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By Mulengera Reporters 

We (as Mulengera News) endured a lot of the usual social media haranguing sometime back when we reported that power brokers in NUP were considering fronting Joel Senyonyi (the Nakawa West MP) for the position of Kampala Lord Mayorship come 2026. The NUP calculation is that Senyonyi, whose COSASE is currently the most vibrant and effective of the opposition-led accountability committees, will have built more than enough clout to successfully compete at that level. Taking over after the indomitable Erias Lukwago, who thumped NUP‘s Nabillah Nagayi and has set the bar so high when it comes to being public-spirited and incorruptible, won’t be easy and gratefully, the brain workers in NUP seem to be very much aware of that fact.

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It remains unclear whether Erias Lukwago, who first became Lord Mayor in 2011, will be seeking reelection or not come 2026. In case he bows out, as many think he will, there will be a glaring vacuum especially from the opposition as to who must come next after him. It’s widely believed among the NUP power brokers that Joel Senyonyi can muscle the necessary pedigree to fit into Erias Lukwago‘s larger than life shoes. And the high political moral standards (of being incorruptible) the indomitable politician from Kabungo has set in the Kampala politics.

Inside NUP, there are two former Lukwago proteges who initially had exhibited appetite to replace their mentor and these are Kawempe Mayor Emmanuel Serunjogi Oweddembe and Makindye Mayor Ali Nganda Mulyanyama who, up to this day, continues to hope against hope that Kamwokya will front him yet in actual truth they won’t. The man Bobi Wine, the infallible Principal who is also the owner of NUP, wants for that role is none other than his protege Joel Senyonyi who is considered insider enough and way much better educated, even more polished, than the streetwise Mulyanyama who struggles to even construct a sentence in the queen’s language.

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Apparently, Kyagulanyi‘s NUP can’t stand another Seya-like embarrassment having such a person in the position of Kampala Lord Mayorship especially coming after someone so eloquent like Erias Lukwago has been. Mulyanyama is also dented by a number of things relating to his political history as a hassler from the ghettoes of Katwe in Makindye Division. He is in his 60s and has opposed Gen Museveni (at least during the day) for more than 30 years. He was a PA to Nasser Sebaggala and is the deal-maker (omugobi wa deal) who lured then Deputy Lord Mayor Suleiman Kidandala into a trap of then IGP Kale Kayihura where he ended up being audio-recorded asking for some money to dust off (okwekubako enfufu).

It’s something he (Mulyanyama) has never credibly explained himself about. Being one who is always cautious about relating with discredited politicians, its understood that Bobi Wine intends to discard or even offload a good number of the Seya-era politicians and Mulyanyama (renowned for comically uttering all Ganda proverbs on Medi Nsereko‘s CBS radio program as opposed to making real points against Gen Museveni) is one of them. The calculation is that, unlike in 2021 when he was rushing to have a list of candidates, in 2026 the political colossus from Magere will have had ample time to adequately scrutnise his candidates.

It’s in that same broader scheme of things that even the likes of elderly politicians namely Betty Nambooze, Muwanga Kivumbi (recently thumped by his own voters), Mathias Mpuuga, Medard Segona, Brenda Nabukenya, Nsereko Wakayima and others will need divine intervention for NUP to retain them as its flag bearers. In fact knowledgeable sources say that the ongoing Kunga Uganda campaign is more about them (veteran politicians opportunistically tying themselves on NUP) than even Gen YK Museveni whose police force has so far not acted brutally towards such meetings.

Sources say the Kunga meetings are being used to identify and recruit new members from whom NUP will get potential new MP candidates to carry its flag come 2026. The Kunga engagements are also being used to create additional visibility for NUP party and raise the political momentum while gauging the popularity of the incumbent leaders both at the MP and local government levels. It’s the initiative of chief mobilizer Fred Nyanzi who once again will be having the last word or a lot of say on who becomes the NUP flag bearers come 2026.

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Officially, the Senyonyi Foundation he unveiled and launched last week is meant to do charity by effecting interventions aimed at improving the health of poor community members who are so poor they cannot afford life’s basics. To make the entire thing seem innocent and phillanthropic, the characteristically very calculative Joel Senyonyi brought charity-spirited Barbie Itungo and not Bobi Wine who is a political leader. Itungo launched it at as Senyonyi‘s wife, who will be the CEO for the Foundation, smiled from ear to ear.

In the presence of the Nakawa Mayor Paul Mugambe, among other local area leaders, it was explained that the Foundation would champion health initiatives, while fundraising from among friends Senyonyi is supposed to have made leveraging on the COSASE role, and that it will be doing work not just in Nakawa Division but in other poor slum neighborhoods of Kampala district.

This (Kampala) is the area the Nakasongola-born Joel Senyonyi will be campaigning in for Lord Mayorship in 2026 and the Foundation will enable him have a presence and some demonstrable impact (relating to the bread and butter issues) felt beyond Nakawa West which is his current area of political jurisdiction. There is much more we could carry on writing about this issue but let’s stop here for now by wishing the best of luck for Lord Mayor aspirant Joel Senyonyi.

We believe that, being one of the most refined cadres NUP currently has, he is simply the best Kamwokya can front to avoid the Nabillah Nagayi-like embarrassment they endured in 2021 when they clearly weren’t prepared for such a race given the high standards Erias Lukwago (who was seeking reelection) had set.-URN (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at




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