Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There are high stakes in the Jinja City mayoral race as once close political allies the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC candidate, Frank Nabwiso and former Uganda People’s Congress-UPC diehard and now National Resistance Movement-NRM candidate, Robert Kanusu face off.
Although the race has attracted over 11 candidates, there is stiff competition between Democratic Party’s Ivan Tibenkana, Kanusu and Nabwiso.
During his days as the Kagoma county legislator between 2001-2006, Kanusu who was then a journalist doubled as Nabwiso’s political assistant and was in charge of implementing his programs within the constituency.
Sylvia Mudondo, a resident of Buyala village in Budondo ward says that during Nabwiso’s tenure in parliament, Kanusu was his chief mobilizer and rallied voters to support him.
“During those political campaigns, Kanusu was always referred to as Nabwiso’s son because those two were often doing door to door campaigns together,” she said.
Nabwiso lost his parliamentary seat to NRM’s Mbagadi Nkayi during the 2006 election. His attempt to unseat him in the 2011 polls turned futile. He had since resorted to living a quiet life.
Kanusu made his first political debut in 2011 after contesting for the Jinja district LC V chairperson’s seat but lost to Gume Ngobi.
He contested for the same position in 2016 under “Go forward,” a pressure group led by former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama but lost to NRM’s Titus Kisambira.
Joel Kafuko, the former Mayor Jinja municipality, says Nabwiso brings experience to the new city, saying his level of integrity will promote better service delivery.
“Nabwiso is one of those senior leaders with a clean political sheet and if given chance to head the city’s biggest political office, he will definitely ensure service delivery at city hall,” he said.
Ramlat Nabweyo, a trader in Jinja central market stresses that Kanusu has better lobbying skills, which will foster the establishment of more developmental projects within the city.
Speaking to journalists during the city mayoral debate organized by Jinja based radio presenters at the city hall on Thursday; Nabwiso argued that once elected, he would create a strong foundation for future leaders to interest themselves in serving their electorates before themselves.
Kanusu promises to address the security question in the rural sub-counties, which were incorporated into the city.