As we draw closer to 2021 when leaders at different levels will be seeking to renew their mandates with their electorates, it is also the most opportune moment for the public to subject them to an assessment of their performances over there last four-five years.
In this particular regard, a number of MPs have made their mark on the political waves of the country though not necessarily for similar reasons. For the discussion that follows, we take you through the list of MPs that have over the last four years made a name for antagonizing the President’s administration to the point the he would use all weapons in his armory to make sure they don’t taste political laughter in 2021.
1.Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu
He is the reigning MP for Kyadondo East having joined the House in 2017 in a by-election that proceeded after court threw out the then incumbent FDC’s Apollo Kantinti. Though he was a political debutant, Bobi Wine has arguably been a den of uneasiness for Museveni in the last three years. His political initiation saw an addition of four opposition MPs to Parliament. He was actively involved in the opposition victories in Rukungiri and Jinja which saw Hon Betty Muzanira and Paul Mwiru, join the legislative body before almost single handedly bringing in Bugiri Municipality’s Asuman Basalirwa who had unsuccessfully attempted joining the house on four occasions and Arua’s Kasiano Wadri.
There is no doubt that these victories left President Museveni nursing political wounds and would use any opportunity available at his disposal to avenge the humiliation suffered.
Despite the fact that Bobi Wine will most likely not be seeking re-election to the house following a declaration that he will be vying for the presidency, his damage to the ruling regime has been so broad that it will certainly keep Museveni awake for some time.
2. Muhammad Nsereko
He is the current MP for Kampala Central – the county’s most urbanised constituency. In-spite of him having been elected on the ruling party’s flag in 2011, Nsereko was antagonistic to his party throughout his first term in Parliament. To further show that he wasn’t done yet, he chose to seek his successive bid in 2016 on an independent ticket to the disappointment of NRM who had celebrated his victory in 2011 as appointed towards a political shift in the capital which had been dominated by the opposition for long.
If Museveni needed just one reason for which to reprimand the outspoken legislator, Nsereko’s role in trying to block the 2017 age limit bill will be all for him to look at. Despite the party decision in Kyankwanzi in support for the bill, Nsereko, together with 30 other party MPs chose to gang up with the opposition to frustrate it’s progress. He had also defied Museveni the previous year in the contest for the Deputy Speakership when he was asked to step down in favour of Jacob Oulanya who had been convinced to give way for Kadaga in the race for speakership.
Having succeeded on both occasions, Museveni will be anxiously waiting for pay time, with his loyal boy Cedric Babu already lined up to be the reason for making Nsereko regret his unforgivable actions against the fountain of honour.
3. Betty Nambooze
The Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament has been a publicly known unwanted perennial weed in Museveni’s garden over the years. Since joining active politics, the career Museveni critic has stood her ground, soldiering on even when she could have sold her allegiance to Museveni for a fortune. When she bitterly fell out with his DP party leadership, many would have anticipated an announcement of a shift in allegiance from the opposition to the ruling National Resistance Movement the way the likes of Abdul Katuntu, Nasser Ntege Ssebagala, Beatrice Anywar, Beti Olive Kamya etc did. Typical of a true legend, Nambooze chose her integrity over material satisfaction and the people of Mukono Municipality have as expected, rewarded her consistency.
A person of Nambooze’s character in any opposition side would make any government to shake with fear. No wonder, Museveni is most likely to continue fighting despite failing on every attempt in the past.
4. Nathan Nandala Mafabi
The Budadiri West legislator, just like Mukono’s Nambooze is another badly unwanted weed that Museveni would never give up trying to weed out of his garden – Parliament.
As the Secretary General of the biggest opposition mass political party in the country, Nandala is the heart and soul of FDC. He influences decision making and gives unchallengeable counsel to the party strong man col Besigye. To further magnify how important he is in FDC, those who find themselves on the wrong side with him are always faced with two choices of either adjusting or quitting.
Success in having Nandala ejected out of Parliament would be frustrating Besigye and conquering Bugishu politically and most likely the burial of FDC.
Over the years of his selfless incorruptible commitment to the struggle for change has made Mafabi a target for the regime to have him renounce opposition to join the house of opportunities in NRM to no avail. With all but certain that Nandala is not the kind whose loyalty you could earn at any price, the opportunity to try out on him only presents itself once every 5 years and 2021 will surely present yet another.
5. Asuman Basalirwa
He is the MP for Bugiri Municipality in Busoga. The smart legislator is set to pay heavily for his close proximity with his counterpart from Kyadondo – Robert Kyagulanyi. Basalirwa is with no doubt one of the architects of the People Power Movement which has brewed sleeplessness for the government in the last two years. Having defeated Museveni’s choice – John Francis Okecho in the Bugiri Municipality’s parliamentary elections in 2018, his victory was feared in the NRM’s ranks following his years of activism against the regime as a recipe for more disaster in Parliament. Even though the man from Bukooli has not yet delivered to the expectations of those that celebrated his election as a game changer in the Country’s legislative assembly, his track record of activism makes lowering guard against him a very risky adventure.
6. Kasiano Wadri
Having successfully managed to defeat the former FDC strongman from Terego, Wadri did not let NRM to enjoy the celebration for the entire five years as he bounced back merely two years later through the by-election that followed the murder Arua MP Col Abiriga.
