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2021 Polls: A Breakdown of the Mayoral Races in Ten Newly Created Cities



Over 40 candidates from different political parties and independent tickets will be contesting for mayorship in the ten newly created Cities, a ChimpReports mini-survey indicates.

According to this survey, 21 candidates out of the 40 will be contesting on different tickets of; National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda people’s Congress (UPC), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), the National Unity Platform (NUP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the rest are independent candidates.

In the Cities of Eastern Uganda, 15 candidates will be facing off with; eight (08) vying for Mbale City, Three (03) for Jinja City and four (04) in Soroti City.

In Western Uganda, 12 candidates will be contesting with; five (05) in Mbarara City, four (04) in Hoima and three (03) in Fort Portal.

In Northern Uganda and West Nile, 13 candidates have expressed interests with; four in Arua City, five in Gulu and four in Lira City.

In Central Uganda (Masaka City), three candidates have expressed interest.

3% of the incumbent mayors who lost during their party primaries have bounced back as independents and these are; Mutwalibi Zandya Mafabi who lost to Cassim Namugali in FDC primaries in Mbale, Isa Kato lost to Sam Nyakua in NRM primaries in Arua and Mary Grace Mugasa lost to Brian Kaboyo in NRM primaries in Hoima Cities respectively.

Upon his loss, Zandya said, “You voted well but they counted in their own way. It is simple, my people don’t worry I am still here to serve you and shall come as an independent.”

Two incumbents have just pulled out of the race and these are; Godfrey Kayembe in Masaka will be joining the MP race in the newly created Kitunsi Constituency in Masaka district and Majid Batambuze in Jinja City.

Who will contest where

Mbale City

Eight candidates were nominated for this position and these are; Mutwalibi Zandya (independent), the incumbent who was defeated during the FDC party primaries, ending his party flag dominancy which he has held since 2011.

Zandya lost to a businessman Cassim Namugali in the tight race but refused to concede defeat.

Namugali scored 66 votes, followed by Zandya with 15 and Silagi trailed with 11 votes.

NRM fronted Vincent Magombe, who won the race. William Masai and Abdu Magoola who were not satisfied with Magombe’s victory also bounced back as independents.

NUP has fronted Abbas Wetaka to face off with these four. Two other candidates; Karim Wodero and Abedi Mwenyi also joined as independents. It remains to be seen who among these will subdue the others.

Jinja City

The former UPC die hard who later defected to the ruling NRM, Robert Kanusu, will be facing off with FDC’s Frank Nabwiso. The incumbent Majid Batambuze will not be coming back for this race.

The two will be facing off with popular comedian Alton Kasolo alias Swengere who was given the NUP party ticket. Despite the NUP popularity in urban areas, political observers say that the major competition in this City is between FDC and NRM.


Soroti District Boss, George Micheal Eguyu won the NRM ticket to oust FDC’s Paul Omer who is currently holding the throne. The two have been joined by Alias Ejoku from NUP and Peter Ojur who has come on an independent ticket.

Ojur was defeated by Omer in the 2016 general polls on the same seat.


The competition has been stormed by four major candidates; Robert Odongokalu from DP, George Labeja, the incumbent from NRM, Patrick Oola of FDC, Walter Odong-Wee-Yoo from UPC and the former Gulu District Secretary Works and Technical Services, Alex Otim on an independent ticket.

In this region, the major competition is between NRM and UPC, according to political observers.


Four candidates; Isa Kato the incumbent (independent), Sam Nyakua (NRM), Micheal Agonda (NUP) and Aslk Charles on independent ticket are taking on the Arua mayoral race.

Kato was defeated by Nyakua in a tight race where he scored 19,000 votes against Nyakua’s 21,300 votes. He later bounced back as an independent, after querying the voting process which he said was unfair and marred with corruption, violence and bribery.


UPC’s Micheal Ogwaye Veve, the incumbent, will face off with Willy Omodo Omodo from NRM, Denis Ongom Ayeng from NUP and Sam Atu alias Tulman on the independent ticket.

In this region, the major competition is between UPC and NRM, according to political observers.


Robert Mugabe alias Kakyebazi from NRM defeated his two contenders during the NRM Primaries to retain the flag for the 2021 race.

In a tight race, Mugabe scored 36,116 votes, beating his two contenders; Herbert Kamugisha who polled 9,303 votes and Justus Karuhanga who got 1,234 votes.

Mugabe will face off with Stanley Katembeyi from FDC, Vicent Norman from Alliance for National Transformation, Albert Atukunda and Apollo Kibira on independent tickets.

Fort Portal

Edison Asaba Ruyonga, the former three terms mayor of Fort Portal Municipality (between 2001 and 2016) bounced back in the NRM polls to defeat his competitor P. Kasande, to win the NRM flag for the same seat. Ruyonga polled 17,328 votes against Kasande’s 7,241 votes.

Ruyonga will be facing off with Rev. Will Kintu Muhanga (Independent), who defeated him in the 2016 general polls. The two have been joined by Robert Bwayo fron ANT.


Brian Kaboyo defeated the incumbent, Mary Grace Mugasa, to win the NRM flag for this position in the 2021 polls. Kaboyo polled 11,074 votes followed by Mugasa, who polled 8,459 votes and a one Fredrick trailed with 1,067 votes.

Mugasa, who queried the polls results, has since bounced back as an independent candidate in the general elections.

NUP fronted Dan Ssemoboe to join the race while Rogers Abwoli Amanyire will also be contesting as an independent.


Godfrey Kayemba, the incumbent mayor, pulled out from the City mayoral race and has since opted to represent the newly created Kitunsi County in the 11th Parliament.

The race has since been joined by Andrew Lukyamuzi Batyemeito from NUP, Florence Namuyanja from DP and Emmanuel Kaweesa Lwasa on an independent ticket.


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Making sense of a thick neck Museveni cabinet




President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni



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.

President Museveni talking to Akurut and Alupo at his campaign in Katakwi last year. (Picture by Godfrey Ojore /NV)

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

Rebecca Kadaga

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.

Lukia Isanga Nakadama


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.

Gen. Elly Tumwine, security Minister.

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.

Sam Kutesa

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.

Former Prime Minister Dr Rugunda.


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.

Gen David Muhoozi

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.


Kiryowa Kiwanuka 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.

Kiryowa Kiwanuka

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).







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NUP endorses Nalukwago Judith as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant




Nalukwago Judith

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.

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FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Declares Bid for Speakership




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.

This story is still being updated.



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