Henry Mpiima being congratulated upon winning Deputy Speaker flag at Kamwokya. Centre is mayor Mberaze and on his left is Rehema Fugge
BY MARY KAKOOZA
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
ON June 1st 2021, Lubaga Division Urban Councilors convened to elect their Speaker and Deputy Speaker.
Opposition National Unity platform (NUP) which forms the biggest part of the council with 64 out of 95 councilors fronted Busega councilor Rehema Ssanyu Fugge as their flag bearer against NRM’s Musa Mbaziira whose party has only 11 councilors.
Before polls, it was crystal clear that NUP would massively win this seat but shockingly, it was otherwise! Kabowa councilor Mbaziira surprisingly defeated NUP candidate with 4 votes. Mbaziira got 49 against Fugge’s 45 votes prompting the Mengo court presiding magistrate to declare NRM’s Mbaziira new Lubaga Municipality Speaker.
This is the gist of the reasons, why Party bosses at Kamwokya NUP Headquarters have picked interest in this election and urgently want investigations to find out, why the majority councilors in the council lost speakership to the minority party.
In part I of this story, we aid NUP NEC with very important tips which will guide the party into their investigations.
RONALD SSEMAGANDA ISSUE
Before any councillor showed interest in the Speakership bid, this young man Ronald Ssemaganda who represents Kasubi-Namungoona came out. He approached a number of councilors not only in NUP but even in other political parties having councilors in Lubaga Division Urban council.
Those approached first was Rehema Fugge who embraced Ssemaganda’s candidature. Being a senior councillor, Fugge helped Ssemaganda to reach out to other councilors so that he gets endorsed.
SENIOR COUNCILORS PLOT AGAINST SSEMAGANDA
As his name started sinking into the the hearts of Lubaga councilors, a group of councilors led by one Musa Lusembo, Richard Jjuuko Kayima, Sharifah Nakitende among others, calling themselves ‘Senior councilors’ mobilized themselves against Ssemaganda a fellow NUP member saying, ‘a junior councilor can’t be our speaker.’
Shockingly, NRM’s Mbaziira was silently bankrolling this NUP clique to block new comer Ronald Ssemaganda who proved a major threat to his Speakership bid.
ENTER REHEMA FUGGE INTO THE RACE
Having been a Ssemaganda campaigner, no one would expect Fugge to change her mind and contest against him.
However, insiders say, her name was identified by Mbaziira and a clique of the so called senior councilors who later sold her name to Mayor Mberaze.
It’s true, Mberaze endorsed her candidature but little did he know that he was tricked.
Why Fugge? Like we said earlier, inside Mbaziira’s game plan, he wanted a ‘vote spoiler’ so that Ssemaganda does not go through during party primaries. With a group of senior councilors, they talked about fronting a one Henry Mpima against Ssemaganda.
SWEARING-IN: Rehema Fugge
However, this idea was changed, fearing that Mpiima is more ambitious and would spoil the deal. So this is how Fugge’s name came in. She is an average lady who was only comfortable with her councilor position.
The idea was sold to mayor Mberaze by the likes of Musa Lusembo, Richard Jjuuko Kayima and Sharifah Nakitende. Mberaze became the top campaigner not knowing, it was a project by the wise men and women.
For starters, the three above mentioned councilors voted Mbaziira Speaker in the Ssebuggwawo council, although it was Kayima who proposed Sharifah Nakitende’s name to contest against Mbaziira and she was seconded by Musa Lusembo. The two and their candidate, didn’t vote for her. Mbaziira had a landslide victory. We shall come back to this, later.
Back to mayor Mberaze, he picked a rift between him and the two Lubaga members of Parliament, Aloysius Mukasa (Lubaga South) and Abubaker Kawalya (Lubaga North) who had identified a competent Ronald Ssemaganda.
Mbaziira camp started playing their cards to make sure, Fugge wins a party ticket.
HOW LUSEMBO & MBAZIIRA AMBUSHED MAYOR MBERAZE
Days before swearing in of Lubaga Division urban councilors, a section of ‘senior councilors’ headed by NUP’s Musa Lusembo convened for a meeting at Jevine Hotel located near Pope Paul Memorial Hotel Ndeeba. This meeting was attended by Mayor Zaccy Mberaze. Lusembo was the chairman.
