Former Makerere University Guild President miserably lost an election to represent Western Uganda youth in the Uganda Parliament.
The 83rd Guild President of Uganda’s premier University and the largest public university in the country had abandoned his job at Makerere University to join elective politics, hoping to be part of the 11th parliament.
However, to the shock of his life, in an Electoral College vote cast on 1st February, at Ntare School in Mbarara city, Paul Kato did not even obtain his own vote. According to a youth delegate in Mbarara who preferred anonymity, Kato had withdrawn from the race but it was already late, hence appearing on the ballot paper.
This website has learnt that none of the 1,891 youth who voted in for Youth MP in Mbarara was convinced to vote for Paul Kato.
According to the declaration form seen by this reporter, Edson Rugumayo, a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) swept the ballots after obtaining 1,419 votes.
Second in position was Arnold Turwomwe, a biological son to the Minister of Lands Beti Namisango Kamya who polled 402 votes.
Others in the race included former Bishop Stuart University Guild President and Forum for Democratic Change –FDC’s Adios Beinomugisha who polled 26 votes, National Unity Platform’s James Kamukama who garnered only three votes and Edwin Muramuzi who obtained 41 votes.
Meanwhile, Agnes Kirabo, the flag bearer of the ruling National Resistance Movement (party), was declared winner of the central youth parliamentary seat. The elections were held at Mubende National Teachers College amid heavy police and army deployment.
Kirabo managed 780 votes while her closest rival, Ivan Bwowe, a former Makerere University guild president garnered 85 votes. She has previously served as secretary for female affairs and auditor at the NRM Secretariat.
Independent candidate Micheal Katongole obtained 78 votes, Simon Ssenyonga, a Prophet Mbonye fanatic, and former Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant got 49 votes.
Meanwhile, Abdel Kareem Ziritwawula, also a former Guild Presidential aspirant at Makerere University managed only nine votes. FDC’s Javiira Kasumba obtained two votes; Alvin Ssemambya got one vote while NUP candidate Moses Kasule was disqualified from the race, a day to voting on grounds that he used a non-youth seconder to support his candidature.
Ivan Bwowe has since rejected the results saying the exercise was marred by voter bribery and pledged to seek legal redress. In a short video shared via NTV platforms, Bwowe went physical with Robert Beine, the returning officer accusing him of bias and failure to provide the candidates with the voters’ register.
In Eastern Uganda, Ruling National Resistance Movement’s Bernard Onen Mutusa Odoi, who was initially disqualified from the race for being too old and later reinstated is the winner for the Eastern Uganda youth MP seat.
The Electoral Commission had initially disqualified him on grounds that the academic papers he submitted for nomination are not compatible with his age. Odoi’s academic documents show he sat his O-Level exams in 1999, yet, he stated he was born in 1991, meaning he sat his S.4 at 8 years.
In Northern Uganda, NRM’s Boniface Henry Okot beat others to become the Northern Region Youth MP. Okot is also the former Guild Aspirant at Makerere University.