Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Home Politics FDC’s Mwijukye faces tough  battle to retain Buhweju seat

FDC’s Mwijukye faces tough  battle to retain Buhweju seat

By Milton Bandiho

The Buhweju Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Mwijukye, is the only Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) legislator from Ankole Sub-region in the 10th Parliament.However, Mr Mwijukye is facing a tough challenger in Mr Alex Great Rugyero, the NRM sponsored candidate.The other candidate is Mr Linus Gorodiano Mukiiza of the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party.Though a new comer in politics, Mr Rugyero is riding on the popularity of his affluent and politically connected father, Mr Innocent Rugyero.Mr Rugyero Senior is a businessman and owner of Block Technical Services, a construction company. He is also the coordinator of Wealth Creation Ambassador western region.Mr Alex Great Rugyero, 28, is the manager of Coffee Bar, a popular hangout in Mbarara City. He competed in the NRM primary elections and defeated Mr Zadock Mutekanga  and Mr Ndugu Katagata. Advertisement

He is born in Bisya Sub-county and has a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from Ningbo University in China. Mr Rugyero says through his anti-poverty campaigns, he has already made a difference in Buhweju County and wants to consolidate the achievements if elected MP.“I have started village banks in the sub-counties of Bisya and Karungu and people are saving more than Shs400 million. The locals are using this money to expand their businesses and pay school fees for their kids,” he says.He adds: “As a leader, you need to think what you can offer to your people to help them overcome poverty, and Buhweju now is moving in the right direction.”Buhweju has minerals such as gold, and tea, and the NRM flag bearer plans to lobby the government and private sector to establish value addition factories to boost people’s incomes.He also wants to lobby the government to work on roads, equip health centres with drugs and medical personnel, and advocate for better education standards. Though it is located at the heart of Ankole, Buhweju is termed as hard-to-reach area because of a hilly terrain. It is also underdeveloped compared to the surrounding districts.The FDC flag bearer, Mr Mwijukye, 39, hails from Rwengwe Sub-county.He went to St Joseph’s Vocational School in Mbarara for both O-Level and A-Level, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology where he attained a Bachelor’s degree in Development Studies. He started his political career as the district youth councillor. Mr Mwijukye first contested for Buhweju MP seat in 2006 on FDC ticket and lost to Deus Bikwatsizehi (deceased).He made a second attempt at the MP seat in 2011 and was beaten by Mr Ephraim Biraro of NRM. He was successful on his third attempt in 2016 when he defeated Mr Biraro. Mr Mwijukye says before he was elected MP, electricity in Buhweju District was only in Nsiika Town Council, and Nyakishana, Burere and Akajani sub-counties.Now he says due to his lobbying skills, electricity is in all the 14 sub-counties that make up the district.Mr Mwijukye adds: “I was the first person to give the people of Buhweju an ambulance and this helped them so much in transporting patients to different hospitals. It served a great deal job at the height of lock down and Covid-19.” He says he has also lobbied for rehabilitation and construction of a number of primary schools such as Karungu, Nyarubona, Musheshe, Kamugati and Kangara.Before he became MP, Mr Mwijukye says Buhweju was getting only Shs241 million from the Uganda Road Fund to work on different roads but currently the district is getting Shs490 million.The FDC candidate adds that if re-elected, he will be focusing on giving out bursaries to disadvantaged children and fighting corruption in the next five years.“Currently, I’m supporting 191 students with bursaries in the whole of Buhweju and the next five years, I will give more bursaries to needy people since the constituency has been divided,” Mr Mwijukye says.The ANT candidate, Mr Mukiiza, 34, hails from Bisya Sub-county. He has a degree in Agro Business Management and Community Development from Bishop Stuart University. He has taught at St. Mathew and at Bisya secondary schools. He contested for district youth councillor in 2016 but lost.Once elected MP, he says he will lobby government and private sector to provide bursaries to needy children. He says in order to transform Buhweju, education must be given priority.“Many children are in gold mines because they don’t have any help and support to pursue education,” Mr Mukiiza explains. He adds that he will also put attention on roads and will ask government to construct a second technical school in


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