With the clock fast ticking away to the January 14, 2021 parliamentary elections,
the four opposition parties with representation in the current Parliament are in a situation that requires them to not only fight off the challenge from the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) but also from other opposition parties to retain and even improve their numbers.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and the Justice Forum (Jeema) are the four opposition parties with MPs in the 10th Parliament totalling to 60 MPs with FDC having the lion’s share with 37 MPs, DP 15, UPC 17 and JEEMA one.
However, for most of those 60 seats, not only is the NRM fronting candidates to try and capture them but there is a stiff competition among opposition parties want for the same seats.
This might put in jeopardy those seats as it increases the likelihood that the NRM might capture them.
Kampala stands out as the biggest battleground for opposition parties. Currently FDC holds four of the nine parliamentary seats in Kampala followed by DP which has one while the remaining four are independents. However, for almost every seat in Kampala, there are more than four opposition candidates vying for it.
In Nakawa division which was split to create Nakawa East and Nakawa West, DP and the new entrant National Unity Platform (NUP) have all got candidates in both to compete against one another.
In Nakawa East, incumbent MP, Michael Kabaziguruka is competing with NUP’s Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga while in Nakawa West where FDC’s Wilberforce Kyambadde is competing with NUP’s Joel Ssenyonyi.
In Makindye East, the incumbent, Ibrahim Kasozi (FDC) is facing Derick Nyeko (NUP) and Ssentamu Samuel Kabanda (DP).
In Kawempe South, the incumbent, FDC’s Mubaraka Munyagwa, is facing Natio Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira, DP’s Ssebuliba Mutumba and ANT’s Makumbi Kennedy.
For the Kampala district Woman MP seat, FDC is fronting Dr Stella Nyanzi to replace Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala who decamped to NUP whose flag she is holding for the Kampala Lord Mayor.
NUP has Shamim Malende as its flag bearer for the Kampala Woman MP, DP has Sumayiyah Muwonge, JEEMA has Fatuma Mubiru while the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) fronted Aisha Nabasirye Gitta.
In Makindye West, Allan Ssewanyana who joined Parliament as a DP MP wants to get re-elected on the NUP ticket. His former party did not hesitate to sponsor Bosco Lusagala to win back the seat for Uganda’s oldest political party.
Lubaga South, Lubaga North, Kawempe North and Kampala Central which are represented by opposition-leaning MPs; Kato Lubwama, Moses Kasibante, Latif Ssebaggala and Muhammad Nsereko respectively, are all being contested by candidates from the FDC, NUP and DP despite having incumbents who have always caucused with the opposition during their time in parliament.
In the neighboring Wakiso district, DP has two and FDC one member of parliament; Medard Lubega Sseggona for Busiro East, Ssempala Kigozi for Makindye Ssaabagabo and Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda for Kira municipality respectively.
Sseggona has since switched sides to join NUP for which he is the flagbearer, hence opening a room for another DP, FDC and ANT candidates.
In Makindye Ssaabagabo, Ssempala missed out on the NUP ticket and is contesting as an independent against candidates from the FDC, NUP and DP.
For Kira, Ssemujju is battling with NUP’s Jimmy Lukwago and DP’s Mukiibi Joseph.
Entebbe Municipality, Nansana Municipality, and Wakiso Woman MP seats which are currently held by the NRM party, FDC, NUP and DP, the four parties have candidates in the races.
The same is true for Kyadondo East which is currently held by independent MP Kyagulanyi Robert Ssentamu, the NUP presidential candidate, where DP, FDC are both having candidates.