people of Rukungiri to see the difference between a leader and a ruler and that a leader is a servant of the people, one who prioritizes their needs and rights rather throwing money at they and that candidacy bring on board leadership that’s not self-centred.
“I always tell the Rukungiri electorates to shan leaders who throw money at us, such leaders don’t have good intentions for electorates, they take us electorates like an investment, well knowing that they will reap double once elected,’’ she explained.
Her campaigns are best on championing for good leadership, to sow a new seed, that will awaken especially young people to take charge of the country, a seed that will yield fruits of good leadership and seeing young people stand up against monetized elections!
She also calls her self ‘oyontsya boona’ that she wishes to bring back unity in Rukungiri, multiparty politics have divided us, there is need to restore humanity and understand that a leader is a servant of all people despite their political affiliation, tribe, age and religion but rather Merit is key if people of Rukungiri are to have an equal share of service delivery.
Hon.Betty Bamukwatsa Muzanira
Betty Muzanira, the incumbent District Woman Representative. A teacher by profession commonly known as ‘teacher Betty’, —The best teacher. She is married but the husband died 20yrs ago and left her with one child but decide to remain with one child and not to re-marry.
Hon Muzanira is a member of Board Of Governors (BOG) of; Immaculate Heart Girls Nyakibale, St. Gerald’s and St. Joseph’s Rushasha. A politician with a difference, started her politics at LCI level and became 1st Speaker of Rukungiri Municipal Council, as well as vice-chairperson of Uganda Urban Speakers, a Rotarian and served as President of Rukungiri Central Club. She is a member of Kabale Diocese Financial Sustainability Plan and a member of Synod and a director of Little Angels Primary School in Rukungiri Town.
When asked why she is contesting she said; The role of an MP mainly are: legislation, budgeting, appropriation and oversight.
According to Muzanira, she feels a heart for people of Rukungiri District and situation of poor health services that affects the well being of people in the district is of great concern. “I pledge to use my voice to make sure that health centres in the district are well equipped with medical facilities, effective and efficient staff, drugs and to improve on staff salaries and welfare so that they are be motivated & love their job with care for the people,” she said.
As educationist, she feels quality Education should be affordable at all levels and that she will advocate for at least one meal a day for children in primary schools and more resources to improve on education as well as economic empowerment and rights to land for women.
A former Member of Parliament from 1996 -2001, a founding member of Parliamentary Advocacy Forum (PAFO) and FDC. She served in different capacities in the United Nations mission.