By Monica Kobusiinge
Kampala: The National Unity Platform (NUP) party has finally opened up on the decision by Kawempe North MP Hajji Latif Ssebagala to pull out of the 2021 Kampala Lord Mayor race.
Ssebagala who had won the party’s ticket after defeating by Joseph Mayanja a.k.a Dr Jose Chameleon during the vetting process announced that he will not stand on this position.
“I have done this in good faith, without being forced and I have done it for the good of our struggle and unity among the opposition,” Ssebagala noted.
Appearing at BBS TV’s ‘Maaso Ku Gwanga’ political talk show on Tuesday this week, Joel Ssenyonyi the NUP spokesperson said the party respected Ssebagala’s decision.
“We assessed them both on the ground and in the vetting process and it turned out that he was better than his counterparts that is why we gave him the party card with confidence that he will make it,” Senyonyi said.
“We are still talking and by tomorrow (Wednesday, September 23,) we shall tell the nation our next step on this issue.”
However, Ssenyonyi dismissed claims that the party had entered into an agreement with Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party to give the incumbent Erias Lukwago his political space.
“It’s true there are discussions, we have been discussing with them all along but as a party, we have duties to do for example bringing candidates and as you may be aware we follow the party constitution which is in line with the national laws,” he noted.
Meanwhile, The Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko has applauded his Kawempe South Counterpart, Ssebagala for this move.
“Thank you, Hon. Latif Ssebagala, you listened to some of us and indeed you are my candidate for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA),” he noted.
“In the same spirit in the next few hours Insha Allah, I shall announce my choice for joint opposition presidential candidate. We belong to different political shades but we work for the progress of our nation.”
Ssebagala’s withdraw from the Kampala mayor race follows daring statements from the outspoken Mukono Municipality legislator, Betty Nambooze Bakireke who lashed out at Lalif Ssebagala and Bobi wine’s elder brother Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu whom she says are not credible enough to appeal to her political instincts.
Speaking to the press on Monday at her residence in Mukono, Nambooze said she would not at any point of life drop her own brother, Erias Lukwago as the duo have a long political history and moments of the struggle adding that she will support Latiff Ssebagala over her dead body.
“I haven’t discussed Latif’s candidature anywhere, I said and I state it again here that I have a long-standing relationship with my brother Erias Lukwago and I will humbly request my leaders in NUP to excuse me on that post and allow me to side with Erias Lukwago in that election,” Nambooze said.
In the same vein, Nambooze added that she will not support Bobi Wine’s elder brother, Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu who is aspiring for Kampala central MP saying that he is ‘scandal-plagued’ and hence incompetent compared to the incumbent Muhammad Nsereko.
“Hon. Muhammad Nsereko is my blood brother but I have never stood against him even once on a political platform and I won’t even do it this time, the way I don’t expect Nsereko to come to Mukono to support my opponent is the same way I won’t join NUP campaign in Kampala central,” Nambooze vowed.
She however, tasked Latif and Fred Nyanzi to consider aspiring for vacant positions instead of ‘dividing’ the struggle. “There are thousands of vacancies up for grabs by NUP. Latiff and Nyanzi can occupy those,” she advised.