By Mulengera Reporters

Former Kampala Mayor Seya Nasser Sebaggala has prophesied doom for singer Jose Chameleon saying his attempt at politics will end in disaster and utter failure. In a Mulengera News interview this Thursday morning, Sebaggala said his brother Latif Sebaggala (who is also eyeing the same Mayoral Seat for which DP has fronted Chameleon) can’t become sleepless over “this mere speculator called Chameleon.”

Chameleon and Mao at the Nsambya event where he was unveiled to cheerful party members

This is how he made his point: “We the Sebaggalas aren’t speculators. We sit down, plan and design things. In 1998 I became Mayor of Kampala after planning and working upon it for 10 years. We have been training and preparing Latif for 20 years. There is no way Chameleon can defeat him. Not even Lukwago. He is way ahead of all of them and he will win.”

Saying he was the underdog in the 1998 Mayoral race, Sebaggala enumerated those he unexpectedly floored to include Merina Konyonyo who had been director welfare in Police Force, landed Ssenseko Kulubya whose father had been Mayor before and Wasswa Birigwa who had been a big-name corporate leader heading Celtel. There was also Christopher Yiga who was incumbent and had strong backing of the ruling NRM.

Seya then went on to explain some of the factors working in Latif’s favor. “In Kampala 75% of the voters are Muslims and they vote as a block. Sematimba was way more powerful than Chameleon but your balokole, who are scattered like drunkards who go to different bars on different days, couldn’t take him through.”

Erias Lukwago against whom DP Bloc members are scheming every day & night seen here with Bobi Wine

He added: “Chameleon is just a speculator who is very inconsistent in all he does. He sings for NRM in Tubonganawe and says I was making money. Has money-making now ended? What stops him from making money again while duping those DP people who are being excited for nothing? What will they do to him if he changes mid-way and says I’m now NRM? I remember him for converting to Islam and denouncing it after just two weeks saying he was coerced.”

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Seya also cautioned Chameleon not to count much on DP “because as a party, they can’t add much to you; you must be a strong person yourself as a politician and its actually you to make DP strong and not the other way round.”

Seya greets a crowd during his hey days as a crowd puller

He said in 1998 many in DP didn’t even want him to stand for Mayorship (says they preferred Damiano Lubega) “but I overwhelmed them because I was very strong and the only person in those top DP meetings who was for me was Mzee Ali Serunjogi but the others didn’t want me and I got that position largely because of my personal strength.”

Sebaggala, whose political triumph greatly humiliated NRM prompting them to plant a spy in Nava Nabagesera resulting into his incarceration in Boston US, claims that: “Its Cardinal Wamala who saw far and summoned those DP leaders and told them how do you avoid this man with all the sacrifices he has made for DP? That is how they backed me and it’s me through my 1998 victory that made DP great again after the political defeat, disaster and boycott of 1996.”

Seya was to have a 2nd attempt at Mayorship after completing his jail term in US. In 2002, Sebaana Kizito (who won the 1998 byelection following Seya’s conviction) easily got reelected after the entire opposition rallied behind him. Seya, whose return from the Boston jail paralyzed traffic on Entebbe Road for a whole day in 1999, played very big role in Sebaana’s 2002 victory over Museveni-backed Wasswa Ziritwawula who previously had been Central Division chairman.

Evidence Chameleon has taken on his new assignment as DP National mobilizer with enthusiasm. Some say he is being used by some in DP to eclipse Bobi Wine

Sebaana (who had chaired Seya’s 1998 campaigns) served up to 2006 when he run for President and trailed miserably between Besigye and Museveni. The man, who had become Mayor with over 150,000 votes, garnered less than 80,000 votes from the whole country.

In 2006, Seya (who had previously returned from the UK claiming to have bettered his qualifications) stood for Presidency in 2006 but pulled out shortly after realizing things weren’t moving well. This was way ahead of nominations for Kampala Mayorship. He picked forms and got nominated for Mayorship and campaigned as a Besigye-leaning independent and that is how he cruised to victory over DP-backed Dr. Hasib Takuba who had been deputizing Sebaana (2002-2006). Peter Sematimba was the other he defeated.

Norbert Mao inducts Chameleon into DP as MP Sewungu menacingly looks on

During that term (2006-2011), Sebaggala mended fences with NRM and had a harmonious relationship with State House and even got a public ride in President’s Museveni car as they returned from ground-breaking for the construction of what became Pearl of Africa hotel. Voters were very unforgiving and for much of the time Seya endured the indignity of serving a populace that hated him like plague.

