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FALSE: This image does not show a Ugandan Senator launching a bridge constructed for his constituents

FALSE: This image does not show a Ugandan Senator launching a bridge constructed for his constituents

This claim purporting to show a photo of a Ugandan Senator proudly showing off a bridge constructed for his constituents is FALSE.

The post, which was made by @Naija PR on X (formerly Twitter), claims that the Ugandan senator was proudly showing off the bridge he constructed for his constituents.

Naija PR platform attached screenshots of a post made by @begumiisa62103 on social media platform X. The account bears the name Hon Dr Protazio Begumiisa as his username and this claim garnered over 1.9M views and more than 3000 comments, retweets and impressions.

Fact check

To understand the origin of the claim, we performed a reverse image search of the image and found out that the claim was first shared on 6th May 2023 at 12:20 pm EAT on the X account of Dr Protazio Begumiisa.

In this post, Mr Protazio shared a photo of him, another individual standing on what appears to be a makeshift bridge. He attached a statement on the post that “people in Ndorwa East can now use the Rubira bridge which I recently repaired”.

Fact Check.

First, Mr Protazio Begumiisa is not an elected leader in Ndorwa East Constituency. According to Mr Begumiisa, he is the NRM Party Chairperson for Ndorwa East and NOT a senator as the claim concludes. NRM also known as the National Resistance Movement is the ruling political party in Uganda and is led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

According to the Uganda Electoral Commission, the duly elected Member of Parliament for Ndorwa East is Niwagaba Wilfred. Wilfred won the election with 15,962 votes in 2021, and Mr Begumiisa Protazio came in second with 15,826 votes. With this background, we can conclusively say that it is INACCURATE to say that Protazio Begumiisa is a Senator in Uganda, he is the chairperson of Uganda’s ruling political party (NRM) in Ndorwa East Constituency.

Furthermore, Chapter 6, Article 78 provides for the Legislature of Uganda, which is the parliament. This article mandates that the parliament comprises of; Members of Parliament (MPs), Women Representatives(WMPs), Ministers, Army representatives, youth representatives, workers and people with disabilities. There is no provision for senators in Uganda’s constitution.

We reached out to Mr Protazio Begumiisa in a telephone interview to find out more about him and have him clarify the claims made about him being a senator and here is what he had to say.

“….I am the NRM Chairman for Ndorwa East constituency. So in that capacity, people trust me to do some things and when I have money I do them like the bridge you saw and since I am referred to as honourable, when Nigerians see somebody called Honourable, I think in their country, that ordinarily a honourable would be a senator. The equivalent to an MP would be a senator in my view and that is why Nigerian people on Twitter thought that I am a senator…” Dr Protazio Begumiisa said.

For clarity, Mr Protazio Begumiisa did not construct a new bridge, he only repaired the old bridge so that “his voters” can easily and conveniently cross over river Kiruruma in the constituency.

Full interview with Begumiisa

Verdict;

The claim made by Naija PR is FALSE. It is inaccurate to say that a Ugandan senator constructed a bridge for his constituents, Mr Begumiisa Protazio is not a senator for Ndorwa East but the NRM Chairperson for the same constituency. He did not construct a bridge but repaired the old one with the help of community members.

This fact-check post was produced by Debunk Media Initiative under the African Fact-Checking Incubator programme, with support from PesaCheck, Code for Africa’s fact-checking initiative, and the African Fact-Checking Alliance (AFCA).

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