Losers in the just concluded parliamentary and local government elections in the Karamoja sub-region are blaming their loss on cattle rustling and involvement of security personnel in the electoral processes.
Elected leaders in Karamoja can retain their seats for decades as long as they are able to follow and recover all stolen animals, some politicians who lost the elections have said.
Mark Abuku, the outgoing Kaabong LC-V chairperson blames his defeat in Dodoth North constituency on three stolen goats that he failed to recover.
“Being an elected leader in Karamoja is not an easy thing, any small thing like failure to recover any animal lost to rustlers will turn the entire community against you and they will not look at you as a leader anymore,” Abuku said.
His counterpart in Kotido, Ambrose Lotuke who lost the Jie county parliamentary seat, says the Karimojong community has not yet understood the role of elected leaders.
“What our people think is that when you are elected a Member of Parliament or district chairperson, you are supposed to be on the frontline following the footmarks of the rustled animals until they are recovered. That is when everyone will be happy with you. Short of that no way,” he said.
According to Lotuke, no Karimojong pastoralist will entertain an elected leader staying in Kampala for important meetings when their livestock has not been recovered.
John Nangiro, the Nakapiripirit LC-V chairperson is the only survivor out of the nine chairpersons in the entire region.
Francis Kiyonga, the outgoing Amudat LC-V chairperson blamed their defeat on the involvement of security personnel in the elections.
“But that’s the way to go let us see how the new leaders also will perform,” he said.