FROM RIGHT: Fugge, Mberaze and Mpiima at the NUP party headquarters, after the Rubaga Speaker and deputy speaker primaries
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
IT’S now months since opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) set up a committee to investigate their councilors at Rubaga division who cut deals with the National Resistance Movement and gave away Speaker’s job to NRM’s Musa Mbaziira, yet his party are the minority in a council dominated by NUP councilors.
The committee headed by Butambala district woman MP Aisha Kabanda started it’s investigations by quizzing a number of councilors and insiders say, what the committee gathered, instead exposes Rehema Fugge, the NUP flag bearer for speaker who must have hoodwinked the party, deliberately sabotaging a competent candidate Ronald Ssemaganda in a deal to clear way for Mbaziira. There might have been a political syndicate in all this.
From what we are gathering, the committee members want Fugge to be quizzed about a meeting she reportedly held with Musa Mbaziira and a one Swaibu Ssentomero commonly known as King Fahad at his Busega school, just a few days to the election of the Lubaga Speaker. Ssentomero is NRM treasurer for Rubaga district.
This information was revealed by councilors who knew about the Fugge-Mbaziira-Ssentomero deal and now the committee moves to investigate about this.
On the issue concerning which councilor told what to the committee, we shall come back to that in another detailed story.
For today’s, story, we will concentrate on what transpired before, during and shortly after Mbaziira’s election and what the NUP committee investigating these councilors must put into consideration for their findings to be believable. Please read on;
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 launched investigations to find out, why the majority councilors in the council lost speakership to the minority party.
RONALD SSEMAGANDA ISSUE
Before any councillor showed interest in the Speakership bid, young man Ronald Ssemaganda who represents Kasubi-Namungoona came out.
Councilors who approached him first to sho solidality was none other than Rehema Fugge who embraced Ssemaganda’s candidature.
She told Ssemaganda how rumours are making rounds that Lubya councilor Henry Mpiima had interest in Speakership but she vowed to fight Mpiima because according to what she knew about him, he is a money minded guy who can easily sell off the council if he is elected Speaker.
“For you are new in the council, you know nothing about Mpiima. But for us the senior councilors who served with Mpiima in last council, we know him as a money minded guy and we are worried, new councilors can easily make a blunder and vote him. We can’t trust Mpiima with our Speakership.” Fugge allegedly told Ssemaganda.
She even offered herself to be his campaigning manager for Speaker, an idea welcomed by Mr. Ssemaganda.
“Me I already have the deputy mayor job. His Worship Mberaze has offered me this position. With you Ssemaganda as our Speaker, we will have a vibrant council.” Fugge told Ssemaganda.
However, a few days later, the same Fugge was reportedly seen in a meeting with NRM’s Mbaziira and Ssentomero and what shocked Ssemaganda’s camp, after the trio’s meeting, Fugge declared her intention to contest for Speaker. Next day, Mpiima had changed from Speaker to deputy speaker and the two, Fugge and Mpiima made an alliance.
Those who were at NUP Party headquarters, Kamwokya on the day councilors held their primaries, you must have observed this. It was a Fugge-Mpiima affair.
The Fugge-Mpiima camp celebrated on winning Ronald Ssemaganda for Speaker flag bearer, councilors Sulaiman Ssenyonjo commonly known as Mr. Nakulabye and Sulaiman Sempa (from Mutundwe), commonly known as ‘Carrick’, who were vying for deputy speaker.
‘SENIOR COUNCILORS’ PLOT AGAINST SSEMAGANDA
Before party primaries, Ssemaganda’s name had sunk into the the hearts of Lubaga councilors, no wonder, NRM’s camp had to get more NUP mercenaries to plot against their own.
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.’
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.
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 and after all, they all knew she was going for deputy mayor.
By the way all what you saw during Deputy mayor’s appointment, was just a political stunt! We shall also tell you why.
Back to her speakership bid, 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. She got only one vote said to be from Ssebuggwawo since Sharifah was an FDC councillor by then, like the mayor.
That time, Mbaziira had a landslide victory. We shall come back to this, later.
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.
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 at.” Said a tough speaking female Authority NUP councilor who smelt a rat!
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 Mamerito Mugerwa where they spent that night of 27th May 2021.
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 they 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 with the deal.
Indeed he won and it looks like NUP Party bosses just can’t let this defeat go unquestioned.
In the next story, we will bring what each councilor told the committee investigating why NUP councilors voted an NRM councilor for Speaker. What councilors Ian Mubiru and Yusuf Katabira told the committee, shocked party bosses
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