WHEN Kawempe North legislator Latif Ssebaggala Sengendo pulled out of Kampala Capital City Lord mayoral race just a day after National Unity Platform (NUP) gave him their Party ticket for 2021 elections, the incumbent Erias Lukwago called his friends and happily said, ‘It’s finished!’
Thousands of People Power supporters kept on speculating on why Alhaj Latif Ssebaggala on Tuesday September 22nd 2020 stepped down, some even accusing him of betraying Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi and the National Unity Platform Party which had just given him their ticket. A lot they didn’t know!
This was a well calculated deal orchestrated by Prince Kassim Kakungulu Nakibinge, FDC’s fire brand Dr. Warren Kizza Besigye and Makindye East legislator Ibrahim Biribawa Kasozi. Latif was fulfilling a mission his party president knew about.
For starters, Prince Nakibinge is the most influential figure in the country’s Muslim community and heir to Prince Badru Kakungulu.
He is head of one of Buganda’s wealthiest royal families, with an expanse of land in the city and other parts of Buganda. The family descends from Prince Nuhu Mbogo, who was the brother of Kabaka Mwanga. He is a cousin to Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II.
We are reliably informed, the recent visit of NUP leader Robert Kyagulanyi at Prince Nakibinge’s Kibuli residence led to fruitful talks between the two. The gist of the talks was all about sealing off Lukwago’ third term deal.
How Kibuli wanted Bobi Wine to endorse Lukwago for Lord mayor and why the game plan has swiftly changed, now that Hon. Nabilah Naggayi has been nominated to tussle it out with Lukwago, is a very interesting story that we will come to later!
LOCKING OUT CHAMELEON
With NUP locking out artist Joseph Mayanja popularly known as Jose Chameleon and their favorite Latif Ssebaggala standing down, NUP looked like they had handed Lukwago a blank cheque, just like Prince Nakibinge and Dr. KB wanted.
This was a clear manifestation that Lukwago’s third term at the Lord mayor’s Parlor had been sealed.
In fact, with NUP having no candidate for Lordmayor, Lukwago’s camp looked at the rest as political jokers.
His happiness did not however last long, as NUP electoral body invited candidates for fresh nominations for Kampala Lord mayoral race.
This announcement must have shocked Lukwago’s camp who had already started warming up for another term.
Lukwago’s number one nemesis Nabilah Naggayi Sempala, another Moslem very loyal to Kibuli, who doubles as Kampala woman member of Parliament immediately showed interest. She was later officially nominated and handed a party flag will endorsement to win Lord mayor office for NUP.
Her coming in ended Lukwago’s camp hopes that his 2021 Lord mayor campaigns will be a walk-over.
The man from Kabungo in Kalungu District will have to go back to his drawing board since Nabilah is very stubborn and with this lady in the Lord mayor’s race, expect the first ever hot contest in Kampala.
She is serving her third term as Kampala woman member of Parliament, the very constituency Lukwago heads as Lord mayor.
With her strong connections with women structures in Kampala, her being good at politics of propaganda and blackmail, Nabilah’s candidacy must not be underestimated.
BOBI, NAKIBINGE MEETING
On August 20th 2020, Hon. Kyagulanyi was invited by Prince Kassim Nakibinge at his tightly guarded residence in Kibuli.
A smartly dressed Bobi Wine was accompanied by Kawempe North legislator who doubles as Uganda Parliamentary Imam Alhaj Latif Ssebaggala, NUP Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi, Secretary General David Lewis Rubongoya among other Party top officials.
Insiders say, MP Ibrahim Kasozi also had a powerful hand in this meeting which discussed the 2021 Lord mayoral race and took a final decision. However, Makindye East legislator did not physically attend this meeting.
During the meeting, a lot was discussed, but today we will concentrate on Lord mayoral candidature.
Nakibinge thanked Kyagulanyi for accepting to work with Muslims although he is a Catholic and he blessed his political mission.
He however told Bobi how both Lukwago and Ssebaggala who are aspiring for the same seat are loyal and great leaders, “We don’t want to lose any.
In Nakibinge’s wisdom, he wanted Lukwago to be maintained asking Bobi Wine not to ‘fight’ his brother but to work hand in hand so that they can achieve their goals.
Prince Nakibinge advised that Hon. Latif Ssebaggala be deployed to the East African Legislative Assemble (EALA) in 2022, assuring Bobi that ‘We will do everything possible to fulfil this.’
This is when Bobi asked Latif what his views were. He responded in affirmative.
The meeting ended and Prince Nakibinge saw off his guests.
After the Kibuli meeting, Hon. Kyagulanyi posted on his face book page that; “Today has been yet another milestone in the life of the National Unity Platform and the People Power Movement. We were very humbled to meet His Highness Dr. Prince Kassim Nakibinge Kakungulu, who is also the Titular Head of Muslims in Uganda.”
“Prince Nakibinge has consistently been a voice that awakens the moral conscience of our nation. It’s been such a great pleasure to meet him and discuss several matters that touch our nation. We pray that Allah (SWT) continues to bless him and keep him in good health.” Reads Kyagulanyi’s post. So Latif must have pulled out of the race in respect to Nakibinge – Bobi meeting.
Lukwago had never been politically threatened like this time, when a number of powerful opposition politicians declared their intentions to unseat him.
