By Our Reporters
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 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 renowned NRM mobilizer works with NRM Secretariat in Kampala and for the purposes of 2021, his eyes are on Dakabela County MP Seat in Soroti district. In the NRM politics he has been mentored by the likes of Mike Mukula and some of the party mobilization assignments he has handled have related to Toroma by-elections, Bobi’s Kyaddondo East, EALA and more recently Kapelebyong. Coordinating the so-called Pentagon Command Center at Social Security House, Eseru was heavily involved in Capt Mukula’s reelection as NRM Vice Chairman Eastern region. A social media enthusiast, Eseru is well networked within NRM circles in Teso sub region. Through Mukula he has created lots of rapport with NRM CEC heavyweights. His startup political capital in the race for Dakabela relates to the fact that Arapai Sub County, his home turf, is heavily populated. And Dakabela is one of the Soroti district Counties where Museveni’s support and that of NRM is highest. Arapai residents are known for their pride having produced giants like Col William Omaria (powerful Obote II minister) in whose home the likes of Musa Ecweru grew. Eseru’s 2021 coordination office is located in Aloet where many of the incumbent’s campaign agents have been flocking to announce their defection. These defectors are mostly from the sub counties of Tubuk, Katine and Arapai. Using his Kampala connections, Eseru recently lobbied for the training of some key incumbent’s agents in Kabalye Police Training School Masindi district. He is understood to be getting funding from one of his relatives who operates a lucrative private hospital in Hoima. His fellow residents in Ajijim Balang Village Aloet Parish in Arapai Sub County have vowed to kill their son with votes initially in NRM primaries and eventually in Justice Simon Byabakama’s general elections.
The influential PA to Sam Kutesa doesn’t need much introduction: he is NRM and has his eyes on Kasambya County in Mubende whose incumbent Gaffa Mbwatekamwa recently realized the heat was too much and announced early retirement come 2021. This has increased the chances for Kabanda who is backed by State House and many heavyweights in the NRM party whose SG Kasule Lumumba is his mentor and close ally.
The Nkoba zambogo veteran leader has his eyes on Muyanja Mbabali’s Bukoto South MP Seat in Lwengo which Dr. Abed Bwanika is also considering for 2021. There are high chances Kizza will finally overcome the political curse that tormented him in 2011 (lost Buganda youth MP despite being a Mengo activist) and in 2016 when he miserably lost Rubaga North Councillorship to a competitor from FDC. In 2011, Kizza flocked with Ssuubi 2011 and with JPAM’s Go Forward in 2016. Critics have always depended on such political behavior to criticize him for being inconsistent and too much of an opportunist never sticking with one political grouping. Clearly this bad perception is something he must overcome as he goes into 2021 for which he has prepared by increasing his political activism in the Greater Masaka sub region.
JANE FRANCIS OKILI
She is married in Amuru where she has previously stood as NRM flag bearer but was defeated by the FDC candidate Lucy. She has now relocated back home in Teso to become woman MP for Kaberamaido whose incumbent Veronica Isara she wants to replace. Okili is these days very visible and vocal at community events in Bukedea, something that has greatly frightened Isara.
The former education minister is now the thing in Katakwi which she wants to reclaim from incumbent woman MP Violet Akurut Adome who painted her as Mbabazi mole and got the votes in 2016. Akurut also benefited from then IGP Kale Kayihura loyalists who were actively anti-Alupo in 2016. Gen Kale never liked Alupo because she was a good friend of Gen Aronda Nyakayirima with whom he used to compete for the President’s attention and favors. This past weekend, the resurgent Alupo led a delegation of local council leaders for a political meeting with Mzee in Kisozi. These are leaders who are unhappy with Akurut. They like Alupo for her generosity and when she was still MP, she always provided for their material needs. Alupo is also organizing a major thanks giving event in Katakwi at which Museveni is expected to be chief guest. It’s on that day that she is expected to officially announce her ambition to rejoin Parliament. Museveni has already boosted her efforts by facilitating her to do his clandestine political assignments in Teso.
