By John V Sserwaniko
Having correctly concluded that politics is the surest way to gainfully get employed in Museveni’s Uganda, a number of politically ambitious Ugandans are already having their eyes on 2021 and actively scheming on how to upstage the incumbent legislators whose performance so far hasn’t met the expectations of their electors. In today’s version of 2021 UPDATES, a political feature that will be regularly running on this news website, we profile some of these political actors who are menacingly looking at several MPs’ constituencies with a view to retire them in public interest come 2021. They are as follows:
The outspoken Makerere masscom lecturer is many things-journalist, lawyer and political commentator. His father Mzee Kakaire Lukolobe was mentored by outgoing Bugweri MP Abdul Katuntu’s dad Mzee Abdul Mulawa. Our research shows that when Mzee Mulawa became frail, Mzee Lukolobe became Katuntu’s father of sorts. The two old men were UPC diehards and Suleiman’s dad was a UPC youth winger who also did intelligence work for the Obote II regime. Suleiman was born in Makutu Sub County but grew up in the Idudi Township. Mulengera news research shows that Katuntu will be backing Suleiman Kakaire who has grown up under his mentorship and many perceive him as his foster son. As a journalist, Kakaire has made many friends almost in all political formations and this makes some to fail to know which party he will be running under. Some of his supporters prefer that he runs on the People Power ticket so that he simultaneously benefits from the support of FDC, UPC and even NRM supporters in the 7 sub counties making Bugweri.
The 32 year old FDC-leaning lawyer is eyeing Sam Kutesa’s Mawogola North in Sembabule district and his plan is to galvanize both FDC and People Power support in the constituency. He was to run in 2016 but missed out on grounds of ill health. He currently works with Kabuusu Muhumuza & Co Advocates. He is currently the youth chairperson for FDC in Sembabule.
The UYD/DP diehard has his eyes on Haruna Kasolo’s Kyotera County and hopes to ride on the incumbent’s growing unpopularity in this traditionally DP stronghold constituency where Damiano Lubega has been standing for an eternity. Kyotera is increasingly urbanizing and its one area where Kabaka’s CBS radio has had massive impact arousing the populace’s civic awareness levels. Mugonza’s political profile recently soared when he led a much publicized demonstration in Kalisizo town to protest President Museveni’s being in Kyotera where he presided over Independence Day celebrations.
The young city lawyer has vast connections with the Turkish Embassy and business community in Kampala. He is their lawyer and it’s a relationship from which he has reaped many tangible benefits for the good of his voters in Kyaddondo East now represented by Bobi Wine. He has built schools and vastly supported the needy youths and elderly in the constituency, prompting some to christen him “the good MP Kyaddondo East never had.” Having conceded defeat to Bobi Wine, Muwadda immediately moved on and surrendered all his good ideas to Wine whom he says has so far done very well. In a recent interview, Muwadda told Mulengera news: “I’m so far satisfied with Bobi Wine and what he has done and the way he has represented us so far. And to that end, I have no plans to stand against him but should be heed calls on him to go for presidency and abandon Kyaddondo East, you can be sure as night falls day that Seat will then naturally become mine.” Muwadda says whereas he appreciates the fight Wine and others put up to defend the Constitution during the Magyezi Age limit debate in December 2017, there is much more he would physically have done if he was in the house as MP. “You can be sure that day I was going to be the biggest hero. I would have done much more than you guys saw and my aim would be to ensure there is no Parliamentary sitting that day at all. My way was to either win or they lose and I can tell you I was going to make it risky for any speaker to chair that session. My target was going to be whoever sat in the Speaker’s chair.” This plea is consistent with the political militancy with which Muwadda has been associated since his days at Mak Law School and in the guild race that he participated in on the opposition ticket.
SIMON MUYANGA LUTAAYA
The flamboyant NBS talk show host faces an easier hurdle than ever before to actualize his prolonged bid to become Bulamogi County MP on the ticket of his beloved FDC party. Through popular talk show hosting, Muyanga’s political profile has grown beyond levels he ever imagined and now his resume and name recognition easily dwarfs that of his opponent Kenneth Lubogo. Muyanga is revered for his strong principles and the consistency with which he approaches public issues. His media work has also enabled him to deepen his social network and to recruit new powerful allies like Tamale Mirundi and many other public figures (not necessarily FDC supporters) within and outside Busoga. Even financially, he is in a better position now to neutralize Lubogo than was the case five years ago. Muyanga’s private media businesses (beyond NBS show-hosting) have enabled him create opportunities for others besides bringing in significant revenue for him.
