The country's top opposition political parties Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and Democratic Party (DP) have failed to front candidates in all elective positions in Sembabule district.
Cabinet recently approved the creation of nine sub counties of; Kawanda, Mitete, Mabindo, Kyera, Mitima, Ntete, Nakasenyi, Katwe and Bulongo in Sembabule district. They will be going to the polls on July 17, 2018.
However, by the closure of the nomination exercise on Wednesday evening, DP had only managed to front candidates in nine out of the 46 available slots. FDC had a total of four candidates against 46 of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and 43 independent candidates.
According to Latif Ngozi Sembabule district Electoral Commission returning officer; out of the nine sub-counties chairperson's position, DP fronted 3 candidates while FDC nominated only two, leaving the other slots for NRM and independents.
Dick Lukyamuzi Ssenyondo, the DP national executive council representative for greater Masaka sub-region acknowledges the deficit, attributing it to a hostile environment against opposition politics in the area.
Lukyamuzi claims that although the party has reasonable numbers of supporters in the area, they are still afraid of contesting for elective positions. Lawrence Ssewajje, the DP regional secretary for mobilisation says the district has a history of intimidation of opposition politicians which works against the party.
He claims that even would-be candidates are threatened by the situation. He however adds that the number of nominated candidates gives them a start to rethink their mobilisation strategies. Robert Ssemyalo, the FDC secretary general for Sembabule district said he was unable to give an answer about the situation.
Last week, a team of FDC leaders from the party headquarters led by their Central region vice president and Rubaga mayor Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, was in Sembabule to prepare candidates for the elections, but their results have not yielded much.
Backer Byayi Ssenyonga, the spokesperson of the Uganda Federal Alliance who is contesting for the Mitete sub county chairperson's seat also chose to contest as an independent.
Ssenyonga has partly attributed the situation to weakness in opposition parties for not preparing enough to find suitable candidates for positions especially in rural constituencies even when they would have interest.
The Electoral Commission has cleared the nominated candidates to begin their campaigns on June 8.