Four years ago if one had been asked whether Rose Tumusiime then an LC4 Councilor would make history and become Entebbe Municipality’s first female Member of Parliament, the answer wouldn’t be a ready yes. Owing to her soft-spoken, down to earth and very reserved character, many least expected her to vie for the top Municipality seat that has come to be characterized with political machinations, treachery and mudslinging.
Instead of occupying herself in misery, grief and self pity after the passing on of her Late husband Edward Tumusiime Gumizamu in 2013, Rose Tumusiime managed to pick up the pieces and in 2014 she proved to the public that despite being a widow she made her intentions to aspire for the Entebbe Municipality Parliamentary seat known. By early 2015, as the Entebbe Municipality parliamentary race heat up, Rose Tumusiime wasn’t among the top contenders for the seat. She was grouped among the underdogs who would quickly jump out of the race.
But as the campaigns continued to boil up in 2015, favourites to win the NRM Party primaries Patience Mubangizi and Fabrice Rulinda lost their credibility and support and the race altered significantly as the Entebbe NRM leadership now backed Rose Tumusiime as the NRM Party flag bearer. Fast forward, Rose Tumusiime won the party primaries defeating a total of eight aspirants and the February 18, 2016 General elections where she defeated a total of 12 candidates.
On May 28, 2016, Rose Tumusiime was sworn in as Entebbe Municipality Member of Parliament on the floors of Parliament but her victory was quickly contested in the high court by her closest challenger and Democratic Party Candidate Michael Kakembo “Mbwatekamwa” but after months of court hearings, Justice Henry Kaweesa upheld her victory and dismissed the court petition.
Looking back one year down the road, one of Rose Tumusiime’s biggest achievements in her first year in office has been healing; reconciling and re-uniting NRM Party members in Entebbe who after the 2011 elections were left fractured and torn apart and hopes of ever bouncing back seemed bleak.
In her first year in office, Rose Tumusiime has also been able to initiate and organize the Entebbe Super Cup comprising of football and netball tournaments that mainly attracts participants from the 24 villages that make up Entebbe Municipality. She undertook the training of women on how to make re-usable sanitary pads.
Other accomplishments include, donating computers to Entebbe Calvary Christian School in addition to lobbying for Shs9.5m needed to complete the library. Early this month together with speaker Rebbeca Kadagga they successfully held a fundraising for the completion of new St. John’s Church and over Shs15m was raised. She has donated a number of jerseys and other sportswear and balls to different teams in Entebbe including newly promoted Uganda Premier League side Masavu in a bid to promote sports.
And in collaboration with National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) she successfully lobbied for six stand pipes for the community to access clean and safe water at a cheaper price.
Hon. Rose Tumusiime has also given financial support to several community village savings and loan associations, SACCO’s such as Birime Group Nakiwogo, EDDIBA (Boda Boda Division ‘B’) and Entebbe Hospital Sacco. She has also donated 60 chairs to the Entebbe Welfare School and also procured a vehicle that assists families that are need of transporting their loved ones to their final resting homes.
She has promoted a cordial relationship with all the religious denominations in Entebbe and also continues to serve as patron Global HIV/AIDS Organization that brings together youth affected by the HIV/AIDS Virus. She successfully lobbied for funds for the Entebbe Markets Association and is also a patron of the Association.
However one of the biggest challenges that Rose Tumusiime faces is fulfilling the diverse interests, wants and needs from the constituents who have a perception that an MP earns a fat pay cheque and unaccounted for monies. Some of her supporters have ended up becoming disgruntled and discontented.
With her eyes set on 2021, Hon. Rose Tumusiime is focused on fulfilling her campaign pledges and promises because voters will assess her not by her character and not by her late husband’s legacy as happened in the 2016 elections but by her achievements in her first term.