Nabillah Nagayi’s brother currently serves as KCCA council at City Hall where he represents Rubaga North on the FDC ticket. He is already campaigning in Rubaga North to replace Moses Kasibante. Whereas Kawalya has easily excited those who are money-minded, people who are in this for a cause are sticking with Kasibante on grounds that much as he is mean and doesn’t easily part with money, Kasibante is predictable and highly committed to the cause for political change. Kawalya has won over guys who call into radio stations to praise him and these are contemptuously known by voters to be nothing but guns for hire. In the recent weeks, a new twist emerged further constraining Kawalya’s 2021 efforts. Rubaga North is home to strong religious establishments all of which are Christian-based including Namirembe Cathedral meaning religious sentiments to an extent determine voting patterns here. Kawalya being a Muslim is already alienating some voters who are actively uncomfortable to see a non-Christian eat away their seat come 2021. In fact since time immemorial, a Muslim has never represented Rubaga North as MP: examples include Wasswa Lule, Tom Kayongo, Betty Kamya and now Moses Kasibante who had to eye Rubaga North after being rejected by voters in Muslim-dominated Butambala County which he had to vacate for Muwanga Kivumbi. Rashid Musisi, now a banker, was a very strong contender (had backing of then influential Seya, had the money, was flamboyant and had deep history in DP/UYD) but gave up bid to become Rubaga MP after concluding that religious sensitivities didn’t favor his bid. Kawalya, who these days controversially has a lot of cash, recently commenced construction of a plush house in Kawala near Councilor Nampera’s home and it’s being constructed at a very terrific speed. The politically sophisticated are saying if he is indeed genuine in strengthening opposition, Kawalya should locate another constituency held by NRM and liberate it as opposed to antagonizing a well solidified predictable opposition incumbent like Kasibante.
She is the Afrigo Band signer famous for the Obangaina lyrics which trended many years ago. She has previously contested for Iganga woman MP in vain but it appears the many years of waiting are now behind her following the creation of Bugweri/Busesa district which is soon becoming operational. This new district will basically cover current Bugweri County that has been represented by Abdul Katuntu for many years. Magoola is a diehard Musevenist and long suffering NRM cadre and her chances are high. Getting the NRM ticket increases her chances and she confirmed to this news website as much. “I’m NRM 311 and I have been on the ground working and I have never rested since the last elections we had. I have been out there marketing my plans and intentions for the new district. It’s where I’m coming from even right now,” Magoola confirmed to this news website vowing to become the pioneer Bugweri district woman MP. Politics runs through the family because even her mum and ex-Museveni Minister Magoola Zirabamuzaale was an MP for a long time.
The former Rwampara MP (for one term 2011-2016) recently quit NRM and joined FDC after the party leaders failed or refused to help him overcome archrival Charles Ngabirano. Kyamadidi is understood to be having his eyes on Mbarara Municipality Seat where he intends to oust NRM’s Micheal Tumusiime who fluked the area politics and got the seat in 2016 having previously worked with URA. Kyamadidi will naturally be carrying the FDC flag for the Municipality Seat after voters gave up on political veteran Maj John Kazoora who has twice tried and failed to wrestle the seat from the NRM. It’s believed Kazoora’s campaigning approach can’t win votes in the area that needs a populist approach similar to what Kyamadidi is synonymous with. Even within FDC area cadreship, there are feelings of betrayal regarding Kazoora’s continued loyalty to the struggle and some now see him more as a New Formation man than FDC. His mum died sometime last year and President Museveni (represented by Henry Tumukunde) was the chief mourner. The President even sent a condolence message of Shs10m, something that irked some radical supporters who didn’t expect their leader to accept such financial support from a man he has vigorously resisted since 2006 following the lifting of term limits-and subsequently wrote a book detailing how Museveni betrayed him. The other complicating factor is that Kazoora’s wife Naomi Kabasharira, a leading NRM politician in Ntungamo, is a close political ally of First Lady Janet Museveni. But some supporters maintain that Kazoora has always done his best but can simply not overcome the NRM rigging machine operating mostly in the barracks from where NRM candidates are always aided to derive the unspecified number of votes to simply overcome him in the ballot box.
