Hussein Kashillingi (legal member of NRM) and Simon Opoka (deputy head research Go Forward) Tuesday appeared on NBS TV Morning Breeze.
The duo was discussing the progress of their candidates’ [Amama Mbabazi and Kaguta Museveni] 2016 campaign rallies.
Kashillingi noted that those saying NRM is benefiting from incumbency should have known the challenge ahead prior to joining the race.
“As NRM, we feel every vote counts which is why we are trying our best to reach as many sub-counties as possible,” he said, adding that while Museveni was having four rallies per district, his competitors have only one rally per district.
Opoka told Kashillingi not to worry saying Go Forward would reach every voter in its own way.
“It is a matter of strategy. We value every voter,” Opoka said.
He then inquired: “Whose security is it when many Ugandans sleep hungry; when only 4% of our children reach Primary Seven?”
Kashillingi reminded Mbabazi’s man that he can’t do anything amid insecurity.
“Today, you move from border to border without incident. Now that Uganda is secure, we are able to embark on other development programmes,” he pointed out.
Kashillingi further said the ruling party has also registered progress in education, infrastructure among others.
The dissatisfied Opoka pointed out that while the NRM government says it has been busy securing the country, the biggest chunk of the budget goes to repaying loans.
“Security is important but not at the expense of other sectors. 16 women die every day while giving birth!”
Opoka agreed that while security is important, but it is not a magic wand.
“Security is key,” Opoka continued, “but in the silence of guns, e.g. in northern Uganda, we are seeing individuals come in and grab land.”
“In Uganda today, can everybody afford justice, quality education, clean water… the basics?” he inquired.
In response, Kashillingi said 10 years ago, it was unthinkable to have candidates standing in the north. But today, we have candidates countrywide.
“Mbabazi is promising villages WiFi. We are promising steady progress,” Kashillingi said citing irrigation for Karamoja region.
“Many farmers need hoes. However, there are areas where you can do mechanised agriculture e.g. in the north.”
Kashillingi said in Kabale and Sironko, one cannot use tractors justifying why Museveni is buying 18 million hoes which people have been asking for.
Not defeated yet, Opoka defended the promise of WiFi saying it is part of a larger sub-county development programme (ASM) as outlined in Mbabazi’s manifesto.
Apart from WiFi, Opoka said Go Forward will raise Shs2.8tn without raising taxes.
“How? By maintaining our budget size at the 2013/14 size.
On agriculture, Opoka said mechanisation doesn’t solely mean using a tractor.
“President isn’t asking himself why farmers can’t even afford hoes.”
Kashillingi, however, revealed that all Go Forward promises were already in place including; a SACCO, health center and police post per sub county and NAADS whose budget Museveni will increase to Shs1tn.
The two concluded with a clash over the number of sub counties with NRM insisting on 1,500 sub-counties while Go Forward suggests the country has 1,388 sub-counties.