He is the NRM Katakwi district youth chairman and works with NRM Headquarters in Kampala. He is eyeing Usuk County MP Seat currently held by Peter Ogwang. Being youth chairman has given Mr. Otuku significant startup political capital. Ogwang is perhaps stronger now than before because as Parliamentary Commissioner, he has access to greater resources and connections than before. The Itesots recently liked him even more when they learnt of his efforts to save Parliament’s Director Communications Chris Obore who Speaker Kadaga doesn’t want anymore. It was Ogwang who mobilized others during a Parliamentary Commission meeting to stand up to Kadaga and thereby postponing Obore’s exit from the lucrative position. In fact this decision somehow cost Ogwang as things have never been the same again between him and Kadaga who is renowned for being very combative when pushing for matters she has taken decision on.
He wants to oust Ngora County MP David Aballa come 2021. Olupot is NRM and wants to tackle the incumbent first in the NRM party primaries before heading for general elections. During the Christmas holiday, Olupot drove to the village and gave out thousands of calendars to almost all households in Ngora, something that has increased his visibility and unsettled Aballa.
He is back to the trenches of Kyaddondo east trying to capitalize on the few mistakes Bobi Wine, the incumbent, might have made. Kantinti recently told Mulengera news he was ready to reclaim his seat whether Bobi Wine returns or not. He says he is now politically better-organized having learnt from his past mistakes and says Bobi’s departure will increase his 2021 chances though Nkunyingi Muwadda (renowned for his consistence) is saying the same thing.
He has been a leading NRM mobilizer in Kampala Central division where his efforts at getting elected have so far not been successful. This has prompted his decision to consider Mityana North in the hope he can oust long serving MP Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi who is also tourism Minister. Nsegumire is brother to Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi who belongs to Gen Mugisha Muntu’s New Formation. Renowned for his love for fast cars and owning prime properties in the city, Nsegumire blames his political woes in the Central Division on MP Muhammad Nsereko who he says connived with DP’s Charles Serunjogi to rig him out in 2016. He went up to Court of Appeal and failed to make his case. He now lives with Serunjogi’s legal bill which he must pay before effectively mobilizing in Mityana.
GEORGE OWANYI AKWAN
He is the man NRM is counting on to rout out long serving Kasilo County MP Elijah Okupa in 2021.
He works as GM for GT Bank in Kampala and he is determined to accomplish the mission he started on in 2016 when he narrowly lost to Okupa. The incumbent is now at his weakest because even his core support of opposition diehards is not something he can count on anymore as many are angry at his reluctance to embrace POA (a fellow Itesot) as new FDC president. Some are demoralized by growing perception that Okupa isn’t hostile to NRM like before. He has been the only surviving FDC MP in Serere following the irredeemable political demise of Alice Alaso in 2016. She lost her woman MP post to Hellen Adoa whose performance has impressed it upon voters that it’s materially rewarding to elect people who are openly NRM. Alaso is trying to bounce back but it’s going to be a toll order because of the way Adoa has consolidated her grass root support through generously helping needy people in the community which Alaso used not to do.
He wants to oust Serere County MP Bishop Patrick Okabe who won’t be easy to uproot partly because of his clout as Chairman Teso Parliamentary Group. Having overcome the FDC predecessor in court, Okabe has been consolidating himself on the ground and uprooting him isn’t going to be easy.
The National female youth MP was recently in Dakaleba trying to test her popularity for the Soroti Woman MP Seat which she intends to go for in 2021. She is on the independent ticket and her good performance as youth MP has made millions of young people very proud. She is FDC-leaning and unlike fellow MPs from Teso, she hasn’t been openly very hostile to POA. Going for Soroti Municipality is also still a possibility open to her. As national female youth MP, her constituency is the largest (whole country) earning her over Shs80m per month but the biggest challenge is she has had to financially support her jobless step-mum Alice Alaso who lost her MP seat in 2016. Alaso also expensively lost the court battle to Hellen Adoa who slapped her with high court costs (over Shs800m). At some point, Alaso became so desperate with the court case and was approached by some Baferes suggesting to bribe the Justices of the Court of Appeal. She gratefully ignored them.
