Incumbent President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has started on a plan to ensure that Teso sub-region doesn’t vote its son Patrick Amuriat Oboi of main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Amuriat, a former Kumi MP, is Museveni’s FDC’s second challenger in a presidential election for the past 15 years after Dr Kizza Besigye declined to stand for the country’s top office following four consecutive futile attempts.
Initially seen as an underdog in the race, with the mainstream media largely focusing on youthful singer-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s candidature, Amuriat’s barefoot villahe campaigns have made Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) think twice – especially in Teso and eastern Uganda from where the FDC president hails.
When he campaigned in Kumi on November 23, Museveni punched holes in Amuriat’s and Besigye’s credentials and called on the people of Teso not to vote Amuriat based on the fact that he belongs to their tribe.
“I hear people talking about Amuriat, that he is the son of the soil. This is the politics we abandoned long ago. It is not biology we are talking about here; we are talking about ideology,” Museveni said.
“When you look at the track record of those groups [to which Amuriat belongs], they are not the type who can manage the historical mission like the NRM has done it.”
Now, Museveni’s team working hard to ensure that Amuriat loses in Teso has its work already cut out. The team includes former Soroti Municipality MP Mike Mukula.
Mukula is the NRM vice chairperson for eastern Uganda.
Also on the anti-Oboi Teso team is the unopposed Bukedea Woman MP Anita Among, formerly of FDC, and junior ICT and national guidance minister Peter Ogwang, the Usuk County MP (currently vying in Ngariam).
Mukula, Ogwang and Among are expected to lead teams that will traverse Teso villages urging people not to vote Amuriat.
“We are going to remain here and continue [convincing the people] on ground to vote the NRM in Teso sub-region,” explained Ogwang.
According to Mukula, Among and Ogwang, Museveni’s achievements such in the health, education and infrastructure spheres are enough to convince the people of Teso to elect Museveni and ditch their son Amuriat.
“We are going to ensure that we pay back by voting president Museveni,” vowed Among.
Mukula relied on how FDC has lost MPs in Teso in the past decade to assure Museveni and NRM that it would not be difficult for the ruling party to win in the sub-region from which the FDC candidate hails. The number of FDC MPs in Teso fell from 16 in 2006 to three in 2016.