She is a daughter to legendary NRA hero Sam Magara and she is a lawyer in Kampala with deep political roots in Luwero district. She is taking advantage of incumbent Lillian Nakate’s ever escalating political woes to position herself as better choice for Luwero district woman MP on NRM ticket. Bubbly Magara has nursed such political ambitions before but not much came to fruition but it now seems to be her time finally to take her place on the table of political eating. Consensus is that Nakate has failed to live up to voters’ expectations. Flamboyant Nakate was widely expected to scoop a ministerial position but the court case she faced from DP’s Brenda Nabukenya messed her up and voters now feel she has become invisible and only sends them regular bulk text messages wishing them a nice weekend.
She is a leading defiance lady in the FDC party and at a personal level, she is deeply intellectual and reflective. She serves as Minister of Education in Besigye’s so-called People’s Government. A diehard supporter of FDC Secretary General Nandala Mafabi, Wokuri is said to be under pressure by the voters to consider Mbale Municipality MP Seat currently held by elderly Jack Wamai who is understood to be bowing out in 2021. Wokuri isn’t new to opposition politics because in 2011 she was the spokesperson for candidate Kizza Besigye’s campaign bureau that was based in Nakulabye. In 2016, she displaced Mariam Nagudi, a fellow FDC, and she took on Connie Galiwango for the Mbale woman MP Seat. There is also anticipation that Mbale might be elevated to city status in which case two constituencies will be created so that Wokuri, who is married to a wealthy doctor working in Botswana, takes one of them and the other goes to another FDC colleague since the party commands big support in Mbale.
Failure to unite warring factions in her own DP Luwero district caused her tenure as Luwero woman MP to be short-lived having come through a by-election that followed Rebecca Nalwanga’s ousting by court. In 2016 general elections she lost to NRM’s Eng Lillian Nakate largely because she had sharp differences with Erasto Kibirango, an influential DP figure in Luwero. Nabukenya backed Luwero T/C Mayor Sebyala who competed with official DP candidate Kibirango. The bickering split the opposition vote and NRM’s Ronald Ndawula devoured both of them in the ballot box. Nabukenya is now planning to return to reclaim her seat against Nakate. But the same Nabukenya is understood to as well still be oscillating between Abraham Byandala’s Katikamu North and Ronald Kibule’s Mukono North where she built a house sometime back. She could also take advantage of Luwero Municipality in case it’s created ahead of 2021 because there is a lot of clamoring for it from Luwero NRM leaders each time they meet Museveni. It will result from the elevation of Luwero Town Council which currently is part of Katikamu North which Byandala has represented since ousting James Kinobe in 2006.
He is riding on many factors to market himself as a better choice for Usuk County MP job including the fact that his grandfather Mzee Augustine Otuko was a World War II veteran and tutor at Soroti Technical School (now Teso College Aloet). Otuko Jr was born in Ocorimongin IDP camp which was the largest during the anti-NRA madness in Teso. His community suffered war and cattle rustling by the K’jongs. Younger Otuko went to Katakwi P/S and Katakwi High School before joining MUBS for his Business Administration degree. It was at MUBS that he became politically active and made contacts that continue propelling him to higher heights. He was always very outspoken against injustice, a thing that caused him to be misunderstood for a diehard opposition supporter whereas not. In fact he works with the NRM Secretariat in Nakasero Plot 10 Kyaddondo road as a research officer. In his 2nd year at MUBS, Otuko led a strike that forced management to back off the compulsory imposition of medical fees on continuing students. Otuko was suspended and reinstated a year later to complete his BBA. But that was after winning the war against compulsory medical fees as the governing council investigated and saw his point. On reinstatement, Otuko became more popular and threatened winning the guild race for the NRM but was technically disqualified from the race because of the earlier strike. At MUBS, he was famous for bringing NRM heavyweights for public debates to politicize students in the Museveni philosophy. While at campus, Otuko also chaired TESDA which unites Itesot students. TESDA gave him a platform to call news conferences to advocate for the victims of mass floods that hit Katakwi and other parts of Teso. He never forgot his people in