As the country prepares to go to polls next February, momentum is building across the boundaries for voters to choose amongst the many aspirants who their leaders will be in the 11th parliament.
One such area which is already boiling is the Elgon zone popularly known as Bugisu or the ‘Land of Bamaasaba’.
The area has been dominated with its Members of Parliament since the 6th and 7th parliament and hence the need for change for fresh blood to come in and implement whatever they failed.
Mbale City, after being elevated to the city status this financial year, the town was divided into two constituencies, Northern Division and Industrial Division. Ambassador Wamanga Wamai, the outgoing legislator opted not to run again and give chance to new entrants.
The Northern Division is the upscale or the leafy area of the town which is dominated with who is who in Mbale City and therefore, the area is considered a very key division that whoever leads the area must be of heavy weight.
The flamboyant city lawyer from WEB Advocates and Solicitors who doubles Minister of Foreign Affairs in the institution of the Izu Ya Masaaba is the leading contender for the seat on the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party card. Mr. Wanyoto presents the future of the city and the statesman because of the networks he has built and the national connections that he comes along with to represent the division. Wanyoto awaits party primaries that are due.
Ambassador Charles Madibo Wagidoso
The ex-Uganda’s Ambassador to China for over 15 years and also former legislator for Bulambuli County then in Mbale District in the 6th parliament is back. Although this time not in Bulambuli which is now a district of its own, Amb. Wagidoso is battling for the Northern Division too. Wagidoso made a name for himself as an orator in the 6th parliament under the Movement System. He presents himself under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party and he is yet to tussle it out in the party primaries. However, Eagle Online has reliably learnt that Wagidoso is under pressure from certain sections of his party to give way to young blood since he has been around in many ventures.
He is a former legislator in the 6th parliament representing Bungokho North constituency. He rose to national fame for his brilliance in the house at the time when parliament was still dominated with seasoned parliamentarians like Ben Wacha, Aggrey Awori and Bidandi Ssali. He came in under the Movement System then since political parties were banned.
Mr. Wambede has previously tried to reclaim the Bungokho North seat. NRM party primaries remains the only challenge to him and if he wins, he brings on table experience and exposure of good legislation for a sub-region lacking great debaters.
Industrial Division is a home to hustlers in the city and it presents itself as the home to upstarts. The division is also considered a hub for opposition politics in the city given the previous experiences.
Madanada Wokuri aka Mama FDC
The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party diehard has shifted her goalposts from Mbale District Woman Member of Parliament aspirant to Industrial Division. Ms Wokuri known for her assertiveness she is a leading contender in FDC camp. She faces Isaac Warela Nabende and others in the new division.
John Wekesa Wambogo
Another aspirant for the Industrial Division under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket isn’t stranger to Mbale politics having unsuccessfully contested in the byelection to replace the late former Speaker James Wapakhabulo. He subsequently contested in other elections but the people of Mbale haven’t given him a chance to represent them. He awaits his party primaries to determine whether he will be NRM flag bearer in the division.
Mbale Woman MP race
Connie Galiwango, she is the current holder of the seat and a likable woman by all standards, she has held the seat for two terms and ‘if’ she retains it, it will be her third term as a woman representative of the sitting room of Masaaba house. Ms Galiwango has previously stood with her people. In the heat-up to the creation of cities when Mbale was pushed to the next financial year, she led a one-woman demonstration with a few of her supporters that resulted in her being arrested. It looks like her demands were heard by authorities and in turn President Museveni directed that Mbale be included on the list.
EagleOnline also understands that although she voted No in the Age amendment in parliament to give way for Mr. Museveni to rule without any hinderance, she seem to have represented the true picture of her constituents.
Lydia Wanyoto Mutende
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party head of Women’s League is back again to tussle it out with her former opponent, Connie Galiwango. The two yellow girls of Mbale faced off in 2016 and Ms Galiwango carried the day. The race between the two ladies is a tight one given that Ms Wanyoto is said to be enjoying the endorsement of the state.
Ms Wanyoto could easily tap in the support structures of her late husband Dr. James Mutende Shinyabulo, the ex-Minister of Trade and Industries. Dr. Mutende had created a network of mobilizers around Mbale town.
Annet Musuya Soobi
She is also vying on the National Resistance Movement party ticket and is a seasoned administrator. She is currently the National Coordinator of Share an Opportunity Uganda a Non-Governmental Organisation. She previously worked with Uganda Women Concern Ministry as Executive Director for two years. She also worked with TASO-Uganda for seven years as a counselor.
