There is an escalation of bickering between National Resistance Movement (NRM) members in Kyotera ahead of elections for the District Woman MP and Local Council chairman.
At least three people who lost in the primaries showed up for nomination as Independent candidates in the newly-created district.
NRM conducted party primaries to elect party candidates to contest in the newly created districts including Kyotera, Namisindwa, Bunyangabu and Rukiga. In Kyotera, three candidates stood for the party ticket for the district local council seat Last week. They are Anthony Mugerwa, Patrick Kintu Kisekulo and Charles Lubega Ziridamu.
After the party primaries, Kisekulo was declared the NRM party candidate. For the Woman parliamentary seat, Rachael Nakitende was declared the NRM party candidate after beating two other contenders, Cissy Nantongo and Dalia Nanyange.
The party is, however, still divided in the wake of the primaries. Anthony Mugerwa and Charles Lubega Ziridamu have decided to contest as Independent candidates.
Cissy Nantongo, who also lost to Rachael Nakitende, is also contesting as an Independent candidate.
The Independent candidates say they decided to contest because the party primary election was marred by many irregularities. They accuse Patrick Kintu Kisekulo of conniving with Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo, the Kyotera NRM Chairman and party electoral officials to rig the elections.
Cissy Nantongo says her rival, Rachael Nakitende, is too unpopular to deliver victory for the party. She says as a result, she decided to go independent to secure the seat. She explains that if it wasn't for ballot stuffing, Nakitende wouldn't have won in the primaries.
Ziridamu and Mugerwa also accuse Kisekulo of beating up their polling agents at Kabaseke and Nabigasa polling stations before executing ballot staffing. They say since NRN lacks conflict resolving measures, they decided to go independent so that voters can decide.
Haruna Kasolo, the State Minister for Microfinance, says he is going to fight all those who have decided to contest as Independent candidates after losing party primaries because they have divided the party. He says the allegations of rigging as fronted by Cissy Nantongo and Charles Ziridamu are baseless and show how incompetent that group is.
Kasolo explains that their failure to protect their votes against rigging shows how weak and unserious that group is and therefore cannot deliver victory in the general elections.
Kasolo has advised Charles Ziridimu to quit politics and concentrate on the two cows he illegally took yet they were supposed to benefit the youth. He alleges that last month, Ziridamu, who was the acting Kyotera LC5 Chairman got two heifers yet they were meant to benefit the youth.
Ziridamu has declined to comment on this allegation.
Kisekulo, the NRM candidate contesting for Kyotera district Chair, has also denied all allegations of rigging. He has instead accused Ziridamu of being a sloppy leader. He explains that while Ziridamu was Speaker of Rakai district and then acting chairman of Kyotera, he failed to negotiate for fair distribution of assets after the two districts were split.
Kisekulo explains that as acting chairman, Ziridamu failed to ensure that the new district benefits equally from the government vehicles, computers and workers most of whom were left in Rakai.
Kisekulo also notes that Ziridamu failed to negotiate for the share of the 1.5 billion shillings Rakai got from the sale of Mutukula plots yet being a none removable asset, Kyotera would benefit more given the fact that Mutukula land now falls under Kyotera.
Vincent Ssemakula Ssetuba, a veteran politician has advised the losers to stand down for NRM party candidates. He says as a senior NRM leader, those who lost in the primaries have no capacity to deliver victory for the party.
Kyotera voters are expected to go to the polls on September 21st.