Katakwi and often persuaded MUBS management to surrender the School bus for students to go do outreach programs aimed at strengthening floods victims and people confined in IDP camps. The overriding message was sensitizing them on the importance of educating their children. People living in Katakwi Sub County’s Ocorimongin, Obulengorok, Acanga and Ocwin IDP camps in Ngariam Sub County benefited most. He was first formally recruited at the NRM Secretariat during the days JPAM was SG and Otuko was under the NRM National Campaign Coordination Team (NCCT) that women league chairperson Jaqueline Mbabazi coordinated in 2011 election period. Otuko’s credentials as NRM cadre have kept growing and besides the national assignment at Kyaddondo, he currently chairs the Katakwi NRM Youth League. At Kyaddondo he does mostly research for the party and directly reports to the SG’s office. Riding on his own story overcoming great adversity from great obscurity to a successful career as a University student leader, Otuko has been actively inspiring youngsters in rural Katakwi not to despise themselves because they too can make it. He is currently pursuing his MBA at UMI. He spent much of last year’s last quarter (Oct-Dec) traversing schools to give inspirational talks and giving out mathematical sets and other scholastic materials all aimed at popularizing his 2021 MP bid against indomitable Peter Ogwang the Usuk incumbent. The undertaking is estimated to have cost the not so very rich Otuko not less than Shs15m. Otuko is also involved with an initiative called “Gurudumu Ya Mabadiliko” [meaning The Wheel of transformation] and its volunteers preach the achievability of President Museveni’s 4 acre economic transformation model. Gurudumu has so far delivered 144 dairy heifers from NAADS, 5000 bags of cassava cuttings, 30,000 Citrus seedlings, 2000 iron sheets and 2000 bags of improved Animal grass [for the poor youth] which Otuko is using to further popularize himself as a suitable Ogwang replacement in Usuk. In 2016, he was critical in Ogwang’s election campaign becoming Usuk MP after defeating Jessica Alupo-backed Proscovia Elangot and it remains unclear why the two good friends fell out.
The DP political veteran is famously remembered for mobilizing other KCCA councilors at City Hall to impeach Erias Lukwago because it’s what powerful people like Jennifer Musisi, Frank Tumwebaze, President Museveni and the State House machinery wanted. Kigonya (who is very combative to the extent that she one time thumped MP Moses Kasibante in a Natete super market as her friends like Stella Mukiibi cheered) now wants to become the DP candidate for Rubaga Division Mayorship currently occupied by CBS Director Joyce Sebugwawo who remains very formidable. Kigonya was among the DP diehards who last Tuesday cheered at City House as Norbert Mao received powerful defectors like Abed Bwanika and Mike Mabikke. It will be a toll order for her to be accepted by voters who remain angry at her treachery against Lukwago during the NRM-sponsored impeachment proceedings. Even within DP, she faces others like Mberaze and big man Sam Lubega Mukaku who too is being urged by some people to go for the Rubaga Municipality Seat.
Longah, who works as a Private Secretary to the President in State House, has his eyes on Makindye East MP Seat currently held by Ibrahim Kasozi of the FDC party though many see him as a potential defector to Muntu’s New Formation. Longah has previously considered Moyo West MP Seat only to be persuaded by the President not to disturb his fellow elder Moses Ali. Longah has a strong grip on NRM structures in the area meaning if he ever throws his hat in the ring, he will easily scoop the NRM ticket. Even in government agencies, he is a well networked mobilizer mentored by Moses Byaruhanga who for many years has been Museveni’s chief political strategist.
He is popularly known as Omujugujugu who in 2016 rode on the famine disaster to make JPAM’s NRM Poor Youth Movement very popular in Isingiro before eventually defecting to Museveni’s NRM after being lured by Kayihura-supervised Crime Preventers boss Blaise Kamugisha. Omujugujugu wants to become the Isingiro County South MP replacing long serving Alex Byarugaba Bakunda. Since defecting from JPAM, media savvy Omujugujugu has had audience and reconciliation meetings with many NRM leaders including the all-powerful party chairman YK Museveni. This means his chances to get the NRM flag (which is all one needs in politically docile constituencies like Isingiro) won’t be hard for the young activist. Byarugaba’s long and not very outstanding incumbency has created political fatigue among voters all of which favors Omujugujugu.
