Politics Eclipse Commissioning of Nakaseke Health Facility
For nearly 15 years, Bidabugya Health Centre III in Nakaseke district’s Kasangombe sub-county has been malfunctional with dilapidated buildings and no medical equipment – it could not handle cases that required a minor surgery or admit expectant mothers.
In 2015, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) treasurer, Rose Namayanja Nsereko, launched efforts to rehabilitate this 32-year-old health facility which almost fell flat after she got involved in a nasty road accident that kept her in and out of hospital for some time.
The accident happened as she rushed to preside over the groundbreaking for the construction of a new building for the health centre at Timuna village.
On Monday, the building was handed over to the community at an event presided over by Tourism state minister, Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi.
Politics dominated the event as various speakers took advantage to campaign for Namayanja’s husband, Charles Nsereko Kawuma ahead of Friday’s NRM parliamentary primary elections.
Nsereko is competing with Arthur Katongole for the NRM flag in Nakaseke South, and the reconstruction of the health facility in addition to other initiatives undertaken by a charity – Rose Namayanja Foundation which he serves as patron, are used to amplify his parliamentary bid.
“Under the Rose Namayanja Foundation, we have supported more than 300 learners through kindergarten, primary, secondary and the tertiary level with scholarships. And during the Covid-19 lockdown, we distributed learning materials to learners in 241 schools,” Nsereko said, further telling his audience that it would be shameful for him to win the Friday vote with less than 95 percent.
As he spoke, campaigners for his challenger in the NRM primaries drove past on a truck with loudspeakers through which they disputed Nsereko’s role in the reconstruction of the health centre.
“Don’t be duped, that health centre was constructed more than 30 years ago,” shouted Katongole’s campaigners.
Namayanja who represented Nakaseke district in Parliament for two terms before she retired in 2016 told guests that at the event that her husband was in the race to redeem the ruling party’s fortunes in the constituency that was lost to the opposition in the 2016 elections.
Being in the heart of the Luweero bush-war that thrust President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM into power 35 years ago, the party is uncomfortable with DP’s Paulson Luttamaguzi Ssemakula being the area MP.
The MP, currently jailed at Kasangati in Wakiso district, exploited divisions within NRM to win the February 2016 parliamentary elections.
“NRM had gone down in Nakaseke but we are here to bring it back on the top,” Namayanja said. “All we want of you is to give Mr. Nsereko the NRM flag on Friday and leave the rest to us. He will be the MP, and I will be the deputy MP,” she added.
Construction and equipping of the health centre cost more than Shs 500 million which was raised from community contributions and donations from Museveni, Spear group of companies, Nile House and Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF).
“Leadership requires that when your community has a need, you find a solution other than crying about it in the press. Use your abilities to lobby and get the problem solved,” Namayanja said.