These politicians included; Latif Ssebaggala, Jose Chameleon and Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala.
He at first thought, ruling NRM will front former Kampala Central mayor Godfrey Nyakana Amooti, who is another political mover and shaker in Kampala.
When Nyakana pulled out of the NRM Primaries and the party returned Daniel Kazibwe commonly known as Ragga Dee, Lukwago put on a wide smile. Ragga Dee is a real political joker.
In the race, according to Lukwago’s camp, remained NUP candidate (either Chameleon or Latif).
To those underestimating Latif, he has been Kawempe North MP for four terms. In fact this term, he stood and won without backing from any political party. Formerly, he was a DP member.
Latif is talked about as one of the richest Buganda MPs with big investments especially in Kawempe.
He is the owner of Kisaasi College School which has students numbering in thousands. Of these, hundreds are on Latif’s bursary.
He was coming in this race with full support of Kawempe as a division and the legacy of his elder brother Alhaj Naser Ntege Sebaggala (who passed on last week).
So with Latif in the race, it would give Lukwago a very big headache.
But Lukwago’s great threat in NUP then was Jose Chameleon.
He is seen as a crowd puller especially among the youth.
With Kibuli sorting out Latif, Lukwago and team had to strategize for Jose Chameleon but badly needed Bobi Wine’s in put. This is when Dr. KB came in.
SAVE US FROM CHAMIL – BESIGYE BEGS BOBI
The first meeting was between Lukwago and Bobi. We are told, Lord mayor almost cried begging Kyagulanyi to force Chameleon out of Lord mayoral contest.
Hon. Kyagulanyi rejected Lukwago’s request saying, NUP must have a candidate for Lord mayor.
“Hon. Lukwago, the only alternative is for you moving to NUP. Come over, we will move together.” Kyagulanyi told Lukwago.
Lord mayor however said this was impossible since he had already agreed to defect to FDC.
This meeting took place before Lukwago officially moved to FDC.
Lukwago tried to convince Bobi reminding him how he had convinced Dr. Besigye not to run for President in 2021.
“I did all this because I never wanted any one to stand in your way. Kindly, leave this for me, let NUP spare my seat.” Lukwago begged Bobi Wine.
Kyagulanyi had reluctantly agreed until Dr. Besigye came in and asked Bobi not to unseat Lukwago.
“Look, I am not standing for President. You will go for it with our full backing. Let NUP leave Lord mayorship to Lukwago just like I left it for you.” Besigye told Bobi Wine.
This is how Bobi ended up in Kibuli and the following days, Chameleon was denied a party ticket.
It was given to Latif who also stood down as a deal.
MPUUGA & KIVUMBI – THE MERCENARIES
All had weighed in to save Lukwago’s seat but Bobi was still studying the situation until Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga who acts as NUP VP for Buganda and Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi MP for Butambala threatened to quit if Bobi doesn’t spare Lord mayor Lukwago.
The Mpuuga-Kivumbi clique presented other names of politicians Bobi must spare. On the list is MP Moses Kasibante of Lubaga North.
“We can’t be members of a party fighting Lukwago and Kasibante. We rather quit.” Mpuuga and Kivumbi threatened Bobi.
They wanted him to block Jose Chameleon and KCCA Speaker Alhaj Abubaker Kawalya who is Lubaga North MP favourite.
On Jose Chameleon, Bobi looked like he bought their counsel but on Speaker Kawalya he strongly rejected their deal.
This former SSUUBI clique vowed to play all games to fail popular Kawalya. (We are working on a detailed story about this).
BOBI, CHAMELEON MEETING
Before announcing bad news to him, Chamil was invited in Magere in a meeting attended by Fire Base Crew top official Nubian Li.
In this meeting, Bobi told Chamil, “My brother am sorry, NUP can’t give your a ticket for Lordmayor. We are instead taking you to Mityana North as MP contestant.”
For starters, the incumbent Mityana North MP Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi is not returning for 2021 polls. Bobi told Chamil that this was a very good opportunity to have their own take over this NRM constituency.
Chamil agreed only to change his mind after consultations with DP BLOC members who included Sam Lubega Mukaaku, Michael Mabikke, Henry Lubowa and Abed Bwanika.
The next day, Chamil printed Lordmayor posters and vowed to stand because he commands support in Kampala.
On seeing Chamil posters, Lukwago’s camp with full support of Mpuuga and Muwanga Kivumbi clique attacked Bobi for failing to tame Joseph Mayanja.
The following days, Latif was declared winner of NUP ticket instead of Chameleon. Just after one day, Latif stood down to fulfill the deal.
NABILAH GAME CHANGER
When Latif returned the card NUP had denied Chameleon, people power members exerted pressure on party leaders on why they gave out a card to a weak Sebaggala.
They demanded that the party opens up for new candidates.
Party EC never thought that Nabilah would show interest. They were ambushed, she came on board and has all the qualifications.
Mpuuga & Muwanga Kivumbi clique moved in to block Nabilah to save their man Lukwago, but the two are amateurs in Kampala politics. Nabilah is far better than Chameleon, she over powered them.
NUP nominated her, Prince Nakibinge is quiet, Bobi’s hands are tied, it’s time for the party to start.
FDC’s Lukwago Vs NUP’s Nabilah Naggayi. This is a real political scene.
Watch the space.
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