Who is Betty Muzanira, Rukungiri’s Newly Elected Woman MP?

Betty Muzanira Bamukwatsa's campaign poster

On March 22 this year, Betty Muzanira Bamukwatsa got another shot at getting into Parliament as the Rukungiri district woman MP following the controversial outcomes of her 2016 bid.

The Court of Appeal in its ruling in March this year nullified the results of the 2016 Parliamentary elections for Rukungiri Woman MP in which Winfred Masiko of the ruling NRM party had been declared winner.

Muzanira who was Masiko’s strongest rival in 2016 had disputed the results and petitioned court over electoral malpractices especially in the three sub counties of Nyakishenyi, Nyarushanje, and Nyakagyeme.

Owing to the decision by court, the Electoral Commission organized fresh elections which Betty Muzanira won on Friday morning.

After a spirited campaign that had stiff competition from the NRM camp sucking in President Yoweri Museveni and other people like Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde and Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, the FDC candidate was declared winner and duly elected Woman Member of Parliament.

Out of the total 98,167 valid votes cast, Betty Muzanira garnered 50,611 votes beating Masiko who polled 46,379 votes with a difference of 4,232 votes.

Who is Betty Muzanira?

Betty Muzanira Bamukwatsa, 50, a career teacher was born on September 3, 1968 in Bwera village, Rushasha parish, Nyakageyeme sub county in Rujumbura constituency, Rukungiri district. She was born to Stanley Katakara and Veronica Buhenda.

She holds a Bachelors degree of Arts in Primary Education from Uganda Martyrs University Nkozi.

Her career as an educationist began when she enrolled for a Grade III Teachers’ Certificate at Rukungiri Teachers College, Nyakaina. Later on, she would upgrade to a Diploma in Primary Education from the National Teachers’ College Kakoba in Mbarara.

Throughout her teaching career that spans over two decades, she has taught thousands of pupils at nursery level which earned her popularity in Rukungiri district as a reputable teacher and disciplinarian.

Muzanira taught at Rukungiri Universal Primary School one of the leading private schools in the district, as a nursery teacher from 1990 to 1996. Afterwards, she joined Rukungiri Modern Primary School where she taught for 9 years until 2005.

In 2005, she founded her own private kindergarten, Little Angels Infants Primary School in Rukungiri which later became a fully fledged primary school.

It is during this same period that ‘Teacher Betty’ as she is popularly known decided to venture into politics. Her opening political position was Vice Chairperson LC3 for Rukungiri Town Council where she represented Rwakabengo Ward between 2001 and 2006.

She later took on a role as a district councillor representing Rwakabengo Ward in Rukungiri municipal council. During her tenure in this council, she served as Vice Chairperson of the National Urban Speakers Association at the national level.

Away from politics, Muzanira has served on numerous Boards for schools, religious and health institutions as well as other organizations. She prides in among other issues championing issue like education and women empowerment.

She has also done philanthropic work by supporting vulnerable groups including widowers and orphans.

Betty Muzanira, a widowed mother of one is a member of Rotary Club of Rukungiri where at one point she served in the capacity of Club President.

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