The young lawyer belongs to JEEMA and hails from Namulesa Mafubira Sub County in Butembe County (Jinja district) whose incumbent Nelson Lufafa he wants to replace in 2021. He works with Barenzi & Co Advocates in Kampala. Former area MP Daudi Migereko too continues to be urged by some residents to consider running again. Mr. Kasalirwe is among those young JEEMA diehards that continue to be inspired by Asuman Basalirwa’s victory in Bugiri.
She is the Secretary General for International Muslim Women Union (IMWU) in charge of Eastern and Central Africa. She previously stood for Mukono woman MP but now has her eyes on Bukoto Mid West MP Seat in Lwengo district whose incumbent is Kasozi Muyomba. Her party is JEEMA and is currently completing her master’s degree in education management and administration at IUIU having initially qualified as a graduate teacher at Makerere University.
She is a city lawyer who is determined to capture the Bugweri district Woman MP Seat for JEEMA. She is already traversing villages marketing herself ahead of the pioneer woman MP elections. She faces Mercy Walukamba and NRM’s Racheal Magoola. Bugweri is one area where the Asuman Basalirwa Bugiri (People Power) euphoria is most felt.
He has his eyes on Katikamu County North MP Seat currently held by frail Ibrahim Byandala. Ndawula is currently the LC5 Chairman Luwero district and he is very close to Gen Salim Saleh, a thing that has given him a lot of clout. He is always delivering disgruntled NRM cadres to Saleh’s command base in Mutundwe where they are economically rehabilitated. He is also used by Saleh to spy on area opinion leaders regarding who is suitable for appointment or retention in the cabinet. This has resulted into Ndawula’s influence growing in the association uniting LC5 Chairpersons from Buganda region. Ndawula’s biggest problem are the misunderstandings with woman MP Eng Lillian Nakate whose election in 2016 he greatly influenced. Nakate accuses Ndawula of undermining him by being the chief promoter of a young lady who wants her seat come 2021 on the NRM ticket.
He works with the ICT Ministry as part of the team running the Government Citizens Interaction Center (GCIC). The young man wants to become the next MP for Bukoto Midwest in Lwengo district come 2021. The incumbent is Kasozi Muyomba. Bahikire hails from Ndagwe Sub County. Muyomba’s strong support for the retention of the mobile money tax has fertilized the ground for the likes of Bahikire because the incumbent fears the constituency and of late a vacuum of sorts have been deepening. Muyomba’s predecessor Isaac Sejjoba has also been sharpening his knife and his biggest selling point is the fact that Muyomba strongly supported the lifting of term limits, a thing a significant fraction of Lwengo voters didn’t like. Bahikire has lately intensified his appearances on radio talk shows which has endeared him to many voters being a new entrant.
She is the younger sister to Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa and has her eyes on Bugiri woman MP Seat currently held by Agnes Taaka of the NRM party. She hails from a place called Namukonge Bugodo in Bugiri and has a master’s degree in Public Administration and Management.
He is formerly a journalist with UBC and now works with NIRA as a registration officer on the mass ID enrollment exercise and is stationed in the Toro sub region. The NRM diehard has his eyes on Central region youth MP Seat currently held by Kityo Babirye who the young people say has no work. Many say they can’t wait for 2021 to see off Babirye after all Mutesasira, who wants to replace her, is the man who famously challenged her 2016 elections in court on grounds she was too old to represent youths.
The current head teacher Natete Muslim SS, Mr. Sebunya is having his eyes on Kyaddondo North/now Nansana Municipality which is currently held by Kasule Sebunya who came through Justice Steven Kavuma’s court judgment and replaced very popular Nsereko Wakayima without even a by-election being held. He is a diehard supporter of JEEMA.
