RUKUNGIRI- The Electoral Commission pronouncement on the 2021 General Elections Roadmap has opened up the area for politicking and hereto silent people whose political ambition has been unknown have come out to challenge the status quo.
In Rukungiri Municipality, Arthur Mbabazi Baryayanga the Chief Executive Officer at Literacy Action and Development Agency (LADA) a Non Governmental Organisations based in Rukungiri District has come forward to take a shot at the Parliamentary Seat which is currently being occupied by Hon Rolland Mugume Kaginda who has been in the seat since 2011 when it was created.
Born in Rwerere, Nyakagyeme in 1981, to Charles and Lydia Baryayanga, the new kid on the block Arthur Mbabazi studied at Rwerere Primary School from P.1 to P.7 before joining Nyakagyeme Senior Secondary School in Rukungiri District where he completed Senior Four.
Arthur Mbabazi then joined Lakeside College Luzira for High School Education and later was admitted at National Teacher College Kakoba for Diploma in Education.
He later joined Makerere University for Bachelors Degree in Social Sciences majoring Social Administration and later Kabale University where he obtained a Masters Degree in Development Studies (Dev’t Economics and Policy analysis) has attained training from; Dar es salaam, Danish Embassy Nairobi, Gorta Northern Ireland on a number development and resources mobilization and strategic planning.
Mbabazi is not an amateur in leadership position because when he was in O Level, he was overwhelmingly elected the Chairman School Council at Nyakagyeme SSS and he went on to become the Deputy Head Prefect at Lakeside College after emerging from a stiff competition. He was also elected to serve as Gastyonga Hall Chairman while at National Teachers College Kakoba in Mbarara district. He has also chaired coalitions and network committees on Human Rights and Oil Governance with WWF, and UWASNET and SWANET.
“It was during my school time leadership stint that I poked into the need to serve communities and at first I thought I thought I would do it without joining mainstream politics, but I later found out that without joining mainstream politics, one cannot influence policy that affects the people and it’s from that background that I’m offering myself to serve the Community better” Mbabazi confided to this reporter.
Arthur Mbabazi worked with Aids Intergrated Model (AIM) District Project based in Rukungiri from 2006 – 2006 and also Entebbe Women Association which exposed him to practical approaches of dealing with identifying community needs and finding community based solutions to their needs and challenges.
During this time Arthur Mbabazi worked with on projects which were implementing USAID, WWF-UCO, DENIVA, UNDP, UNEP, Global South, Twaweza East Africa, GEF and World Bank funded projects on Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Conservation of International Waters, Communities and Small Scale Mining (CASM) programs which was aimed at influencing policy and action on conservation, child protection, livelihoods, and decent employment for children and women involved in sand mining and stone quarry along the Kampala, mukono, wakiso, and Entebbe.
While working in other Organisations , Mbabazi had started LADA in 2003 which became a spring board for his participation in community projects in Rukungiri, Mitioma, Sheema, Kabale, Rubanda Rukiga and Kanungu.
LADA core objective has been to work towards improved sustainable livelihoods, Community Advocacy Income Enhancement, education in Early Grade Reading, SRGBV campaigns water, Environment, Good Governance and Human Rights Advocacy
Arthur has impacted on up to 120,000 people directly in the 7 districts and their intervantion in community engagement has impacted positively on 500 Community Groups which include farmer based cooperative societies.
He employs over 150 people on full time jobs and has also started Vocational Skills Training at LADA Institute of Vocational Education (LIVE) in Kanyinya in Rukungiri Municipality which is aimed at imparting life skills to the youth under the core value of “Answers to Job Seeking” in Rukungiri District.
He has spearheaded the planting of over 200,000 trees in Eco Schools in the districts where it’s operating from and adjacent communities to for water catchment conservation, (blue and green water) and also conserve the endangered tree and animal species, the Rights of Indigenous Communities as prescribed by his articles; ‘Water For Rain Makers’ that won him a price and permanent at the Keepers of the Earth Network of the Keeps of the Earth Fund.
He has led coalitions, on Oil and Gas in the sub region, Health Advocacy for martenal and child Health, Human Resources For Health. And done articles; ‘Oil For Development’.
Arthur Mbabazi whom his supporters have nicknamed ‘EMPIKAHOONA’ is born and bred in Rukungiri District and Rukungiri Municipality in particular and as such he is more than available to attend to the concerns of the people he will serve.
He is also an entrepreneur and majoring in Hotel and Tourism Industry having started OKAPI Hotel based in Rukungiri Municipality (with the intention of Developing our town) and Youth Business Counseling Center at LADA offices in Kanyinya also in Rukungiri District.
Rukungirians, I think time is now, to take advantage of this rich network and exposure, for the good of our town.
“Continuous Effort, Not Strengths or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential” Mbabazi emphasized.
Arthur Mbabazi intends to contest and represent Rukungiri Municipality in Parliament on Independent ticket.
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