He is the incumbent chairman for NRM youth league and hails from the Nubian community in Bombo TC. Gaddafi, who was very outspoken during the Togikwatako campaign before State House rehabilitated him into silence, hails from a place called Kigege in Katikamu North and no doubt has his eyes on Byandala’s constituency too. The political grapevine has it that Luwero LC5 Chairman Ronald Ndawula of NRM also wants this same MP seat because it’s doubtable he can secure re-election as LC5 Chairman. The feuding between his Everest College and neighboring schools has greatly diminished his popularity.
This NRM publicist is a communications specialist of long standing and therefore doesn’t require much introduction. He became NRM Communications Officer following the elevation of Ofwono Opondo to head the Media Center. Mulindwa had prior to that participated in the organizing of the NRM National Conference at Namboole on the eve of Museveni-Mbabazi fall out. Mulindwa has in the past been many things including being a reporter, bureau chief and eventually education affairs editor for Monitor newspaper having been mentored by Kevin Aliro and David Ouma Balikowa-DOB. He started out his politics as the Luwero district youth councilor whereafter he represented Wobulenzi Town Council in Nadduli’s LC5 Council. In previous elections, he is among those who religiously supported and campaigned for Abraham Byandala who has been Katikamu North MP since 2006. In 2016, Byandala indicated this was his last term but recently made a U-turn and showed unprecedented levels of political appetite to stay on. Whereas many of the other campaigners, who had been warming up to replace the big man, became cowed and postponed their ambitions fearing to wrangle with the incumbent, Rogers Mulindwa is thick-skinned enough and is determined to lock horns with Byandala come 2021. We impeccably confirmed that, whereas he has his eyes on Katikamu North the way it is, Mulindwa is using his deep connections in both State House and NRM party to have Luwero Town Council cut off from Katikamu North to become a Municipality. That would get the opposition trouble causers out of the way and thereby increasing Mulindwa’s chances to enter Parliament representing the remainder of the rural Sub Counties. In insisting to run, Mulindwa is motivated by the fact that Byandala, who used never to miss church and other social gatherings, is these days very invisible in the constituency. Whereas many knew him mostly as FUFA publicist and Bulemezi FC Manager for Mengo’s Masaza Cup, Mulindwa has an illustrious career in political leadership before making it to national level. In 1998-2001, he was Katikamu County youth chairman and later deputized Rose Namayanja as youth chair for the former big Luwero district that covered Nakasongora, Nakaseke and current Luwero itself. That makes him a tested leader. In 2014 when he was team manager, Bulemezi won Masaza Cup for the first time in the Mengo-sponsored County tournament. Having spoken for FUFA for 8 years, Mulindwa made many contacts in the sports fraternity. His network goes as far as being the 1st scribe to sit on CECAFA media committee along with Charles Masembe and Dr. Sekajigo. Even when Wobulenzi TC is an opposition stronghold, Mulindwa is personally popular there being former district councilor. When he was district secretary for works under Ronald Ndawula (2006-2011), after ganging up against Nadduli, Mulindwa delivered many roads and schools in Katikamu North. His performance in the Luwero district council wasn’t ordinary because in 2010, ACODE named him Uganda’s best district councilor of the year. Second to him was Shifrah Lukwago who then was Speaker for Seya’s KCC. ACODE noticed how well he related with voters and the motions he influenced in the Council. The man from Kakabala village in Katikamu North actually started out as a primary teacher and taught at Wobulenzi Parents School before upgrading to Mulusa Academy where he got money and built his 1st house in Wobulenzi town. He has since accumulated many other academic qualifications and thereby overcoming political foes who used to think he wasn’t sufficiently educated.
He performed very well in the 9th Parliament where he represented Makindye East after replacing Mike Mabikke in 2011 because despite being NRM, he was always very outspoken on matters affecting ordinary voters in the constituency. He was never indifferent and his pro-people outspokenness and pronouncements against corruption caused some in NRM to blacklist him as a JPAM mole. And his absence has created nostalgic feelings among voters which has emboldened him to work harder for possible political come back in 2021. It will all depend on how easily his NRM forces choose to rally behind him as their sole candidate against the opposition that risks deep divisions between incumbent Ibrahim Kasozi and a resurgent Mike Mabikke both of whom profess People Power. The sharp divisions between the two opposition giants and others yet to emerge/declare will inevitably smoothen things for Ssimbwa whose stellar performance in plenary and committee sessions was recently publicly testified upon by FDC’s Semujju Nganda who said despite being NRM, Ssimbwa was one of the best performers he had at the time he chaired COSASE.