Mzee Muhammad Mugoya’s son wants to represent Bukhooli Central in Parliament. This is what FDC strong man Wafula Ogutu used to represent in the 9th Parliament and it’s one of the areas where the Basalirwa People Power euphoria is felt most in Busoga sub region. The JEEMA aspirant has a degree in agriculture from Kyambogo University and is among those greatly inspired by Asuman Basalirwa’s win.
SHIFAH WALAKIRA NANYANZI
She belongs to JEEMA and is being prepared to gun for Luwero Woman MP on the People Power platform whose formation JEEMA greatly influenced. Her late father was a top cleric in Luwero district. She studied at Nabisunsa Girls School whereafter she joined Makerere in 2000 and in 2005 graduated as a graduate teacher with a degree in education. She has always been very active politically to the extent that for long she was the vice chairperson for MULSA which unites Mak campusers from Luwero. She has since 2004 worked as a teacher at Kitante Hill School and lectured at Kampala University before working for Family Comfort Foundation. She is duly married and resident in Mbalwa Kiira Municipality in Wakiso district.
The Mityana LC5 chairman has since 2001 been trying to join Parliament as MP Busujju County but was always being overcome by then Museveni minister Vincent Nyanzi. At some point the race between the two became so bloody, people lost lives on being shot by some of the Minister’s stalwarts. Luzige, who is understood to have built some clout using the LC5 platform, is having his eyes on the new Busujju Constituency going to result from the splitting of the current Busujju now represented by David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga, a controversial figure who eventually defeated Nyanzi in 2016. Nyanzi too is back to the trenches and claims he is the one who lobbied and persuaded Museveni to grant the new constituency in Busujju. In case he doesn’t go after Nyanzi directly, Luzige who hails from Malangala Sub County could as well face off with Kalwanga who (despite professing people power) continues to be weakened by the activities of a DP group led by Mukambwe Lukonge. This group has been obtaining recordings of Kalwanga, who falsely claims to be opposition-leaning, attending and cheerfully contributing during the ruling NRM strategy meetings convened by Mityana North’s Godfrey Kiwanda who too faces a resurging Gordon Sematiko. In the recordings, Kalwanga is clearly heard bragging about being in secret talks with President Museveni and thanks Kiwanda for connecting him to the big man. Luzige will also have to overcome Woman MP Judith Nabakooba who has lately been fighting him openly even when they both profess to be NRM diehards. Nabakooba argues that Luzige should never be elected again because he has been overtaxing voters and the poor landlords in Mityana. Luzige in return accuses Nabakooba of riding on his programs to seek new relevancy and acceptance after voters cursed her for voting yes to lifting age limit when they had clearly instructed her to vote no. This feuding in the NRM camp could favor the rapidly rising opposition to wipe the bus candidates out in 2021.
MARIAM NAKATO KIYEGA
She is eyeing Nakifuuma County MP Seat which the CBS funny man Patricko Mujjuka is also menacingly looking at. The incumbent is Engineer Kafeero Sekitoleko renowned for his strong support for Museveni’s right to rule until he dies. For the startup political capital, Nakato is banking on the legacy of her father Sheikh Yusuf Kiyega Ssalongo who for long served as Nakifuuma County Sheikh. She holds a diploma in IT from Datamine Technical Institute having previously studied at Mpenja SS. Before relocating to business, Mariam worked with UBOS as a software designer.
AHMED BIGALI KAWEESA
He belongs to Asuman Basalirwa’s Justice Forum and has his eyes on becoming Mayor Mpigi Town Council in 2021.
Besides being a vastly propertied city tycoon and an active Rotarian, spontaneously sociable Dr. Nkonge works in State House in the land directorate headed by Mrs. Gertrude Njuba. She has her eyes on Lwengo woman MP Seat which she controversially lost to Cissy Namujju in 2016. Nkonge’s supporters took Namujju to court on grounds of forgery their argument being that she was operating on clearly forged academic documents which is an offence under the Penal Code. Namujju got a political breather when DPP Mike Chibita controversially withdrew the charges on grounds the State had lost interest in the case. Nkonge got so bitter that at some point stumbled on Chibita at one of the President’s functions and attacked him using words we can’t even repeat here. A humiliated Chibita just looked at her and walked away. It’s widely believed that the moment highly qualified Nkonge accomplishes the mission of becoming Lwengo woman MP, as long as Museveni is still President, she will be assured of scooping a juicy cabinet slot most likely that of Vice President which Museveni is always pleased to give to a Muganda Catholic from Masaka.
