Residents of Bukoto Central, Masaka District have appealed to businessman Richard Sebamala to stand against incumbent Edward Ssekandi in 2021 elections.
Led by Godfrey Kyabaggu, the Mikomago village chairperson, locals cited that since 1996, the 77-year-old Ssekandi has been their representative in the Parliament but to their dismay, they have remained in poverty coupled with lack of infrastructural development.
Kyabaggu, also a renowned coffee and passion fruits farmer in Bukoto County says Ssekandi has promised – especially during the elections period – hot air, including to construct roads as well as drilling boreholes for them.
Nothing has since been done.
“We understand that Mr Ssekandi is very busy but full-filling the promises he made doesn’t call for his presence here. He doesn’t pick our calls as local leaders yet whenever it comes to elections period he tries to befriend us,” Kyabaggu shared during a community meeting organised at Mikomago village trading centre.
Another voter, Joseph Katongole said Ssekandi had better hand over power peacefully and accept to be replaced by ‘fresh blood’.
Katongole added that Ssekandi pledged to refurbish Mikomago valley to ease transport in the area but they have never seen any signs of construction.
“The last time he came here he spoke with sweet words. He promised us electricity and boreholes so that we fetch clean water. All his words were lies. Areas such as Kamuzinda, Bukunda and Kyanamukaaka all have boreholes but for us here, we still struggling to get water,” the 60-year-old father of seven said.
The pleas have not been left to only the older voters. The younger ones, represented by among others Grace Namande, 24, a graduate of Kampala University, also say they have rallied around the community to front Sebamala, an engineer, as their preferred candidate for the Parliamentary seat.
“For us a community, we have endorsed Sebamala as our candidate come 2021. We understand they have guns and money but all we need is a new broom and that’s Sebamala who has fresh with ideas,” Namande shared.
Ssekandi has never been defeated in the race to represent Bukoto County in Parliament since 1996 despite facing opposition stalwarts Jude Mbabaali (Masaka District Chairperson), Majerani Kazibwe and DP’s Joseph Batemyeto.
In 2016, Ssekandi retained the seat, polling 12,000 votes, while Mr Batemyetto his major opponent garnered 6,679 votes.
According to Sebamala, a chance to represent Bukoto Central locals is the perfect way to give back especially to the needy, youth and deprived locals.
“I have traversed different areas here and we have reached out to those in need. We have accepted proposals from different men and women plus youths groups and we have secured them money under Sebamala Foundation to do what they intend to do,” Sebamala, also the founder of Sebamala Cup in Bisanje, Masaka told Watchdog Uganda.
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