At some point, traders in Park Yard showed distaste by thumping and throwing shoes at him which in Islam shows contempt and dislike for a person. Seya managed this situation by avoiding public appearances for the reminder of his term.

Meanwhile Erias Lukwago (who in 2006 made history for the first time ousting NRM from Kampala Central MP Seat/many had failed) capitalized on Seya’s excesses, including failure to defend city markets against tycoons like Basajjabalaba and Col Mugyenyi, and became a darling of voters. This is the momentum on which Lukwago rode to easily become pioneer Lord Mayor in 2011 having overcome Sematimba and Mike Mabikke who voters rejected for being Seya’s protégé.

Seya and the Mabikkes never forgave Lukwago up to this day. Somehow even DP, whose new leader Mao was uncomfortable with Lukwago backing Besigye, got into the war and fought along. They have fought Lukwago since that time. In 2011, even when they rejected joint opposition and shunned IPC, they declared support for Mabikke who called himself IPC candidate against Suubi-fronted Lukwago. They had previously endorsed a reluctant JB Kakooza (husband to IGG Mulyagonja).

Nasser Sebaggala says he these days spends much of his time in the political laboratory plotting Latif victory

In 2016, they fronted their hatchet man Issa Kikungwe who Lukwago devoured like a samosa. The resultant frustration deteriorated his already failing health and poor Kikungwe died shortly after. In the first term (2011-2016), Lukwago had it rough with Jennifer Musisi who many in current DP bloc worked for sending the likes of Abdul Karim Lukoda and Med Kyambadde on radio talk shows to defend Musisi’s position. They kept telling people Lukwago was to blame because you can’t be a leader who doesn’t make compromises. Seya towed the same argument.

For 2021, they started by considering Bobi Wine who they wanted to use the Kyadondo byelection momentum to go at loggerheads with Lukwago and declare bid for Mayorship. Long before he even grew into presidential material, Bobi proved too smart rejecting being dragged into proxy wars he doesn’t understand. It them got down to Abed Bwanika who declared before Latif Sebaggala (whose 2016 reelection as Kawempe MP is being disputed) came into fray. The two failed to gather any momentum to much Lukwago’s clout. This made the DP bloc restless and efforts began to sweet talk Chameleon until he reluctantly accepted.

Latif Sebaggala closely worked with Lukwago when he knew his TJ is all he needed to keep his MP Seat

But PPP’s Saddam Gayira, renowned for his insightful political views and is a close ally of DP Bloc members, says fighting Lukwago can’t morally be justified. He says the fronting of Chameleon has exposed the DP bloc as not being genuine agents of change and liberation of Uganda. “We can’t waste time fighting for positions which are already liberated like Nambooze’s Mukono and Lukwago’s Kampala. It only shows those people are taking people for fools and I’m sure Ugandans are going to resist that betrayal by rejecting them even more,” says Gayira who has been working with DP bloc in propelling Mr. Wine’s presidential candidature.

He is fearful being portrayed as antagonistic to Lukwago while propping fellow singer Chameleon will even alienate Mr. Wine from many voters. “It’s betrayal for the voters because majority of them still like Lukwago. Bringing Bobi Wine to promote Chameleon and diss Lukwago will also diminish Bobi’s support. People can protest by staying away and only turn up to elect Lukwago since Mayorship is elected later.”

Gayira says the greed DPs have manifested only makes them seem to be working to ferment confusion and keep Museveni wining. “It’s now very clear many of them criticize Museveni for lip service just to dupe people and get elected and councilors and MPs.”

Kateregga Musaazi, another excellent political pundit, says Chameleon is a double edge sword “but its also possible voters might reflect on the poor performance of other artistes like Kato Lubwama and Ali Ndawula before him and reject both Chameleon and Bobi Wine.” He says its also possible voters might protest betrayal by conventional politicians by electing the unserious like Chameleon. He adds Chameleon’s entry leaves Latif more isolated and weakened while strengthening Lukwago. “Some diehard Muslims still want that position and the more he is threatened people ganging up on him, the more such people are going to stick to Lukwago because Latif is clearly too weak and doesn’t stand much chance,” says Kateregga who despite being NRM speaks with some degree of independence. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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