Lydia Wanyoto Mutende alias Big Sister, the former National Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Women’s League suffered humiliation in the recently concluded polls, after losing the Mbale City Woman Member of Parliament race to her hereditary competitor, Connie Nakayenze Galiwango alias Mama Mbale.
Wanyoto, who secured a National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket in September last year, held the second position in the final polls as Galiwango scooped the victory.
Galiwango lost the NRM ticket to Wanyoto in the party primaries and decided to come back as an Independent candidate in the final race.
She was declared the Woman MP of Mbale City after garnering 40,702 votes (53.2%). She was followed by Wanyoto who got 25,276 votes (33%).
Other candidates in the race were; Robinah Masibo from the National Unity Platform party (NUP) with 6565 votes, Maimuna Nambuya with 1852 votes, Shadia Luwungule, who lost in the NRM primaries got 1382 votes and Racheal K Nansubuga trailed with 643 votes.
Upon declaration, Galiwango thanked her supporters for what she called the overwhelming love and support they offered to her.
“I cannot boast in anything on my own but in you because I am what I am because of you. I pledge and promise never to let you down in anyway. I will remain your voice and your servant and be there for you in all ways. This victory is dedicated to all the people of Mbale City who voted for me,” Galiwango said.
She also lauded the security operatives in Mbale City for “the integrity shown while protecting votes.”
Although Galiwango is serving as the first Woman MP of Mbale City, which was recently created and operationalized, this is her third term in Parliament, after serving as the Mbale District Woman MP Between 2011/15 and 2016/21 on the NRM ticket.
It should be remembered that Wanyoto won the NRM race in September 2020 under unclear circumstances prompting Galiwango to stand as an independent candidate.
In this specific race, Wanyoto garnered 36,281 votes, followed by Nakayenze Galiwango, who scored 19,113 votes, Jalia Namasaba held the third position with 2,824 votes and Shadia Luwungule trailed with 1,506 votes.
This, however, was not the first time the two are facing off in the political arena. In 2015, Galiwango defeated Wanyoto in a hotly contested NRM Primaries race, where she (Galiwango) scored 71,370 votes beating her counterpart with a range of over 22,000 votes. Wanyoto got 48,390 votes.
The duo, this year, battled for the Mbale City Woman MP Seat, a move that raised mixed reactions among the electorate in Mbale.
Abdallah Magambo, LC (III) aspiring Councilor in the City’s Northern Division, argued that it was ‘childish’ for Wanyoto, who had the capacity of representing a constituency, to fight for a mere Woman MP seat.
Magambo noted that Wanyoto had all the potential of representing one of the Constituencies that had been curved out of the Mbale City and among which are; Northern Division, Industrial Division, Bungokho South, Bungoko North and Bungokho Central, other than just going into what he called ‘lousy competition’ due to pride.
“Wanyoto was an MP in the East African Parliament, wasn’t this good enough to get exposure to compete with men? She was a Ugandan Diplomat in African Union Mission in Somalia, wasn’t this good enough to have the capacity to compete with men? She is currently NRM National Women Chairperson qualifying her to be a CEC member, NRM’s National Party organ, isn’t this good enough to have capacity to compete with men?” he wondered.
He added, “Wanyoto should by now be representing either Mbale Municipality or Bungokho North Constituency in the National Parliament and leave this contest to people like; Namasaba Jalia and Luwungule Shadia who have not got any exposure. But because she didn’t believe in this, let her deal with her so called affirmative action.”