Untarmacked Roads, Unpardoned Kayihura Divide Kisoro Leaders on Museveni’s 2026-2031 Endorsement

Kisoro district political leaders on Monday clashed over the endorsement of Yoweri Museveni as the sole NRM presidential candidate in the 2026-2-2031 general elections.

Kisoro district was slated to host a council sitting at the district council hall. However before the session could kick off, Philemon Mateke, the former Minister of State for Regional Affairs and also the ruling NRM party Chairman for Kisoro district emerged with a banner reading “Kisoro District Leaders Endorse HE. Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for NRM Sole Candidate 2026-2031, a visionary leader and securing your future.”

Mateke argued that as NRM leaders in Kisoro they have realized that Museveni is still energetic and able to lead because he in January 2020 managed to cover 195 kilometers from Galamba in Kampala to Birembo in Kakumiro district as a way of reviewing his forces’ 1986 route, when they seized power after the fall of Milton Obote’s government.

Mateke told all NRM leaders in the council to sign on the banner, saying that those who declined to sign would be deemed as traitors of the party.

Mateke was backed by the party’s district vice chairman and Central Division LC3 Chairman in Kisoro municipality, Ramathan Ndikuyeze, Abel Bizimana, district LC5 Chairman, and Eng. Alex Seruganda Niyonsaba alias Super Seru, the member of parliament for Bufumbira south constituency.

They said that Museveni should contest as the sole candidate in the 2026 general elections because voting a youth as the president of Uganda may put the country in trouble.  

However, their argument was strongly rejected by many councilors who questioned why such a matter was sneaked into a council sitting instead of popularizing it at the party offices. They also accused Mateke, Bizimana and Ndikuyeze of being traitors by failing to demand Museveni to fulfill pledges.   

John Muftimukiza, councilor representing Nyarusiza sub county, Peninnah Sebazigale female councilor for Nyarusiza sub county, God Rukara, Nyakabande sub county councilor wondered why Mateke would ambush district political leaders to seal the deal when it is not yet time for elections.They said there is no reason for Kisoro district leaders to endorse Museveni to contest again when pledges of tarmacking tourism roads, construction of John Kale institute, and pardoning former Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura are not honored. They also say that there is no reason to endorse Museveni yet he is ordering locals to stop cultivating in wetlands.   

James Agaba, Councilor representing Central Division, and Amos Hakizimana, the district speaker accused NRM top leaders led by Matake and Bizimana of double standards.

According to Agaba and Hakizimana, the top leaders’ political stand is ambiguous because the same people who recently endorsed Museveni’s son General Muhoozi Keinerugaba to contest for presidency in 2026 are the same people that have even today endorsed Museveni to contest on the same seat.  He expressed worry that if Museveni does not come out and stop such endorsements, contradictions of some leaders like Mateke and Bizimana will create confusion among NRM party members.  

Ndikuyeze insisted that the failure of presidential pledges to be honored cannot make Kisoro leaders hesitate to endorse Museveni to contest again. He argued that pledges will be fulfilled at any time because the government has a systematic way of implementing projects.

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