In our continuing series on new faces ushered in by the recent elections, Samson Baranga handles Kyegegwa and Kyenjojo districts.

Kyegegwa district

William Ngabu Kwemara (Kyaka county MP)

Kwemara’s victory, according to constituents, is well deserved, because he was central to the district’s formation. He was chairman of the Kampala Group that was working with another in Kyaka, as the steering committee that lobbied for the district.

Prior to contesting for Parliament, Kwemara, 45, was a lecturer at Makerere University’s Department of Adult and Community Education, School of Distance and Lifelong Learning (formerly Institute of Adult and Continuing Education). He is pursuing a PhD at the same university.

His first priority will be to help his people develop a vision, “so that they know where we are and where we are going, and set targets and goals to be achieved,” he says.

He promises to contribute to the improvement of household incomes in the constituency by taking advantage of government programmes such as NAADS so that people are able to produce more for the market, as opposed to the current subsistence farming. He will also focus on getting more children, especially girls, into school under the universal education programmes.

Flavia Rwabuhoro Kabahenda  (District Woman MP)

The 43-year-old NRM supporter was the first to be declared a member of the 9th Parliament by the Electoral Commission, after her opponents failed to collect nomination forms, leaving her unopposed.

Like Kwemara, Kabahenda was also at the forefront of lobbying for a district status, as secretary general of the steering committee. Although she is making her debut in Parliament, Kabahenda is not new to politics. She first sought entry into the House as Woman MP for Kyenjojo district in 2006, but lost to Joyce Kwebiiha.

Prior to that, she was the pioneer woman councillor representing Kyegegwa sub-county in Kyenjojo, then a new district, from 2002 to 2006. Between 1995 and 2001, she was secretary for women representing Kyaka county on the Kabarole district council. Kabahenda attributes her victory to the fact that she was on the ground and was able to appreciate challenges facing her constituents.

“I became close to the people and got involved in community issues and civil society organizations. This gave me an upper hand,” said Kabahenda, a teacher of English language and literature, and proprietor of Kyaka Parents School.

She has a diploma in business studies from Makerere University Business School and a diploma in education (secondary) from Kyambogo University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the Mountains of the Moon University in Fort Portal. As would be expected of a teacher, her priority will be to develop education in the district – encouraging students to pursue courses that are relevant to their communities, and ensuring that children attend and remain in school.

“There is no community that is better than the quality of its education,” she says.

On health, she plans to capitalise on village health teams, which she says can act as Health Centre I. She will ensure that people on the teams have adequate skills for first aid and that traditional birth attendants are facilitated to deliver women, who otherwise have to travel more than 10km by boda boda on poor roads to the Health Centre III.

Kabahenda also promises to help her constituents improve production and productivity, which she says is low due to a poor saving culture.

“People are making money, but spending it lavishly,” she said. “For NAADS and other government programmes to succeed, people should be sensitised about expenditure versus income.”

Kyenjojo district

David Muhumuza (MP Mwenge North)

Muhumuza, 33, is not what one would call a political newcomer. He has been a leader for most of his adult life, having started as a head prefect at Kyamuhunga Secondary School in 1998, and later, a deputy head teacher at Rwensambya Primary School in Nyankwanzi sub-county in 2001.

In 2002, he was elected to represent his parish (Rwensambya) at sub-county level, where he went on to become the speaker of the sub-county. He was elected NRM chairman of Nyankwanzi sub-county in 2005 and as Kyenjojo district councillor in 2006, where he served as secretary for production, environment and natural resources.

Last year, he contested in the NRM primaries, which were among the most highly contested in the country, in which he defeated the incumbent, Col Tom Butime, an NRM historical. From a humble background and having lost his mother in 1997 and his father the following year, Muhumuza attributes his victory to his 10 years of serving the community at different levels.

“I have been a councillor for 10 years at different levels. I have worked in production on the NAADS programme and I have a good tack record,” he said.

Given the fertility of land in his area, Muhumuza plans to promote coffee and tea growing, among others, and to improve livestock farming. In addition, he hopes to improve health infrastructure and services in Mwenge North.

Linda Timbigamba (District Woman MP)

She decided to contest as an independent candidate after Joyce Kwebiiha defeated her in the NRM primaries, which she claimed were massively rigged.

On how she was able to win, she said: “The voters wanted fresh people with new ideas. I’ll live to their expectations; I’ll not let them down.”

Timbigamba, who is in her final year at Kyambogo University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration, plans to enhance development in the district by working to strengthen groups such as SACCOs.

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