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 By Mulengera Reporter

 Kampala City Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago has launched his reelection bid by taking no prisoners when it came to his rivals, including President Yoweri Museveni, and opposition politicians Samuel Lubega Mukaaku and Mike Mabikke.

Speaking from his home in Wakaligga in Kampala, Lukwago scoffed at Museveni, saying all his plans to fail him had backfired, leaving him firm and steady. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate for the Kampala mayoral race also told off Museveni for using the law and some of his appointees to attempt to throw him out of office. Calling himself a bulldozer and a rocket, the former Kampala Central MP vowed to once again defeat Museveni, his NRM party and all the allies who are working hard to regain Kampala from the opposition’s grip.

In expressing confidence on why he will defeat Museveni once again, the Lord Mayor listed some of the Museveni appointees he has so far overcome in his 10 years at the helm of Kampala: Ministers Beatrice Wabudeya, Muruli Mukasa, Frank Tumwebaze, Benny Namugwanya and Beti Kamya; and former Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Jenniffer Musisi Ssemakula. Arguing that he spent the largest part of his first term as Lord Mayor fighting to retain his office following his impeachment over alleged incompetence, Lukwago says he will consider the 2021-2026 term of office as his second full term.

Lukwago was not yet done with Museveni and his NRM party, which he accused of deceiving city dwellers that the celebrated lawyer and opposition politician had spent most of his time politicking and fighting the government instead of focusing on service delivery. Running under the ‘Rule of Law’ slogan, Lukwago emphasized that he had fought for the rule of law in the city, including blocking the mafia’s efforts to take over the city for their own selfish gains. He lambasted his detractors for being blind to the fact that he had promoted the rule of law in the city, adding that he pleads guilty if any sane Ugandan thinks that championing the rule of law is a crime.

He also listed the fight against corruption as one of his achievements. He said: “When I came to City Hall, corruption was the order of the day; but I have fought the cartels and mafia gangs involved in this vice. They wanted to own the entire city but I have dealt them big blows. In the first term, I spent three years out of office because the mafia ganged up against me.”

After Museveni, Lukwago turned his guns on Mukaku, a former presidential candidate who was recently ejected from the National Unity Platform (NUP) Electoral Commission, and former Makindye East MP Mike Mabikke, who days ago claimed they were the ones behind his election as Lord Mayor. Mukaku and Mabikke are supporting singer Joseph Mayanja, known by his stage name Jose Chameleone, who is competing with Kawempe North MP Latif Ssebagala for the NUP flag to unseat Lukwago. According to the Lord Mayor, the Mabikke-Mukaku duo are political losers who will neither add any value to Chameleone nor make his lose support in Kampala.

Lukwago told Mabikke to visit him for lectures on how to put his academic papers right and become an advocate. In 2016, the Law Development Centre (LDC) cancelled Mabikke’s Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice over alleged examination malpractice in the papers he had sat years earlier.

Also present to cheer up Lukwago as he launched his bid were various politicians from the FDC and other opposition parties, including opposition Chief in Parliament and FDC Spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, and People’s Government Publicist Betty Nambooze, who recently joined NUP. Ssemujju told those in attendance at Wakaliga that Kampala was important in the struggle to ‘liberate’ Uganda from the Museveni regime, emphasizing that this was the reason Museveni had fought hard to throw Lukwago out of City Hall. The Kira Municipality MP also praised the Lord Mayor for choosing to sacrifice his legal career to join the opposition struggle, well knowing the cost of doing so.

For her part, Nambooze made it clear that the opposition struggle required Lukwago in Kampala, not to clean up markets or clear drainage channels, but for strategic reasons of taking over power from the Museveni administration given the Capital City’s importance. She further took a swipe at Government for creating the position to KCCA Speaker to fight Lukwago, only to tell those that were elected to these positions not to hold Council meetings under the guise of Covid19 prevention, yet Parliament, which has a bigger number has been sitting.

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