News Analysis: How Bobi Wine revived Wadri’s political mission

Detained Arua Municipality MP Elect Kassiano Wadri and under military trial Bobi Wine during campaigns in Arua.

In our Tuesday publication Museveni, Besigye could lose as Bobi Wine takes Bugiri campaign strategies to Arua, we had done an in-depth analysis. It came to pass on Wednesday, 15, August.

After losing his Terego West Parliamentary seat in Arua in the 2016 general elections to Moses Angundru of NRM, Kassiano Wadri’s name was rarely mentioned. He was totally silent.

Mr Kassiano Wadri served as an MP on FDC ticket for three terms and also served as Public Accounts Committee Chairperson [PAC].

During his reign as an MP, Wadri was seen as unbeatable politician in West Nile and was one of the FDC pillars in the region.

After losing the February 18, 2016 elections, weeks after, his rival – successor slaughtered bulls, goats and chickens and invited dozens of MPs, locals to celebrate Wadri’s downfall.

Many in West Nile region described him as Goliath and Mt. Wati. This is a gigantic mountain in Terego which they then said had finally been blown.

From that moment, his political career looked minimal and chances of his return to national politics were low and yet he was vocal in Parliament, our source opines.

The passing of Col. Ibrahim Abiriga

After the brutal assassination of former Arua MP, Col. Ibrahim Abiriga by unknown gunmen on the 8, June this year, on his way home alongside his bodyguard, Arua seat fell vacant.

Among contenders to replace him, Kassiano Wadri – who was elected his successor in Wednesday, 15, heated reelection was to miss.

FDC party had in their mind a person to carry their flag in the race in Bruce Musema, a decision backed by top party leadership and whilst opposed by faction lenient to second party president, Gen. Mugisha Muntu.

After wider consultation with other FDC faction, and opposition members, sources say Wadri opted to defy FDC led Patrick Amuriat’s decision to have Musema Bruce carry the flag and stood on independent ticket.

“The decision was to have Amuriat and Besigye shown the way. It was a plan to impress opposition entirely that Amuriat is weak and won’t produce required FDC MPs at any election during his tenure,” our source, a member of FDC party said.

Wadri and eighteen other aspirants picked nomination forms to vie for Arua Municipality MP seat but only twelve were able to get nominated.

It’s also worth noting that his candidature divided key opposition politicians and most particularly FDC party from set off up to now.

The political weights and figures behind the former PAC chairperson did him a favor due to fame of his tight buddy, Bobi Wine with whom he’s now detained, pending trial at Magistrates Court and Court Martial in Gulu town on Thursday.

Also, the presence of Mugisha Muntu and his men and women increased Wadri’s support and divided FDC votes glaringly.

The two and others were arrested on Monday on allegation that they mobilized their supporters and smashed a presidential motorcade in Arua.

During campaigns, Bobi Wine pulled the crowd for Wadri, countered promises by other contenders to the electorates.

All these, before even polling day, were a clear prediction that both President Museveni and Besigye would get rounced.

In his opinion, Ishaa Otto Amiza, former Oyam South MP in the 8th Parliament wrote that Museveni, other top politicians panicking over Bobi Wine.

The race was widely expected to be either for NRM Nusura Tiperu or FDC candidate Bruce Musema. However, Kizza Besigye mobilization strength, and Amuriat’s success after taking over as country’s strong opposition leader were dented by the singer.

Even President Museveni’ vision to allow Abiriga’s legacy remain further in Arua Municipality through Tiperu Nusura was thwarted by the same singer, Bobi Wine.

Campaigning for NRM flag bearer last week before President Museveni arrived to summarize it, NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba told the people of Arua that voting opposition would cause them problem.

Lumumba said it would jeopardize NRM agenda to uplift Arua from Municipality to a City status.

While in detention, on Wednesday, Angom Ruth Ococ, the returning officer of the Electoral Commission declared Kassiano Wadri the duly elected Arua Municipality MP.

He beat other eleven contenders with 6,421 votes with NRM’s Tiperu Nusura coming second with 4,798.

FDC Bruce Musema got 1,369 votes and another independent candidate, Ejiku Robert with 2,694 votes, among other candidates.

There were a total of 16,476 numbers of valid votes cast for candidates and 17,089 total number of ballot papers counted, according to Electoral Commission data.

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