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By Our Reporters

Even when our research shows things aren’t politically well for him on the ground, Bukoto South MP Hajji Muyanja Mbabali says he is more than prepared to devour Abed Bwanika like samosa in the ballot box in 2021 when his post will be up for grabs. Mbabali, who considers himself to be very popular, will be seeking reelection to remain one of the three constituency MPs in Lwengo district.  “I’m ready for him and defeating him will be the easiest task to ever be accomplished in my political career,” Mbabali told this news website in an interview. We had called him for his views regarding the early campaigns Bwanika commenced a few days ago with a mobilization tour in Kinoni Township. While in Kinoni in Kiseka Sub County, Bwanika who moved door to door told residents that he wasn’t running for Presidency anymore as his candidate now would be Bobi Wine Kyagulanyi Sentamu of the People Power Movement. Even when he has always trailed and got less than 20 votes even at his own polling station in Kingo Sub County, Bwanika thanked residents for supporting his bid for presidency. “I have always promised you factories, wealth and job creation which Bobi Wine Kyagulanyi Sentamu will be addressing since he will adopting my good manifesto on which I have thrice campaigned for presidency,” Bwanika told local residents. He left behind fliers with his telephone contact. He advised residents to always call him whenever they have a service delivery-related problem. This is ordinarily supposed to have frightened Mbabali because Bwanika, whose campaigns tour was never disrupted was police, is clearly campaigning to become the next Bukoto South MP. The PDP big man has previously implied that uprooting Mbabali will be his 2021 destination so that he joins parliament and serves his people that way. Bwanika told residents not to ask him about PDP anymore but ask him only about People Power because that is the platform under which he will be campaigning between now and 2021.

Bukoto South MP Hajji Muyanja Mbabali


Whereas the DP local leaders are reluctant to endorse Bwanika, and are instead backing one of the late former MP Matia Nsubuga’s sons, Mbabali too won’t easily get reelected. There are lots of undelivered 2016 campaign promises over which voters are unhappy. They include promise to finance SACCO groups which residents formed and registered on his prompting in especially Kinoni Township. During the campaigns Mbabali, who some perceive as arrogant, kept telling voters he had a plan to make all of them as financially successful as himself. He promised job creation and recapitalization of businesses that are already existent. Women and youth groups were formed and they have to this day continued to wait for the money he promised them. Voters are stuck and can’t follow up on the promise because the Hajji is rarely in the constituency and yet he isn’t available via telephone. He never takes their calls. Neither does he respond to text messages. He campaigned with grandeur and glamour and his win over DP strongman Nsubuga created high expectations in the community which is now regretting ever electing such a person. There was initially some excitement when former Lwengo woman MP Gertrude Nakabira dragged Mbabali to court over inadequate academic qualifications but the case hearing never took off, leaving Mbabali adversaries cursing the invisible hand of Justice Steven Kavuma who then headed Court of Appeal which has the last word on election petitions. Mbabali popularity further plummeted when the Togikwatako debate came. The young people in townships like Kamenyamigo, Nkoni, Kaswa, Kiwangala and Kinoni have never forgiven him for voting to scrap the age limit in the constitution December last year. As if to add salt to an injury, Mbabali also voted for the reservation of 0.5% mobile money tax just yesterday. On hearing via CBS how their MP voted, the young people and the business community in the above townships have since grown even more furious with their MP.


These are grievances that only a united opposition can effectively exploit. However, that unity remains elusive because besides Bwanika and the pro-Mbidde DP members (led by Kingo LC3 chairman Muwanga) who are determined to decampaign him for the MP Seat, there is FDC’s Julius Sentamu, a young man who has twice competed. In the by-election of 2012, he stood and lost to Matia Nsubuga who had to overcome Alintuma Nsambu to get back his seat after Court nullified Mbabali’s elections for inadequate qualifications. In 2016, Sentamu once again carried the FDC flag and finished 3rd (with about 4,000 votes) against Mbabali’s close to 8,000 votes and Matia Nsubuga’s slightly above 5,000 votes. Just like Matia Nsubuga’s son is doing already, Sentamu is back to the trenches strengthening his campaign structures ahead of 2021 elections. Nakabira may not run which consolidates Mbabali because the duo share the NRM vote. This lack of unity in the opposition only makes things more complicated for Bwanika who doesn’t yet have any serious campaign structure to write home about. The constituency is religiously conservative and the PDP man, who is a practicing Pentecostal Pastor, will have to struggle to gain acceptance among members of the Catholic and Muslim establishments that are deeply rooted in the Lwengo community. The Pentecostal congregation, that would ordinarily have given Bwanika a starting point, is barely there in Lwengo. Besides the few major trading centers, majority of the 14 parishes making Bukoto South are largely rural which makes it even more prudent for Bwanika and other opposition leaders to speak with one voice and operate under a joint campaign platform like they did in 2012 against Alintuma Nsambu who they accused of demeaning the Kabaka. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.




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