By our reporter
By 4pm on Thursday, Mr Besigye had triumphantly entered Jinja town, waving to people hence paralyzing business and traffic flow because everyone abandoned their work to get a glimpse of the 4 time presidential aspirant and arguably still, the strongest opposition figure in the land.
Although Jinja Municipality East Parliamentary contender, Paul Mwiru came out to openly support Gen Mugisha Muntu for FDC party presidency, this did not stop the charismatic hoas voiced Rtd.Col.Dr. Kizza Besigye who supported Mr Patrick Amuriat from campaigning for him.
Mr Besigye was accompanied by the Party President Patrick Amuriat, Kampala City lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Rubaga South MP Mubaraka Munyagwa, Busiro South MP Medard Lubega Ssegona Kalyamaggwa, FDC Vice President Proscovia Salaam Musumba, DP spokesperson Paul Kenneth Kakande and several artists including Ronald Mayinja who controversially perfumed at the recent NRM gig in Kiboga.
Dr. Besigye in his usual signature voice and dance skills first danced for the mammoth crowd before addressing them. He asked hundreds of Mr. Mwiru’s supporters at Masese I village, Walukuba – Masese division in Jinja to vote Mwiru as a way of liberating the country.
“I’m urging you not to treat the by-election as for Mwiru only, it is for liberating the country because NRM wants to use Jinja as an example to the whole country that all Ugandans supported the uplifting of the age limit [amending the constitution] by winning the elections in Jinja. Therefore, you have to show them that the country is annoyed by voting Mwiru overwhelmingly because this election is for the whole country not Jinja alone, ‘’he said.
He said: “If we are to win the election, we have to protect our votes from being rigged, you will not vote and they announce you that you have won but you have to first fight for your vote from being snatched. If you’re to win, you have to win by defiance”.
Mr Besigye said Mwiru is experienced in fighting corruption that has affected the economy of the country forcing the president to secure loans to pay salaries.
In his address, Mr Mwiru, the FDC party flag bearer pledged to promote health and curb unemployment in his constituency.
“You have sold your lands or secured loans to teach your children but when a child finishes to study, they fail to get jobs. I want to table a bill where jobs will be given on regional basis. If government has 50,000 jobs, we want Northern to get 10,000 jobs, Eastern 10,000, western 10,000 and Central 10,000 as a way of creating regional balance in sharing the national cake,’’ Mr Mwiru said
He also promised to make it compulsory for all senior six leavers to do vocation courses for one year before they pursue their degree courses such that even when they fail to secure a job, they can still do something.
Lord Mayor Lukwago said the whole country is waiting to see whether people of Jinja East are going to defy the orders of the Court of appeal which ruled that Igeme rigged the 2016 February election.
“The Court is waiting to see whether a person who rigged the election is sent back to parliament and given a bible to swear that he will protect the constitution of Uganda, those who will vote him will be doing a disservice to Court of appeal. The country is also waiting to see whether a person who voted “YES ‘’ during the constitution amendment is taken back to parliament or not,’’Mr Lukwago said.
Mr Amuriat described Mr Mwiru as a person who exhibited ability in legislation and being brave in fighting corruption. He said Mr Igeme was always very silent in Parliament.
The NRM party chairman and president Yoweri Museveni is expected to campaign for the party candidate Nabeta on his last rally on March 13 at Masese landing site and Dr Kizza Besigye will also on the same day grace Mwiru’s last rally at Busoga square.
Jinja East Parliament seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal in Kampala nullified Mr Nabeta’s victory and ordered fresh elections.
Nabeta’s victory was annulled on ground of falsification of election results after Mr Mwiru contested his results on grounds that Nabeta connived with the electoral Commission to alter results at Danida A-D polling station, which put him [Nabeta] at an advantage in the February 2016 elections.
The polling day is slated for May 15 and over 28,000 voters are expected to cast their vote at 47 polling stations.
Eight candidates were nominated to vie for the seat and they include NRM’s Nabeta, FDC’s Mwiru, Paul Mugaya, Francis Wakabi, Faisal Mayemba , Christine Monica Abuze, Mr Richard Henry Nyanzi, and Isabirye Hatim Mugendi all independent candidates.