Lusembo gathered NUP councilors and invited NRM’s Mbaziira to address them and ask for votes. Mbaziira was given over 20 minutes compared to Ssemaganda who Lusembo gave only 5 minutes.
NRM CLEVER BOY: Speaker Mbaziira
While speaking to NUP councilors, Mbaziira proudly bragged of how he had financed Lusembo and other senior councilors during their campaigns.
A money magnet Mbaziira who is linked to powerful men in State House said, “Senior councilors, please be my witness to these new Honourable members. You know me as a top lobbyist and I got money for all of you during campaigns (each about UGX 9 M). If you elect me your Speaker, I will continue with that giving hand, mobilize funds for you after all this money has no Museveni’s portrait.”
One of these NUP councilors reportedly said, “Yes you gave us money Mr. Mbaziira but you still owe me UGX 1M…,” prompting other councilors to laugh.
The NRM man just smiled and said, “I will give you more, just do the needful.”
Throughout Mbaziira’s address, these senior NUP councilors did not object ever being bankrolled by NRM’s Mbaziira during their recent campaigns.
We are reliably informed, many senior councilors in Lubaga ‘borrowed’ money from Mbaziira during Party primaries to help them during party tickets scuffle.
During this meeting, he hinted on forgiving them this loan if they elect him Speaker which must have excited many. NUP meeting ended with NRM’s Mbaziira scoring highly.
A certain angry Authority councilor sitting at City Hall approached Mayor Mberaze and asked him to explain why he allowed Lusembo to invite NRM’s Mbaziira in NUP meeting.
“Don’t you think you will be looked as the ones campaigning for NRM? You have given Ssemaganda only five minutes and Mbaziira over 20 minutes. Mayor, what was the motive of this meeting? I really don’t know what you are driving.” Said a tough speaking female Authority NUP council who smelt a rat!
MBERAZE & FUGGE ACCOMODATES NUP
COUNCILORS AT NRM TOP BOSS HOTEL
On Friday 28th May 2021, NUP held party primaries to pick flag bearers for speakership in Kampala.
A day before, Lubaga councilors had taken their oath of allegiance at Lubaga division headquarters.
We are informed, after the swearing in function, mayor Mberaze and Fugge took a group of about 38 NUP councilors to a Bweyogerere – Namboole Hotel allegedly owned by NRM top man Mamerto Mugerwa where they spent that night of 27th May 2021.
LUBAGA MAYOR: Mberaze
There are questions, as to why they chose a hotel owned by NRM man to accommodate NUP councilors. Insiders say, the hotel was identified by Mbaziira’s people who felt comfortable with NUP councilors being accommodated from here.
Each councilor got a brown envelope so that he or she votes Fugge, the next day. Ssemaganda tried to reach out to these councilors but in vain, something which worked for Mbaziira.
FUGGE WINS TICKET
A few minutes to the elections at Kamwokya, a coaster carrying NUP councilors who had slept at Mamerito’s Hotel arrived at Kamwokya. They were accompanied by mayor Mberaze.
A crestfallen Ssemaganda tried to talk to them but openly told him they were for Fugge. She won with 38 votes (those who slept at the Hotel) and Ssemaganda polled 25.
On declaring Fugge a winner, party in NRM’s Mbaziira camp started. “It’s a done deal. Mbaziira will be speaker come June 1st 2021.” Said a one NRM councilor who was well conversant about the deal.
Indeed he won and NUP Party bosses looks like they can’t just let this defeat go unquestioned.
In part II of this shocking story, with facts, we are going to give you names of Lubaga councilors who betrayed NUP a the day Speaker was elected. That list on social media is fake. We shall also show you, why Mayor Mberaze MUST explain to party bosses about the deal between NRM’s Mbaziira and NUP’s Fugge which cost the party the Speaker’s job. We will unmask for you, who was paid how much, FDC’s Ssebuggwawo involvement and why MPs Mukasa and Kawalya’s hands are CLEAN.
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