The JEEMA stalwart has done very well as Bukomansimbi LC5 Chairman and after 10 years in that position, he believes 2021 is the time for him to move on and serve at the national level. The truth is Kateregga, whose transformative leadership has inspired many young people, is increasingly being urged by supporters to run for Bukomansimbi MP North seat currently held by not so very popular Ruth Katushabe of the NRM party. He is a record maker because he was the first openly opposition politician to win an LC5 Seat in rural Buganda as early as 2011. The Jude Mbabalis of DP have come much later joining Wakiso’s Matia Lwanga Bwanika and Kampala’s Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. When he finally runs for the MP Seat for his JEEMA party, Kateregga will give the Katushabes a run for their money because his track record as LC5 chairman has demonstrated to people the extent to which he can be very effective in lobbying for development. Using his connections in the Muslim world, Kateregga has brought lots of tangible development and transformation to Bukomansimbi especially in the fields of health and education service delivery. He has also done a lot in the roads sector to the extent that many wonder how an opposition LC5 chairman can cause so much transformation when even his NRM counterparts in the surrounding districts can’t achieve even a fraction for their people.
The former CBS Evening Cruise (showbiz/entertainment) presenter for 14 years plunged into politics in 2013 when she cheerfully accepted President Museveni’s appointment to serve as deputy RDC for her native Mbale district. She took this as an opportunity to reciprocate the NRM inspiration by serving the local community in her native Elgon. The 40 year old experienced communicator and NRM cadre (mentored by UBC’s Owen Kibenge) hails from Manafwa district where her ancestry is but politically qualifies to stand for woman MP Mbale district because it’s where her late father Maj David Douglas Watuwa gave birth to her, built his personal house and established a family and businesses as he served as an officer in Obote II’s army. As Deputy RDC Mbale, youth-friendly Watuwa (she once proclaimed they own her) had easily mingled with the ordinary people whose problems she always attended to. This, combined with humility, versatile personality and the very successful Wimpe Restaurant (family business left by her father), made her very popular with the grass root people to the extent of beginning developing political interests in becoming the area female legislator in the 11th Parliament. Indeed the NRM enthusiast hasn’t been shy about her 2021 political ambitions which she has disclosed to a few trusted stalwarts. Born on 18th January 1978, Pamela Watuwa is the 2nd born among 9 siblings birthed by late Maj. Watuwa and Constance Watuwa, a Munyankole businesswoman in Mbale town. Watuwa attended Nkoyoyo Boarding P/S Matale, St Joseph Nsambya (for O’level) and Tororo Girls School (for A’level). She graduated from Makerere with a degree in Development Studies. Despite being linked to a sports philanthropist who is also a Zambia-based investor in roads construction, Watuwa officially maintains to be married to an absentee husband with whom she has two children. She met this guy while working at CBS. One of the senior and long term presenters is a great friend of this philanthropist and it’s through him that Watuwa is understood to have met the father of her two children to whom she isn’t officially married. In Mbale, Watuwa’s supporters felt even more emboldened when the incumbent Connie Galiwango obeyed what she called voters’ wishes and voted no to the lifting of age limits last December. The Watuwa supporters believe this will boost their efforts to demonize Connie before the NRM leadership in Kampala and use that to justify future NRM electoral violence against her. It seems Watuwa’s supporters underestimated the Galiwangos’ capability to occasion mischief. Within no time after it became public that Pamela Watuwa was developing political ambitions, the Galiwangos struck in a manner that left Watuwa politically crippled. An announcement came unexpectedly requiring Watuwa to hand over the Mbale office (she first occupied in 2013) and prepare to relocate to new Kyotera district to start out a new life as the pioneer RDC there. This clearly took her away from Mbale and erased all the momentum she was beginning to ferment in the community to oust Connie Galiwango in 2021. Ester Mbayo is the Presidency Minister directly in charge of the RDCs and their deployment. Watuwa’s jittery supporters to this day claim that the Galiwangos’ (one of whose mothers is from Busoga) might have pleaded with Mbayo to come to their rescue and help them overcome Watuwa that way. But being a very determined prayerful lady with a lot of State House backing, Watuwa hasn’t given up her dream. Sources say that, assured of support of great friends like SC Villa’s wealthy Ben Misaga, Watuwa is determined to keep her political dream alive and believes it will be her to accomplish what Lydia Wanyoto failed in 2016 by being the super political lady to eventually see off Connie Galiwango who is currently considered to be politically much more weakened than was the case 2-3 years ago when she trounced Lydia Wanyoto.
