Secrets why George Henry Izaale, the longest serving Jinja councillor keeps winning elections


Mr George Henry Izaale. Courtesy image.

It’s also not surprising that the councillor-elect is a member of many groups of youth, women and even drinking groups of marwa where he contributes generously, something the population enjoys.

Jinja City—31, January 2021: With hundreds of politicians including the supposedly powerful and money loaded ministers cursing voters for dumping them in the just concluded general elections, one veteran politician’s name has become synonymous with an election victory.

Mr George Henry Izaale, who has consistently and repeatedly represented the people of Mpumudde Parish to the then Jinja Municipal Council (JMC) now Jinja City Council for the last 15 years, has once again bounced back.

Izaale, 49, trounced six others with a comfortable margin to become the councillor-elect for the newly created Southern Division (which literally covers the former JMC) where he will serve until 2026.

In this special edition, we bring you intriguing insights into the-behind-the-scenes and manoeuvres that the mid-age politician has always used to continue winning favour from the more enlightened voters in the metropolitan Jinja.

  1. Social Capital.

Mr Izaale has for years built a network of relationships, friends and associates which are active throughout the year whether it’s during or outside the political season. Known to most residents as ‘a graveyard politician’, Mr Izaale will always attend and contribute to all funerals of any resident who dies so long as the information reaches him.

Apart from this, Mr Izaale has made it a practice to attend all social functions from baptism, marriages (introductions and weddings) to graduation parties even for nursery schools which once again makes his visibility heavily felt.

It’s also not surprising that the councillor-elect is a member of many groups of youth, women and even drinking groups of marwa where he contributes generously, something the population enjoys.

  1. Family, personal lifestyle & work methods

Unlike many politicians who detest the idea of people flocking their homes daily in search of all sorts of assistance, including finance, Mr Izaale has an open-door policy.

Like the common adage says ‘behind (besides) a strong man there is a strong woman’, his bigger strength can be attributed to the wife who is a dynamic businesswoman in town.

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The couple which deals in large-scale brewing and selling of enguli (local potent gin) uses the proceeds from the business to extend financial and material support to mostly the vulnerable women from the northern region to boost their trade.

  1. Avoiding cliques and groups

Clique formation and groups are the order of the day in Jinja City where either you belong to the Israeli camp headed by the defeated Jinja South West MP Moses Grace Balyeku or you are with the Palestinian squad led by Mr Nathan Samson Igeme Nabeta the Jinja South East MP-elect.

Mr Balyeku, the self-styled ‘Prime Minister’ (Katukiro) of the shadowy Israeli Government has been so powerful and shrewd that anybody who dares him would suffer heavy penalties.

The likes of former RDC, Mr Eric Joseph Sakwa and former Town Clerk Francis Byabagambi, among others who became victims, had all the reasons to celebrate the ousting of Mr Balyeku from the next parliament.

Mr Izaale knows this and has always followed the middle line of non-alignment but playing his cards properly between two groups just to ensure he survives wrath from either side.

  1. Scandal free leadership

While scandals related to private personal lifestyles to those about deals of land and others have become part and parcel of every politician from a councillor to MP levels, Mr Izaale has tried to stay free.

Work profile

He first joined elective politics in 2006 when he became the area councillor. Soon he became the vice-chairperson in charge of Finance and General-Purpose Committee; served as Secretary for Trade, Tourism and Security.

The mayor of the day Hajji Mohammed Baswari Kezaala appointed Mr Izaale the Deputy Mayor and Secretary Social Services. Was also later in his second term appointed to serve as chairperson Finance and Administration.

He (Izaale) narrowly lost the speakership slot by one vote to Mr Moses Molson Bizitu who has been ejected out of the council.

This leaves Mr Izaale with the highest possibility of becoming the speaker of the Southern Division, an equivalent of a municipality given his experience and knowledge of local governance.

Once handed over the speaker slot, Mr Izaale promises to steer council peacefully and to lobby for more development interventions, especially on the environment, garbage disposal and management, streets and general services from the central government and other development partners.

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