Over the past few weeks, presidential aspirant Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) has been trying to convince his brothers out of the 2021 parliamentary contest as he moves to seal political alliances with different political camps.
Well-placed sources have told The Witness that after a series of meetings convened by former Buganda Katikkiro, Joseph Mulwanyammuli Ssemwogerere, the musician-turned politician has met with his brothers, notably, Eddie Yawe and Fred Nyanzi to convince them to drop their ambitions.
Yawe is eying Kira Municipality, currently held by the Chief Opposition Whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda. While Ssemujju is reported to have told one of the meetings at Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago’s residence in Wakaliga that he is not worried about Yawe’s presence in the race, his colleagues from the days of the Ssuubi 2010 pressure group don’t want Yawe in the race.
The Ssuubi 2010 pressure was formed in the run-up to the 2011 elections under Mulwanyammuli’s patronage. It is the vehicle under which Lukwago and MPs Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality), Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala), Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East), Betty Nambooze Bakireke (Mukono Municipality), Moses Kasibante (Lubaga North) and Ssemujju won their respective leadership positions.
Save for Ssemujju and Lukwago who subscribe to FDC, the rest of the group’s members are now members of Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party.
“Kyagulanyi has at least made it clear to Yawe that it will not be politically wise for him [Kyagulanyi] not to support Ssemujju given his outstanding performance in Parliament and in the opposition struggle generally,” a source said.
Should Yawe refuse to heed, he will be left to go it alone.
“In NUP, he [Yawe] is the front runner for the NUP flag, we have left it to his brother [Kyagulanyi] to speak to him but should he insist on contesting, we shall ignore him, and neither shall we allow Kyagulanyi to drum up support for him,” another source said.
While Kyagulanyi doesn’t have any strategic political alliances with Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko, some party members want his [Kyagulanyi] brother, Nyanzi to bow out.
While in the assessment of the NUP’s elections management committee, KCCA councilor, Muhammad Sseggirinya was found to have better support than Sulaiman Kidandala Sserwadda and MP Latif Ssebaggala Ssengendo, the meetings agreed to front Kidandala for the seat.
Sseggirinya, according to reports, has had one-on-one meetings with Kyagulanyi but nothing conclusive has been agreed.
In Makindye East, the choice is the incumbent MP, FDC’s Ibrahim Kasozi Birabwa who enjoys a longstanding personal relationship with Kyagulanyi. This probably explains why former MP, Michael Mabikke got furious last week and became critical of the party’s leadership that he said is dictatorial.
“We are sealing a number of alliances with various individuals because we see no reason why we should antagonize our friends who have expressed willingness to work with us,” a source said.
The deadlock so far is in Lubaga North where KCCA speaker, Abubaker Kawalya is locking horns with incumbent MP, Moses Kasibante over the NUP flag.
Kasibante, according to insiders, is seen to have lost political ground to Kawalya, but being a member of the Ssuubi group, he has a better bargaining power over Kawalya in the meetings.
“Choosing between Kasibante and Kawalya is one of the most difficult issues we have discussed, we are still engaging, and hope that we will eventually find a solution,” a source said.