Jinja – As Uganda goes to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries for Members of Parliament on Friday 04 September 2020, delegates in Jinja South East have vowed to vote Hajji Majid Batambuze the Party Flagbearer.
Batambuze, 50, the interim Jinja City Mayor and Chairperson Urban Authorities Association will face Igeme Nathan S. Nabeta who has for years suffered political vanquish from Opposition Paul Mwiru.
Party delegates argue that the unending squabbling between Nabeta and Mwiru is costing both the party and voters of Jinja East for years and the area is deemed for change from the two.
Stakeholders also argue that the two habitual rivals; Paul Mwiru and former minister Nathan Igeme Nabeta battle for Jinja Southern division East constituency will yield no fruits for the people of the new city that needs assiduous leaders like Batambuze.
Mwiru who recently crossed from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) to Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu’s Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) has for years tormented Nabeta on various grounds including challenging his victory through court ,academics among others.
The unrelenting embarrassing NRM defeats have brought an unintended consequence including court petitions and this prompted many NRM cadres to beg Batambuze contest as NRM flag bearer if the party is to capture the area from opposition turmoil.
‘’We need development both for the party and constituency generally .We can’t continue supporting someone as our flag bearer and he fails to make it to parliament’’, an elder at Masese said.
As NRM enjoyed mass victory in other areas of Jinja attained during the 2016 general elections, Mwiru won the March 2018 by-election against NRM’s Nabeta’s and the President has on several occasions blamed voters in the area for sending him people who fight development(Opposition).
These defeats by Opposition both in elections and during court battles undermined NRM and to many, returning Nabeta as the flag bearer would be placing the party in the hands of a prey.
‘’ Batambuze has played a pivotal role in fostering the development of Jinja from lighting up streets with Solar, Improved waste management, revamped roads with a modern jet patchier, refurbishment of Jinja City headquarters (Townhall) and titling of public land.
In his term, we managed to attain a city status among other achievements.
This is the reason all urban leaders elected him the Chairperson for UAAU and as Jinja, we need him in Parliament as a voice for Jinja and Busoga’’, said a Councilor from Walukuba.
Batambuze who previously worked at the Office of the President of Uganda as a Resident District Commissioner (RDC) for Budaka is outspoken and regarded as a lobbyist given his exposure both within and outside Uganda. He at many times represented the government in various regional and international platforms.
The traveled outgoing Jinja Mayor is an ardent advocate for the promotion of secondary cities and their role in the social-economic development of a country. He strongly believes that to solve the ubiquitous urban challenges of congestion, pollution, overpopulation and proliferation of informal settlements in Africa’s capital cities, the solution lies in developing secondary cities.
‘’In one term of service as Jinja mayor and chairperson of Urban Authorities Association of Uganda (UAAU) ,a union of all cities, municipalities and towns of Uganda ,Batamuze advocated for equitable and sustainable urban development and through his leadership more than seven municipalities were elevated to City status ‘’,said one of the NRM leaders in Jinja.
Batambuze studied Business Administration in London, United Kingdom and he is the Managing Director of Farland Assets Uganda Limited a business consultancy company in Kampala, Uganda.
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Initially, Nabeta was rumoured that he would not contest. He, however, picked Nomination forms at the last minute and has been traversing the area but to many, NRM should not risk returning him as the party flag bearer which may cost the party.