Entebbe, Uganda | URN | The Entebbe municipality mayoral seat has attracted four aspirants. The aspirants include the incumbent Mayor, Vincent DePaul Kayanja and member of the Democratic Party (DP) who is seeking a third term in office.
His rivals are Anselm Ssebuguzi also a member of DP, Kasozi Kiriweru, Michael Mutebi and Fabrice Rulinda, all members of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Kiriweru is the NRM Vice Chairperson for Entebbe Municipality and a former councilor in Entebbe Municipality Division B while Mutebi is the Entebbe Division LC III Chairperson.
Mutebi, who is currently involved in the door to door campaign, says he wants to uplift the livelihoods of Entebbe residents.
Rulinda, a businessman and former aspirant for the Entebbe Municipality parliamentary seat in the 2016 elections, says he is running a people-centered campaign.
“Entebbe needs people centered development not just highways and malls, which don’t have any impact on residents. So it makes no sense that 80 per cent of the people in Entebbe cannot shop at these mega malls,” he said.
Rulinda says there is need to skill the unemployed, set up projects that will boost people’s incomes and improve access to decent health care and primary education for residents of Kigungu among other aspirations.
Anselm Ssebuguzi, a Sweden based businessman, says Kayanja should leave office next year yto allow other party members to contest for the seat.
Juma Mukasa, the DP Secretary General Entebbe Branch, advised Ssebuguzi to hold talks with Kayanja as soon as possible.
“Otherwise, DP by consensus has endorsed Kayanja because he is our strongest candidate for that seat,” Mukasa says.
Stanley Namayirira, a DP member and outgoing Entebbe Division B LC 3 chairperson was also eyeing the same seat. He however says he will not run because Kayanja wants a third term.
Kayanja, who has been the mayor since 2011, is seeking a third term with the aim of being at the forefront when the municipality becomes a city in 2022.
He says residents should vote him because Entebbe Municipal Council has been able to facilitate upgrading and maintenance of at least 22 roads including Kampala Road, install street lights along Queen’s Road, fence the municipal offices and schools to protect them from encroachers among other achievements.
He says that ongoing works at Kitooro market and Taxi Park disprove claims that he and some council members wanted to sell government land for personal gain.
None of the candidates who contested in the 2016 polls has so far expressed interest. Kayanya clinched victory with 10,873 while NRM’s Joseph Ssesanga came second with 5,852 votes and FDC’s Miiro Kasozi trailed with 497 votes.
Peter Othieno, the Entebbe branch FDC Chairperson, says the party might not field a candidate since none of the members has shown interest. He explains that Kasozi left for the United States of America after the 2016 polls.
“So we might support one of the opposition candidates in this race,” Othieno says. Some of the voters interviewed by our reporter support Kayanja for working with the ruling government to fast track development in the municipality.