He is a flamboyant city lawyer who is renowned for his diehard support for Dr. Kizza Besigye. Galinsonga has his eyes on Bugweri County because it’s where his Busembatia ancestral home falls. To many he is the natural FDC flag bearer come 2021 for that Bugweri County MP Seat taking over from Abdul Katuntu who is bowing out in 2021 (after serving for 20 years).
He is an NRM diehard who in 2016 defeated Kirunda Kivejinja to become flag bearer. The challenge he put up almost sent Katuntu into premature political retirement. He works with UMEME and back then in 2016, money wasn’t his problem. He had just won a massive contract with UMEME and is understood to have invested not less than Shs2bn in that election. Katuntu almost drowned but managed to defeat him with just 400 votes which Ibare says resulted from vote-rigging by the incumbent’s camp. Things were never the same for Katuntu who had to defend his win in three courts petitioned by Daniel Ibare who fought him all the way to the Court of Appeal where the Justices held in Katuntu’s favor. Ibare hails from Butenkayire in Bunyantole parish Ibulanku Sub County and he mainly faces two big challenges. One is the hostility from the NRM faction loyal to Mzee KK and the other is Katuntu’s court fees which he hasn’t yet paid. His opponents hope Katuntu tactfully moves to enforce the recovery of his costs on the nominations eve. It’s about Shs150m and it covers costs from Magistrate, High Court and CoA. It’s a constituency of 75,000 voters and, with a divided opposition, Ibare doesn’t need much to cruise to Parliament in 2021.
Despite professing DP, this youthful politician intends to join the 11th Parliament on the independent ticket come 2021. He has his eyes on Nansana Municipality currently held by NRM’s Kasule Sebunya who was controversially brought in by court following the ousting of Nsereko Wakayima. In 2016, then aged 23 years Luyinda stood for Makerere Guild President but didn’t win. In 2017, aged just 24, he offered himself for the EALA slot on the independent ticket. He famously composed a campaign song (Luyinda Fred can do) for his Makerere campaigns and this was the first time a guild contender was campaigning with an official song. At Makerere, he was Speaker Nsibirwa Hall and also president of the Procurement Students Association. He read BBA and these days, he is a celebrity of sorts because as a budding recording musician, he regularly performs at introduction and wedding ceremonies in the Nansana area. His Luyinda Community Foundation does charity and the young man is beginning to impact on the ghetto youths in areas like Busukuma Division which is part of the Nansana Municipality. In all he does, his role model is Bobi Wine who inspires him both musically and politically.
The sports equipment dealer has lately been very active in Nansana Municipality especially in the rural Gombe-Busukuuma Division where his charity programs mostly in primary schools have enthused voters. Katumwa wants to oust area MP Kasule Sebunya of the NRM come 2021. Its not readily clear which party formation will he be contesting on though he has lately been edging closer to Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago who is one of the influential kingmakers in the politics of the greater Kampala hinterland. Sources close to him say that Katumwa, a veteran city tycoon, is venturing into politics because business isn’t going very well for him anymore following the South Sudan chaos that left him struggling with pending commercial bank obligations.For comments, call/text/whatsapp us on 0703164755.