Adison Kakuru, the NRM flag bearer in the Rukiga County by-election, says when elected he will change the face of Rukiga. His campaign catch-word is premised on uniting the people of Rukiga to develop their area.
Kakuru declined to answer most of the questions that The Observer put to him. He, however, said that he was born 48 years ago and holds an Msc and Bachelor of Forestry degrees of Makerere University.
He worked in the forestry department at the National Agricultural Research Organisation in the early 1990s, before joining politics. His first stint in politics was in 1992 when he was elected to the Kabale District council to represent Rwamucucu Sub-county. He was re-elected in 1998, paving way for his election as Kabale District speaker the same year.
He held the post until 2002 when he was elected Kabale District Chairperson, a position he still holds. He took leave of his duties to campaign for the Rukiga parliamentary seat, leaving his deputy, Silver Baguma, as acting chairperson.
“I will resign after winning the Rukiga seat,” he said. He declined to say why he opted for a parliamentary seat instead of running the district.
“You read the law, what I am doing is not illegal,” he said.
His long service in the district council as a councilor, speaker and, later, district chairperson has endeared him to some people to support him.
“He understands the local councils better, like the declining central government funding to districts after the abolition of graduated tax. When he goes to Parliament, he will push for increased funding to districts,” said Alex Ndamulira, Kakuru’s chief campaigner and the NRM Chairperson in Bukinda Sub-county.
Kakuru says that under his tenure, several roads have been constructed in the district. He cites Nyarurambi and Irumba roads that he says have been upgraded. He adds that several community centres, including Mparo Health Centre, have been upgraded to mini hospitals.
He also says many classroom blocks have been constructed under his tenure which has reduced congestion in schools. Kakuru says the new classroom blocks have been built in Kakatunda, Bukorami, Nyakasiru and Nyabirerema primary schools.
During one of his rallies, Kakuru mentioned these achievements to mock his rival, Jack Sabiiti, offering Shs 500,000 to anyone who cites any school built by Jack Sabiiti in Rukiga. No hand went up.
Kakuru also defended his disputed victory in the party primaries. He, however, declined to give his views on whether Mugisha’s candidature will not reduce NRM’s chances of winning.
“Mugisha would be the best person to answer that question. He should tell you if he feels his party is threatened and what he wants to do about it.”