East African Community Affairs minister Maj Gen Saverino Kahinda Otafiire is yet to respond to requests by elders and opinion leaders in Mitooma District’s Ruhinda Country who want him to reclaim his parliamentary seat.
In the 2016 parliamentary election, Maj Gen Otafiire lost to Capt Dononzio Mugabe Kahonda.
But five years down the road, local leaders and elders are reportedly wooing Otafiire to eject Kahonda out of parliament through the 2021 election.
Kahonda, a little-known retired army captain, had defeated Otafiire in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party primaries in 2015, but the major general had chosen to stand as an independent. Otafiire lost in the 2016 general election.
Since then, Otafiire had remained coy on standing for election for the parliamentary seat he had held for years.
In local media interviews and events, Otafiire only took a swipe at the people of Ruhinda for electing ‘a crook.’
At one of those events, the minister mocked the electorate for ditching a lion (him) and choosing a cat (Kahonda), yet continue to complain that they had failed to access government services.
In a television interview, Otafiire said the people of Ruhinda County were ungrateful for “all the things I have done for them: the electricity, water, roads, etc.”
When reminded that some people had complained that he insulted them, Otafiire defended himself saying whenever he rebuked the people of Mitooma, they worked hard and developed the area.
Calls on Otafiire to return as area MP have in recent months went unanswered. For example, at a meeting of people from Mitooma District who live in Kampala in October 2019, the minister dodged the question when it came up.
In the same meeting held in Kashenshero Town Council, Otafiire only told attendees that he had been robbed of his 2016 election victory.
Since then, The Pearl Times has learnt, opinion leaders and elders have been frequenting Otafiire’s home to convince him to stand.
The latest meeting happened about two weeks ago in Kashenshero, but Otafiire was reportedly reluctant to join the race to unseat Kahonda.