Other entrants in the NRM party primaries are Miriam Mukhaye Wangisi and seasoned educationalist Agatha Wambi Wanyenya
This is a new constituency which was curved out of the bigger Bungokho South Constituency which has been in the armpits of State Minister for Industries Michael Kafabusa Werikhe since 1996.
Michael Kafabusa Werikhe
He has represented Bungokho South since 1996 and he still wants to represent new constituency of Bungokho Central. Sources say one of the reasons they curved Bungokho Central out of Bungokho South is the fear by Minister Werikhe that was destined for a loss if the constituency wasn’t divided. He is left with nothing to offer apart from the need to be in parliament. He is among those old guards targeted by the young generation.
Eric Stephen Mukhwana
He is the outgoing Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Culture, Tourism and Communication in the Izu Ya Massaaba institution. He is resulted oriented person under whose leadership, the IZu has seen increased awareness about its activities amongst the Bamaasaba in Uganda, Kenya and Diaspora.
He previously worked at the New Vision as senior advertising Executive before venturing in private. He is contesting as an Independent and comes at the time when there is fatigue of Werikhe.
Others tussling it out with Minister Werikhe in National Resistance Movement (NRA) party primaries are Richard Wanda and Andrew Mauso.
Having curved out Bungokho Central out of Bungokho South and leaving Minister Werikhe in Central, this means that Bungokho South will have its own representative.
Mzee Bernard Mujasi
The aging out going Mbale District Chairman has declared intentions to run as a candidate in the NRM primaries. Mujasi bitterly contested for the then larger Bungokho South constituency. Werikhe won the said 2001 election amidst claims of vote rigging triggering off a legal battle that was eventually won by Werikhe. Mujasi’s undoing will be his age and overstaying as LCV.
This is a constituency that votes an MP once and never to return him or her again. It is on the suburbs of Mbale City in the northern direction bordering Bukedea and Sironko districts and it is predominantly cosmopolitan.
Gershom Sizomu, the current legislator who is vying for the second term under his party Forum for Democratic Change.
Others in the NRM party primary race former legislator Yahaya Gudoi who served in the 9th parliament. Gudoi is remembered a legislator who was conned most at parliament.
A thick neck isn’t defined by a certain measurement. Rather, it’s measured in proportion to the rest of your body in terms of height, weight, and composition.
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Accordingly, the same description can be said of the latest cabinet reshuffle by President Yoweri Museveni.
The naming of former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operative and a one term Education Minister Maj. Jessica Alupo, Vice President and Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro district Woman Member of Parliament as Prime Minister perfectly suits the above description.
Politically both ladies are suitable for their positions but will they match the game of the day? A quick look at Maj. Alupo, she has been politically struggling to make a return from political oblivion after she was beaten by Violet Akurut who defeated in 2016 Katakwi district Woman seat, Alupo, apart from her spying skills, she hasn’t gained much experience that comes with job of Vice President. Yes, she could be loyal to her party but in terms of real state craft, Alupo can’t match the likes of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe. In picking Maj. Alupo, Museveni could have wanted to deflate Busoga politics by bringing in a Catholic and from Teso also in Eastern Region since the Teso overwhelming voted for him. Anyway, that said but what is the job of VP? And perhaps President Museveni wanted amuse the Iteso with presidency convoy that comes with VP status as described by Maj. John Kazoora in his book.
Enters Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro/ Kibaale iron lady, is a loyal servant of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) having started as a mobilizer, Resident District Commission to Member of Parliament, State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties and now Prime Minister.
Nabanja is assertive and a go-getter. She is a mobilizer but little is known about her in matters of boardroom politics. The Office of the Prime is the second highest department in government after presidency, it is vital and coordinates key ministries and government agencies and therefore, with Nabanja being named PM, will she be up to the task given that the office she is given needs someone of a critical thinker and a leader?
The PM is the leader of government business in parliament and is mandated to coordinate all government interests. The previous PMs that have served in the same position have proven that indeed one must be equal to the task as demonstrated by late Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and Ruhakana Rugunda. But it is never too late, let’s accord PM Nabanja her time.
Rebecca Kadaga as 1st Deputy PM and Busoga politics
The former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has been nominated as 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs. She takes over the affairs of the East African region. The slot of 1st Deputy Minister has been unoccupied with Ministry of East Affairs being run separately. She is deputy to Nabanja. However, her appointment is surprising given that she is a former Speaker, could it be that it was her own downplaying of VP position that Museveni didn’t name her VP?
Still in Busoga, Museveni named former Gender State Minister Lukia Isanga Nakadama as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Without Portfolio, she replaces late Kirunda Kivejinja a fellow Muslim. She is from the greater Iganga district and has wide network of Muslim networks. Political experts believe that the reentry of Isanga to cabinet as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister was to balance the politics of day given that Kadaga who previously served as Speaker had been reduced to 1st Deputy PM and remains a popular figure in the region.
