By Najuna Herbert
Ethnic and religious differences has been cited in the forthcoming Bukimbiri by-election as tearing apart the people in Kisoro district.
This has prompted Nyirabashitsi Sarah Mateke, the minister of state in charge of children’s affairs, to warn some religious leaders not to create disunity in the Bukimbiri electorate.
The four candidates have so far consumed four days out of the seven stipulated days of campaigning in Bukimbiri constituency.
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has accused some religious leaders of allegedly encouraging their flock not to attend NRM campaign rallies but turn up for the independent candidate.
Several residents who identified themselves as Bakiga in Kisoro district want their own district Bukimbiri which is now a constituency. They accuse the Bafumbira leaders at district of marginalising them. This has caused some of them to support the independent Asigario Turyagyenda who they believe will advocate for a district status. Bafumbira have rejected this.
In an interview, minister of state in charge of children Hon. Sarah Mateke, warned against divisions and said the NRM government would not entertain such sectarianism.
James Owebeyi of FDC, pointed out that tourism results in millions of dollars from the tourists in Bukimbiri but it is a shame the area remains underdeveloped. He charged Kisoro district leaders of marginalising Bukimbiri and not giving natives good jobs.
Bukimbiri County is one of the most visited areas because of its tourism sites like Bwindi Impenetrable National park for mountain gorilla tracking, Lake Mutanda, Mulehe and Batwa communities.
One of the district councillors representing Nyabwihisenyi sub county Ponsiano Barihafi said the area still lacks good schools, clean water and the roads are in a poor state as are the health facilities. He said the residents live in far of attacks by the Congo based ADF rebels.
“We need security to be tighter at the border because we have lost our animals, there is only one secondary school in the sub county, Nayarutembe community secondary school. It is in bad shape, we want Eddie Kwizera to lobby for a seed school in the community,” said Ponsiano.
Independent candidate Asigario Turyagyenda noted that most of the roads are impassable and farmers have found it a challenge to transport their produce to the markets in Kisoro municipality.
“The roads Kwizera claims to have worked on are purposely for his tourism business not for the community to benefit,” he accused.
NRM’s Eddie Kwizera revealed that in the last 10 months he has been in parliament he has been able to work upon the road in Bukimbiri and added that the government has plan of constructing a farmers market in Bukimbiri resulting in less transport costs.