2026 POLITICAL TORCH: Western Uganda political activists cry out to IGP & CDF amid escalating harassment by incumbents

Rajab Sansa, an NRM and Patriotic of Uganda-PLU mobilizer in Mbarara city.

Political activists, media activists and journalists in Mbarara city and other parts of western Uganda have decried escalating intimidation by incumbent political leaders especially Members of Parliament-MPs, mayors, LC5 Chairpersons and other leaders ahead of 2026 General Elections.

The hotspots so far include Mbarara city, Mbarara district, Ibanda, Isingiro, Sheema, Ntungamo, Rwampara, Kazo and other areas.

Rajab Sansa, an NRM and Patriotic of Uganda-PLU mobilizer in Mbarara city says local leaders like Mbarara city South Division Mayor Jomo Mugabi, Kakoba ward lady councillor Lillian Kusiima, Kisenyi ward councillor Garubanda Johnbosco and others are being sponsored by Mbarara city South MP Mwine Mpaka to intimidate and harass them. Rajab is among the people who already have cases against them at Rwizi regional police headquarters.

“There are a lot of issues to work on for better service delivery. Look at the roads, insecurity, corruption, etc. But when you criticize them, they claim that you are attacking them and they connive with police to harass you,” Rajab Sansa explains.

“Service delivery benefits everyone regardless of your political affiliation. No one should be arrested for condemning a leader who has not worked for the people who elected him/her,’’ Ali Mutabazi, a local political activist in Mbarara city.

Ali Mutabazi, a local political activist in Mbarara city.

Responding to the allegations, Jomo Mugabe told RISE NEWS UGANDA NETWORK that he can’t be used by anyone.

“We welcome positive criticism for our good, as leaders. You can’t stop people from talking about you, but the so called media activists and political activists should not insult us and our families,” Jomo explained.

Councillor Lillian accused some political activists for going personal and demeaning her and her family. She is among those who opened cases at Rwizi regional police headquarters. Hon Mwine Mpaka recently challenged his opponents to do what they say he hasn’t done, instead of insulting him.

CALL FOR ACTION.  Political activists now want the Inspector General of Police-IGP AIG Abasi Byakagaba, Chief of Defense Forces-CDF Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba and other authorities to intervene and bring to book every police officers or security personnel used by politicians to intimidate or harass those advocating for public accountability.

MORE HOTSPOTS.  In Kiruhura district, the UPDF Joint Staff Political Commissar Maj Gen Henry Matsiko recently wrote to former Kashongi constituency MP Genensio Tumuramye responding to his letter to the CDF, where Genensio asked UPDF leadership and other security authorities to ensure that 2026 General Elections are not marred by violence like what befell him in 2021 when he lost to the current MP Herbert Tayebwa Musasizi.

In other hotspots like Mbarara district, there is a tussle between incumbent Woman MP Ayebare Margaret Rwebyambu and Rubaya Lady Councillor Loydah Muhimbura Kyarikunda. The LC5 Chairperson Didas Tabaro has also decried smear campaigns sponsored by his opponents.

RELATED STORY – 2026 GENERAL ELECTION PRESSURE: Minister David Bahati faints

ARE JOURNALISTS SAFE?  Western Uganda Media & Community Initiative-WUMeC Uganda, an initiative advocating for community and media empowerment in western Uganda has already issued multiple calls to journalists to exercise the utmost level of professionalism while doing the job, to enable media rights and freedom defenders to stand with them in case they are harassed.  Leaders have also been implored to be tolerant, and work harmoniously with the media and the society.

Uganda 2026 General Elections Roadmap from the Electoral Commission indicates that demarcation of electoral areas will be done this month (July 2024), Update of Voters’ Register January 2025, Presidential Nominations 2nd and 3rd October 2025, and General Elections January 12 to February 9, 2026. RISE NEWS UGANDA 2026 POLITICAL TORCH.



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