Busoga further saw the entry of NRM Secretary General Justine Lumumba as Minister of General Duties office of the Prime Minister, Mariam Dhoka Babalanda as Minister of Presidency replacing a fellow Musoga Esther Mbayo.
Sanctions/ ICC factor and historical factors
With reported Untied States travel and economic sanctions looming on heads of individuals that were listed by United States government, President Yoweri Museveni hasn’t taken a gamble with those threats. And that is why is so.
General Elly Tumwine the outgoing Secretary Minister is among the names that were listed as to have violated rights of Ugandans during the just concluded elections. Coupled with arrogance in which he exhibited himself to the public, it was prudent that Museveni had to send Tumwine home though he has gone back to his docket of Senior Presidential Advisor on Security.
Sam Kutesa He is another former Minister whose name has been soiled with bad scandals and publicity for a long time. Kutesa has maintained that he has been a target by his colleagues and detractors because of his closeness to the first family but that hasn’t helped as his name keep on coming in many alleged international scandals. However, sources say Kutesa had opted to retire from mainstream politics and this could be explained why he never contested for his parliamentary seat.
Ruhakana Rugunda popularly known as Ndugu, is the outgoing PM who has finished his five years as Prime Minister smoothly. He leaves the show a clean as he came. He has been appointed as Special Envoy for Special Duties Office of the President. With Rugunda, Kutesa and Tumwine out, this leaves Museveni with only two historical in government and these are Major Generals Kahinda Otafiire incoming Internal Affairs Minister and Jim Muhwezi, Security Minister.
Entry of Gen. David Muhoozi the outgoing Chief of Defence Forces has been appointed new State Minister of Internal Affair, he replaces Obiga Kania who has been moved to Lands. Muhoozi’s appointment has received warm welcome among his peers who see him as clean and young man who is likely to being new energies with new strategies in government that is mostly dominated by the old guards.
Muhoozi distinguished himself a strict observant of the law and that can explain why his name has never surfaced among those that violated human rights as alleged by US.
KiryowaKiwanuka also known as KK is another smart chap that comes in as Attorney General. He has previously played behind scenes in major legal battles regarding President Museveni and government.
So, the thick neck cabinet which has been named will be associated with power and strength. it is large enough but nothing much will be gotten out of it as described by the two individuals above (Vice President and Prime Minister).
The National Unity Platform (NUP) has endorsed Judith Nalukwago as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant.
Nalukwago was endorsed shortly after the young Makerere strike machine; Obed Obedgiu Derrick opted out of the race. Obed announced that he will not be offering himself as a candidate in the highly anticipated Mak guild elections as the new election roadmap is yet to be released.
“Salutations to you friends, I shan’t offer myself as a candidate in the forthcoming elections as was the case earlier. Thanks to all and sundry for the unwavering support,” Obed wrote on Facebook.
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Although Obed had won the flag bearer primaries early before the closure of the University due to the Covid-19 pandemic break-up, he has decided to give way to the fellow people power member Judith Nalukwago to aspire and promises undying support for her.
In a series of posts on her social media handles, Nalukwago announced that she will be running for the position of Guild President. She says that the seat of the Vice Guild President offered her an opportunity to assert her beliefs and push more for affordable education and education reforms.
“The Vice Guild Presidency presented to me a great opportunity to assert those beliefs and push more for affordable education and address systematic injustice against students in general and women in particular. This struggle is always a work in progress,” Nalukwago said.
She added, “The task before us is an uphill one, but the power of our resolve will be the steam that gets our train moving. In the coming days, I will share broadly about this noble aspiration and what I have in plan for us all.”
Makerere University might get a female guild president after seven years. Anne Adeke Ebaju is the Youth Female Representative in Parliament.
The University now has four candidates in the race; Tumusiime Joseph (independent), Ogutti Aaron (independent), Muhwezi Maczxxon (NRM) and the only lady Judith Nalukwago (NUP). However the competition is between the NRM flag bearer and the NUP aspirant as they wait for the date of 30th March to decide the new elect Guild President.
Kira Municipality Member of Parliament and opposition Forum for Democratic Change – FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has declared his bid to challenge incumbent Rebecca Kadaga in the race for Speaker of parliament.
Ssemujju, a vocal opposition strongman made his bid public on Tuesday March 9th while appearing on local television, NBS.
Ssemujju becomes the third person gunning for position after reports about deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya also planning to challenge his boss Kadaga.