THE race for East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) 2022-2027 has started in different political parties, members are positioning themselves for seats ahead of Party primaries.
Elections will be held next year. Uganda like any of the six member countries (Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan), sends 9 MPs. Of the 9 seats, ruling NRM normally gives themselves 6 seats, 1 goes to Independents and 2 shared among all the opposition. Fact is, Parties in good books with NRM win these seats. DP and UPC are the favourites.
In opposition Democratic Party (DP), the tight race was expected to be between money magnet Mary Babirye Kabanda who is former Woman MP Masaka district and the Party Secretary General Dr. Gerald Blacks Siranda.
However sources close to party top bosses reveal, Dr. Siranda has all odds against Babirye Kabanda and this young man from Bukedi in Eastern Uganda has been endorsed by the powers that be in DP, to represent this oldest political party in EALA.
Because the law doesn’t allow the incumbent Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde to contest again after the completion of his two terms at the Arusha Parliament, the Party has now zeroed on this youngster, Dr. Siranda to carry on the mantle. All indicators show, other party members who have interest in the same seat are just wasting their time!
When this News Website reached Hon. Mbidde for a comment about the members who have shown interest to fit his shoes at EALA, DP Vice President had this to say, “When it’s time, trust me, the Party will give you the best candidate with a National not regional identity. An MP sent to EALA must be a Nationalist. DP has that member, just give it time.”
The former Makerere University Guild President did not disclose who this member is although he intimated that he perfectly knows who his successor will be, at EALA.
Although he insists the party will go through all legal procedures to elect the best candidate for the party flag in EALA elections, insiders say, Dr. Siranda is the man. He has been endorsed by Party top bosses. We therefore advise other contenders who have already shown their interest to contest in Party primaries to find something else to do, this is a done deal!.
In this story, we bring you the odds favourng Dr. Siranda and why those pushing Babirye Kabanda in this tricky game are just eating her money.
DR. SIRANDA @ EALA
A trusted source says, Dr. Siranda has been loyal to the party, and at no single moment has he ever rebelled against DP.
Siranda is dependable and trusted. The party feels comfortable to deploy such a brilliant young man to EALA to replace an encyclopedia Hon. Fred Mukasa Mbidde.
An insider who requested anonymity has told us that, “It is true the Party has not carried out nominations for those who are interested in the flag. We know at the right time they will, although the mantle will go to Dr. Siranda”.
Among all aspirants, it’s only Siranda who can easily sell to Members of Parliament coming from different regions.
He is not tribalistic, he is a National figure and this character will get him votes when he presents himself both at Party level and even before members of the 11th Parliament who vote EALA MPs.
A fluent soft speaking young man, Dr. Siranda comes from Bukedi, a region that has never had any person elected EALA MP. He has the sympathy vote from both ruling NRM and opposition parties.
His other card is the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among a great mobilizer who comes from Bukedi. We are told, all her teams have been put on alert to campaign and vote for Dr. Siranda if DP sends his name to Parliament. Believe me or not, with Anita Among at Parliament, Siranda will go to EALA.
For starters, Eastern region has the most numbers of MPs in the 11th Parliament. They are 198. This is a very good start for Dr. Siranda if they unanimously vote for the son of their soil.
In number of MPs, Eastern is followed by Western region, Central region is third and Northern region fourth with 98 MPs.
All these dynamics work for Siranda. He can easily win Eastern, Northern and Western to be declared EALA MP.
There is nothing that has sold Siranda like the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) meetings. He has been in top leadership and this has brought him closer to leaders of different political parties more so NRM which has the majority MPs. These meetings have depicted him as a national leader who agitates for peace, good governance and dialogue.
For those who don’t know, going by the 11th Parliament composition with NRMs being the majority, there is no way an opposition member can win EALA seat without NRM votes.
NRM has a total of 339 MPs. Opposition are only 107 out of 529 MPs. Although they vote twice, they can’t take through their candidate. So, NRM votes count and Dr. Siranda has this vote.
To win a DP ticket, Siranda will have a walk over. The would be serious contender Mary Babirye Kabanda committed crimes against the Party, she automatically has no chance.
