The Mitooma district electoral registrar Mr Nuwagira Esau has officially declared Benon Johnson Karyaija as the duly elected NRM flagbearer for the district LCV Chairmanship.
Results from Friday’s elections declared Karyaija as an overall winner after he genred 45057 votes against Alex Karitundu Okanga who came second with 12,816 votes.
Other contestants includes; Asiimwe Francis Katsyomezo, who scored 5,492 votes and Muhwezi Saverino obtained 2,712 votes.
The name Karyaija is not young in Western Uganda’s politics. He wrote his name on the walls of fame as early as 2006 when he was appointed the Deputy LCV Chairperson for greater Bushenyi district deputizing the then LCV Chairman, Longino Ishanga Ndyanaabo. Its here that his name was brought into limelights owing to his oratory skills and hard work.
In 2010, when Ruhinda county was awarded a district status (MITOOMA district), he became the first district LCV Chairman an elective position he held until July2017 when he was censured from office by a section of self-seeking district councillors.
In 2016 elections, Karyaija won overwhelmingly with 85% but he ruled for only 133days after his council voted to remove him from the office on allegations of corruption, abuse of powers and alterations of district plans.
The censure was allegedly fueled by the area residentMaj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of East African Affairs (then Justice & Constitutional Affairs minister) with whom they had bitter grudges. Otafiire had lost his Ruhinda county seat to Rtd Capt Mugabe Dononzio Kahonda who Karyaija ardently backed in elections.
“Mitooma district council chaired by Bushenyi chief magistrate Moses Angwaria has today afternoon July 24, 2017 successfully censured its district chairman, Mr. Benon Karyaija.
The above development came after an investigative report of a tribunal that was presented its report on the same day.
Councilors voted peacefully and Karyaija got zero votes whereas those pro-censure got 20 votes.
According to the report of the tribunal which was chaired by Justice David Matovu, Karyaija was implicate on three counts; hiring a driver without using the district service commission, Selling Marram at Rukunguru prison land without using procurement unit of Mitooma district and Abusing councilors on radios.” Media reported in 2017.
He later appealed to the High Court which dismissed the case on grounds of lack of substantial evidence by the councillors but he was kept away from office and an acting chairperson was appointed.
Residents in Mitooma didn’t welcome the news of censure and have up to date supported him to this new victory.
He is also reknown for fighting against Absenteeism of Teachers, Health workers from government schools and health centres in the district and government drugs thefty something that has won him reputation in Mitooma.
Karyaija is a celebrated politician in and outside Mitooma because of his great role played in fighting to reduce the spread of Banana Bacteria Wilt which had in 2011 become a threat to Matooke farmers across the country. He named this “Kajunde” a name that was locally and nationally adopted by farmers, Agricultural researchers to mention but a few.
During his term of service, he liaised with different private Universities and other higher education institutions in the country which awarded 40% & 50% Academic and Sports Bursary slots to students from the district.
Having been a former professional Teacher, Karyaija used his positions to promote academic standards in Mitooma schools (both private and gov’t) through supervisions and Teacher’s workshops.
On youth and women empowerment, he liaised with authorities including Police, LC to arrest and discipline the youth who had made it a habit to wake up to bars, gambling centres and disciplining idle women in local trading centres. All his strengths won him a name: “Boneza” which has become his political slogan.
Vanansio Bamuturaki, a local opinion leader in Mitooma told Parrotsug that ever since the censure of Karyaija, the district has registered many cases of school dropouts, increased crimes since the local leaders had slept on their tongues from improving livelihoods.
He warned losers in the NRM primary elections and opposition politicians who would want to contest against Karyaija to prepare their camps for defeat stating that he is an irreplaceable leader.