He works as Assistant Commissioner in the URA where he is well paid but that hasn’t prevented him from menacingly looking at Edward Sembatya’s Nakaseke South MP Seat. He is the man who took NRM’s Sembatya to court on grounds of inadequate academic qualifications, the very reason the otherwise very popular Sembatya has been sleepless for the last two years. Reliable sources say that the only way Museveni can help Sembatya overcome Muwanga is by influencing things at URA for the latter to be elevated and confirmed as a full commissioner. A simple survey done by this news website during our visit to the area some time back shows that, whereas Muwanga has significant support especially from the 5 Catholic Parishes in the constituency, Anglican Sembatya remains hugely popular and in the whole of Luwero he is only 2nd to JC Muyingo in terms of popularity. Just like Muyingo, Sembatya is so much involved in community works whereby he supports SACCOs and farmers with things like free coffee seedlings.
The controversially very outspoken Makerere law don and FDC founder member recently went public about his desire to represent the people of Mawokota South in the 11th Parliament. For years now, Nsibambi has been a regular panelist on CBS’ Saturday very popular political show called Parliament Yaffe which is hosted by equally popular presenter Med Nsereko Sebuliba who has previously aided many other budding politicians to join Parliament. The list of those who have used his programs to market themselves politically is endless including the likes of Hussein Kyanjo, Beti Kamya, Semujju Nganda, Ibrahim Kasozi, Mohammed Nsereko, Betty Nambooze and many others. Mawokota South is currently represented by JB Lubyayi of NRM and initiatives like spearheading fundraising for Nkozi hospital have endeared Nsibambi to many area residents regardless of religion. Nsibambi also has a huge tiles’ manufacturing business at his native Nkozi village which employs many area residents. It’s understood that, despite being an FDC stalwart, Nsibambi stands to benefit from the entire People Power Movement but that will be after overcoming Sam Lubega Mukaku who claims to wield more influence in Bobi Wine’s inner circles. Nsibambi’s NRM-leaning relative Kenneth Kiyingi Bbosa (Lubyayi’s predecessor) is understood to be preparing to abandon his Red Cross job in the US to seek reelection in 2021. He had acquired American citizenship but that hasn’t satisfied him enough not to seek reelection.
The long-serving Mbale Municipality female Councilor representing Nkooma Ward is having her eyes on the Mbale Municipality MP Seat currently occupied by FDC strongman Wamanga Wamai. Wamai has served since 2008 when he first became MP in the by-election that followed Wilfred Kajeke’s controversial resignation just two years into his MP term. Namuwenge, who in 2011 tried to become a youth MP but eventually ended up being among those Monica Amoding defeated, is these days involved in private business in Kampala having acrimoniously relocated from Mbale following the humiliating defeat by a little known local elderly woman who floored her in 2016. Namuwenge confirmed to this news website that she is deeply interested in the seat and her supporters believe she is the best thing NRM can front against the otherwise deeply entrenched FDC camp.
The Energy Minister currently has no constituency having lost her Bulambuli Woman MP Seat in 2016 to fellow NRM member Sarah Wekomba. In relation to 2021, a number of options are openly available to amiable Irene Muloni. These include running for Sironko woman MP or even to reclaim Bulambuli since the current MP Sarah Wekomba has disappointed many sober-minded NRM cadres who are disgusted with many things including her close collaboration with FDC strongmen Nandala Mafabi and Isaiah Sasaga, the ex-Budadiri East MP. This favors Muloni because apart from herself, Wekomba doesn’t easily face any other formidable challenger. The other option that is temptingly available for Muloni is to run against Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi whose invincibility isn’t as high as it used to be. These days the Bugisu-wide political clout Nandala once commanded has since shifted to Nambeche the very outspoken Manjiya County MP. The voter political fatigue that naturally follows prolonged incumbency has apparently caught up with Nandala already (has been MP for close to 20 years). The fall out with colleagues like Sasaga too has naturally hurt Nandala Mafabi’s political ratings in Sironko. For comments, call/text/whatsapp us on 0703164755.