WHY BABIRYE KABANDA IS A DAY-DREAMER
If the winner of the party flag was going to be decided by Buganda region, then Babirye Kabanda would have an upper hand. However because DP is a national party with NEC mebers from all regions, she is no where in the EALA puzzle!
Babirye has no attachments in Western Region. DP Vice president in charge of Western Uganda, Imamu Makumbi has openly declared his support for Siranda. In fact, he has mobilised that whole region for NEC members to vote this loyal servant. Even in Northern region, Babirye Kabanda’s name is no where.
In Eastern, we are told, she has one Ramathan Bazanye, a delegate from Jinja who supports her after she went there and promised their children scholarships. Other delegates are Team Siranda and this is a writing on the wall that she will also be beaten in this region.
In Buganda where Babirye Kabanda has roots, the fight for votes rages on. There are other aspirants who have shown interest.
They include Mr. George Fred Kagimu (DP VP Buganda), Hajjat Aisha Waliggo (NEC member and Leader Women League in DP), Cissy Bayiga and Luyinda from Nansana.
Being a women league leader, Waliggo will get about 5 votes in Buganda and Kagimu has about two or three votes. This is a disadvantage to Babirye Kabanda.
About the crimes she has committed against DP, Kabanda was allegedly the funder of the people who took DP to court. Those who remember the case of counsel Sam Muyizzi. This is the case DP battled in court during the 2020 Lock down. She swore and signed an affidavit.
If it wasnt President General Hon. Norbert Mao, Hon. Mbidde, Dr. Siranda and Mayambala, there would be no DP today. Babirye Kabandas team had even secured an injunction.
She only changed her heart a few days to the 2021 election period and came back to DP after Hon. Mbidde had formed a formidable ground for DP in Masaka. However, her earlier acts and hate filled statements against the party leadership costed DP in elections.
During the burial of DP MP Robinah Ssentongo, in the presence of DP president General, Babirye Kabanda publicly attacked Hon. Mao accusing him for standing for president. She ‘directed’ him to leave the race for NUP’s Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.
In her words Babirye Kabanda said, “We already agreed not to support you Mr. Mao for president. Step down for Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi, he is our choice not you Mao.”
Babirye who was then a DP candidate for MP Masaka City (a race she lost), said all this well aware that Mao had been nominated as a party candidate in the presidential elections and was already in presidential campaigns.
This was uncalled for. It was not only Hon. Mao who got angry, but even other party leaders.
Although Babirye Kabanda didn’t support Mao’s candidature, she very much knew he was the official party candidate.
Using a party function like that to to go bare knuckles and embarrass her party president before cameras that he should exit presidential race for an able candidate Kyagulanyi, Babirye Kabanda will pay dearly for this. Delegates are ready to pay her back in the same currency come EALA polls. She has no chance to make it through.
It should be remembered, on the same burial function, Hon. Mpalanyi who defeated Haruna Kasolo in January elections played it very well. He said, “Me i will not comment, you are our leaders. Use the right forum to discuss about such issues.”
During one of her campaign rallies, Babirye Kabanda said, “In a bid to build the party (DP), Hon. Mao must leave Kyagulanyi to stand for president, he is our candidate. Ladies and gentleman, for us our brains work well, the name Bobi Wine is not on the ballot paper, look and tick Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert for president.”
“So the whole genesis of everything is Babirye Kabanda playing stupid politics. But that is her strength.” Said one of the top party leaders.
She has no fall back position! Those who thought NUP MPs who are the majority on opposition side in Parliament can go for Babirye Kabanda, a lot you don’t know.
Although she declared her support to Kyagulanyi in campaigns, when she lost, this lady turned guns against the Ghetto gladiator and the NUP MPs and other leaders who swept positions in greater Masaka and their supporters.
Babirye is on record circulating a document in which elected NUP leaders were blackmailed, calling them substandard, poor and illiterate. She did not spare Hon. Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.
Therefore we do not see how NUP MPs will will support Babirye Kabanda who called them names after she lost her MP bid.
(In our next edition, we will reproduce Babirye Kabanda’s dossier attacking and blackmailing Kyagulanyi and NUP leaders in Masaka especially Hon. Juliet Kakande who defeated her in elections).
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