Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka, the Nakaseke District LC 5 chairperson has attributed his re-election for a fourth term of his firm stand for the common man’s issues and fighting corruption. Koomu is among the few incumbent LC 5 Chairmen in Central Uganda who were re-elected on the National Resistance Movement-NRM party ticket.
Koomu scored 29,774 votes beating his independent rival Wasswa Tadeo who obtained 8,856 votes and the National Unity Platform candidate, William Musisi who got 8,585 votes. According to Koomu, the people of Nakaseke just like other parts of Central region, are bitter over delayed compensation of the 1981-1986 war veterans, land grabbing orchestrated by government officials and poor infrastructure development among others.
As result the popularity of NRM candidates including President, Yoweri Museveni has declined. The incumbent Nakaseke Central constituency Member of Parliament, Syda Bbumba lost her re-election bid. Despite these issues, Koomu says residents returned him in recognition of his stand on their issues and shunning corrupt tendencies while executing his duties.
Koomu explains that he has been at the forefront of fighting land grabbers together with Nakaseke South MP, Luttamaguzi Ssemakula leaving some leaders questioning his loyalty to the NRM Party. According to Koomu, he has spoken out on injustices that have threatened Bibanja owners and addressed several issues to Museveni without fear or favour.
He says some NRM candidates were voted out of offices for failing to speak out on issues affecting their constituents because they were eyeing seats in government whereas others feared to criticize it. Koomu has vowed to remain an advocate of people’s land rights, fight corruption among civil servants and push for the review in the Operation Wealth Creation Programme in his fourth term.
Koomu has asked NRM officials to stop chest-thumping that Museveni won in Nakaseke district, saying his support is on a decline. So far two parliamentary seats are firmly in the hands of opposition candidates because the government failed to address issues raised by residents.
Benjamin Makanga, the Nakaseke sub-county LC V councillor, says that Koomu survived the political wave for living to the expectations of residents despite belonging to the ruling NRM. He explains that area MPs neglected complaints of land grabbing and left Koomu and Luttamaguzi to go it alone, which won them votes.
Ronald Bukenya, a resident of Nabika village says when faced with eviction from their land, only Koomu and Luttamaguzi stood for their rights by petitioning higher authorities. Joseph Musaazi another resident of Balatira village says they also survived eviction after their landlord threatened to evict six villages sitting on 1001 acres of land in 2017.
Musaazi adds these are the reasons that determined the candidates whom they voted for both from the opposition and NRM. Koomu and Luttamaguzi scored highly in Kapeeka, Nakaseke and Semuto sub-counties where hundreds of tenants were on the verge of losing their land. Luttamaguzi trounced NRM’s Charles Nsereko and Mukiibi Stephen to retain his Nakaseke South parliamentary seat.
Godfrey Kiwanda, the NRM Vice Chairperson for Central Region is expected to meet local leaders in Greater Luwero tomorrow to discuss the issues that lead to a decline of the party support in the area.