Local government minister Raphael Magyezi has confirmed he will not seek reelection to represent Bushenyi District’s Igara West constituency in the 11th parliament.
Magyezi has represented Igara West since 2011 when he defeated former minister Prof Tarsis Bazana Kabwegyere.
To clarify on reports that he was quitting elective politics, Magyezi appeared on two Bushenyi radio shows on August 01. He was at Crane Radio in Ishaka and at Rwentuuha’s Hunter FM.
Magyezi, popular (and notorious in equal measure) for his role in the 2017 constitutional amendment that erased the presidential age limit from the country’s supreme law, was confident he had done his best.
“I came to Igara West in 2011, vied for the parliamentary seat and the people trusted me with their votes. I told them what I was going to do for them; I did what I managed during that time,” explained Magyezi during the Orusaniya rw’amazima show at Crane Radio.
“I came back in 2016 and presented to my people what I had done and what I planned to do for them if reelected. The voters again trusted me with their votes for other five years in parliament. I have done my job.”
At Hunter FM, Magyezi made it clear he would not return to Igara West to ask for votes.
“Let me now make it clear: I will not stand in the incoming general elections for Igara East Member of Parliament. I am not yet in the race and no one is nominated yet. I have served well my people,” he said.
” I have at least done what I promised them. I am therefore asking you my people to let me rest as Member of Parliament because I have done what I promised you. For pledges I have not fulfilled, please understand because I am also a human being.”
AFRAID OF KABWEGYERE, MUHABUZI & MBWATEKAMWA?
Even before Magyezi announced quitting the Igara West parliamentary race, a number of people had declared intention in challenging him.
They included his predecessor Prof Kabwegyere, his 2016 closest challenger Horace Muhabuzi and his relative and Kasambya MP Gaffa Mbwatekamwa.
The minister’s critics had claimed that Magyezi was afraid of the challenge ahead of him.
Other said he would only be certain of returning to parliament if he leveraged on his local government ministerial position to create a new constituency out of Igara West.
In response, Magyezi wondered: “How can I withdraw from the race I have not started?”
“Those people [Kabwegyere, Muhabuzi and Mbwatekamwa] are aspirants. I cannot tell who are contesting for the seat. There are some people who are circulating pictures yet they are not nominated; they can be stopped from participating in the election.”