The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has enjoyed dominance in Busiro South for the last five years, with Mr Peter Ssematimba representing the party in the 10th Parliament.
But as the race to the 11th Parliament comes to the call on Thursday, analysts say the incumbent’s position is being threatened by Mr Paul Owor, 29, an Independent candidate.
The Busiro South seat has attracted four candidates; Mr Ssematimba (NRM), Mr Charles Matovu (National Unity Platform), Mr Stephen Ssekigozi (Democratic Party), and Mr Owor.
However, analysts say stiff competition is between Mr Owor who and Mr Ssematimba, with many defining it as the race for who has more money.
In the 2016 elections, Mr Ssematimba’s victory was nullified by the High Court over academic papers.
His victory had been challenged by Democratic Party’s Stephen Ssekigozi, one of the losers of the February 18 parliamentary polls.
Mr Ssekigozi, in his court petition, had argued that Mr Ssematimba had a certificate issued by the East African Examination Council, which cannot be equated to an A-Level certificate.
But Mr Ssematimba appealed the verdict in the Court of Appeal and retained his seat.
Although the MP won the case, the contention forced him to sit for Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education exams in 2019 where he got 13 points.
During the September 2020 NRM primaries, Mr Ssematimba defeated Mr Charles Lwanga. He polled 9,075 votes while Mr Lwanga came second with 4,385 votes.
Mr Owor, who is also a businessman, says he is ready to transform the lives of the people once voted into Parliament.
“I want to make sure that I implement 50 per cent of my manifesto before I’m elected to Parliament,” he says.
Mr Owor adds that incomes of the youth in Busiro South need to be improved through creation of Saccos to help them start up businesses.
He says he has already supported and helped in the creation of more than 300 Saccos in the constituency. Mr Owor also says he has donated more than 50 sewing machines to youth in the area.
“I also hope to give a hand to Busiro South’s health sector, which according to me, has not had a better share of the government’s health budget. I have already bought two ambulances and four ultrasound scanners for some health facilities in the constituency,” he explains.
He is also currently constructing a technical school in Kasanje and has bought land to construct a stadium in Namulanda.
As the proprietor of Shinrai Construction Company and founder of Gifted Music Group that nurtured many Ugandan artistes, including RnB sensation Alan Toniks, Mr Owor says he is ready to continue transforming the lives of the youth in the area. On his part, Mr Ssematimba in his manifesto promises to transform people’s lives through lobbying for empowerment programmes to get them out of poverty, and improved infrastructure.
The MP has also been giving out bursaries to disadvantaged children to help then access quality education. He has also advocated for a better health system in his constituency.
However, some voters think he has not done much to transform the constituency.
Ms Faridah Namanda, a voter on Bussi Island in Busiro South, says the MP is never in the constituency.
“We voted for him but we rarely see him in our constituency,” she says
Mr David Kabanda, a boda boda cyclist in Katabi Town Council, says they rarely see Mr Ssemantimba debate on the floor of Parliament.
“Being a businessman, I think he is a bit busy. We want a leader who will find time for us as well as represent our views,” Mr Kabanda says.
On his part, Mr Ssekigozi, the DP candidate, promises to transform the lives of the women, youth, men and the elderly through starting income-generating projects for them.
Analysts say Mr. Owor Paul is most likely to win by 37% followed by Mr. Charles Matovu 16.5%. Mr. Peter Sematimba may fall in 3rd place with 15.6%, Mr. Stephen Sekigozi in 4th place with 9.56%, and Charles Lwanga G with 6.8% while the other candidates share the 14.54%.
Busiro South in Wakiso District is a constituency comprising Sub counties; Sissa, Katabi, Kasanje and Bussi with 28 parishes. It stretches from Nkumba to the Islands of Bussi and Sissa. Mr Ssematimba (NRM), Mr Charles Matovu (National Unity Platform), Mr Stephen Ssekigozi (Democratic Party) and Mr Owor are contesting for the MP seat.