By Umar Nsubuga
Having been in Parliament for the last 10 years, Nambooze appears to have an edge over Kagimu, but she has had several run-ins with her party, led by Nobert Mao.
As the fever of the 2021 elections gains momentum, incumbent MPs in many constituencies are worried about those who have made their intentions of replacing them clear.
In our ongoing daily series of analyses, examining the aspirants and the issues that are likely to influence voter choices, Umaru Kashaka looks at the race for Mukono Municipality MP seat a Mukono Municipality is likely to be one of the hotly contested constituencies in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
The incumbent MP, Betty Nambooze, is expected to seek re-election against nine challengers, including her fellow Democratic Party (DP) supporter and Mukono municipality mayor George Fred Kagimu, who we understand has the backing of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Other aspirants are former contestant Fatumah Ndisaba, who is now Butebo Resident District Commissioner (RDC), the head of Baroma International Vocational Institute Esther Nakyazze, the co-ordinator of Kyaggwe Development Foundation Fred Nsubuga and businessman John Ssebunnya all of whom are coming from NRM.
Dr Muhammed Bogere, Margaret Nakavubu, Beatrice Yiga and Richard Kasule, a radio journalist, are also eyeing the seat and they plan to run as independents. However, Kagimu and Ndisaba stand out as Nambooze’s main challengers.
The rest are not widely known in political circles. The last election was a two horse race between the fiery Nambooze and Ndisaba, but this time round, Kagimu, has opted to enter the fray.
His entrance is likely to complicate the race, especially for his friend-turned-foe Nambooze, who has been in Parliament since 2010. Nambooze played an important role in Kagimu’s election in 2016 when he replaced Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga (the current Mukono South MP) as the municipal mayor. However, they later fell out due to their different approaches to politics.
“I do not play confrontational politics. I want politics that is transformational, inclusive and that unites people. Our biggest challenge in Mukono now is disunity,” Kagimu, who has been doing his groundwork since 2017, told Sunday Vision.
The retired rally driver who owns the popular Festino City race track argued that “we have been left behind in terms of development simply because some people oppose others for the sake of showing off, other than working together for development”. “For us, we have tested it in the first four years we have been in office and I have already realised that people in Mukono actually want to see a change of leadership that will result in development of their area,” he said.
He noted that Jinja Road, for example, and Mukono Health Centre IV, which was elevated to a general hospital need urgent attention.
“The main Jinja Road needs to be worked on, because it is full of potholes and yet it transports a lot of our imports and exports. The buildings of Mukono Health Centre IV are too small to handle the overwhelming numbers of patients. So, I will lobby the Government to take action,” he said.
Mukono Health Centre IV attends to at least 200 outpatients every day, from the districts of Mukono, Kayunga, Buikwe, Buvuma and some parts of Wakiso. Many say Nambooze is still popular, but Kagimu remains a force to reckon with. They say he may not be as outspoken as Nambooze, but he carries himself well enough to win over supporters.
Kagimu worked with Caltex and Total oil companies for a combined 25 years in various positions. He was an active rally driver for 10 years and was the president of the Federation of Motorsport clubs in Uganda for four years.