Besides his impeccable record as an opposition legislator in the 8th and 9th parliaments, Museveni is worried that the existence of the no nonsense former Terego MP in Arua, which is the centre of political attraction in the west Nile will contaminate the political waters for his NRM in the region. Wadri’s good relationship with both Bobi Wine and Muntu also will be the other reason he will have it rough in 2021.
7. Paul Mwiru
Mwiru is the MP for Jinja East Constituency in Jinja District and also the regional capital for Busoga sub region. His by -election victory in 2018 made him only the second opposition MP in from Busoga after Bugweeri’s Abdul Katuntu who had anyway been ruled out from the opposition for allegedly being in back door deals with the ruling government. This meant that the people of Jinja had thrown a bad apple into Museveni’s fruit basket. While campaigning for his candidate a few days to the polls, Museveni pleaded with Jinja voters to at least vote for a quiet useless MP who would listen to him at the expense of the outspoken Mwiru, showing how he desperately needed the seat. Besides, Mwiru was elected at the expense of a formidable Museveni ally in former ICT Minister Nathan Igeme Nabeeta.
Mwiru is also a strong ally to opposition chief and former Museveni Army Commander Maj Gen. Gregory Mugisha Muntu. With double trouble already coming in from Besigye and Kyagulanyi, the political influence of a more professional and organised Muntu is one Museveni wouldn’t wish to be taking chances on. As such suffocating his strong cadres in Parliament will most likely be the choice he will want to employ to keep Muntu and his ANT party under check.
8. Allan Ssewanyana
The Makindye West legislator is not one of the most outspoken legislators that give Museveni trouble in the House. His name on this list will unsurprisingly be a shock to many readers but the change drunk Museveni critic has his unrivaled reasons among the President’s most feared MPs.
His ability to calculate and move with the political tides of the time is all that makes him stand out. A member of Parliament on the Democratic party ticket, Ssewanyana is a strong Besigye ally as well as one that Mao’s DP is less willing to cause trouble with. Even though he seems to trust Besigye more than Kyagulanyi, he has been moving in politically cautious paths to avoid getting into the ideological antagonism among the political groupings.
One particular reason for Museveni’s fear for the soft spoken MP, who actually is a darling in Kampala, is that his reconciliatory approach is one that will most likely breed and condition for a much dreaded unity between People power and FDC which will unquestionably cause trouble for Museveni’s NRM.
9. Theodore Ssekikubo.
Ssekikubo is the Rwemiyaga Parliamentary representative and a member of the ruling NRM. In January this year, he was blocked at the party’s delegates conference at Namboole along with a number of other errant NRM MPs for being disobedient to the party. They were however accepted in. He is known for fiercely being against his Party’s official position with his name deserving listed among the famous “rebel MPs”.
Ssekikubo was named among the People power national Coordinators which will announce a doomsday for the controversially unapologetic MP from Rwemiyaga. His friction in the party could be something that Museveni would somehow overlook but choosing to mobilize for Bobi Wine from within his NRM is something that Museveni would wish to make him pay heavily for.
10. Barnabas Tinkasimire
A member of the NRM party, Tinkasimire is also the National Coordinator of Kyagulanyi’s People Power Movement for Bunyoro subregion. Just like Ssekikubo, has made himself a name for being a regime critic. His role in the anti age limit protests two years ago is one that will not be forgotten early.
While attending the Party’s General assembly early this year, Tinkasimire re echoed his loyalty to NRM and castigated those that had over the years called him a people power die-hard wondering how someone in their right state of mind could leave NRM for a political group like Kyagulanyi’s PP.
Although the legislator, weary of the fast advancing election time might have wanted to make peace with his parent party so as they be lenient on him in a bid to bounce back in the 11th Parliament, his criticisms to the government has already caused irrevocable damage worthy severe reprimand.
11. Luttamaguzi Paul Ssemakula
Museveni will be eager to make the Nakaseke South MP pay for his loose mouth come 2021. His efficient use of the media to sting the fountain of honour is something for which Museveni and NRM will be intent to finding a cure. A DP stalwart, the survival of Luttamaguzi in Nakaseke which forms part of the greater Luwere where Museveni has enjoyed political Monopoly over the years is surely very bad news. His regular appearances on the different medias and on the floor of parliament is bound to dent the image of the ruling government if not pruned early. He is also a self pronounced Kyagulanyi royalist, one of the most feared political threats for Mr Museveni.
12. Maurice Kibalya
The Bugabula south law maker’s name got its way into the bad books of the president when he surprisingly voted against the age limit bill that was intended to give his NRM party boss a free ticket onto the ballot for the presidential elections in 2021. Although a member of the NRM, Kibaalya’s choice made those in the NRM to make reference to his old days as a YDP member right from his old days as Makerere Guild President. It undermined him as an opposition sympathiser within their ranks. It’s for this one reason that he will most certainly be fought as a way of averting more surprises from the confidently incorruptible youthful MP.
Another reason for Museveni’s desire to send Kibalya parking for early political retirement is that it would most likely pave way for the maiden return for Museveni’s loyal cadre Asuman Kiyingi. At a time when Museveni has failed to have a dependable politician to raise above others through cabinet from Kamuli besides Kadaga, Kiyingi was looked at as that man that was destined for this role before being ejected by Kibaalya. His maiden return would therefore understandably be an adventure for which Museveni would be willing to stake anything.
13. Winnie Kiiza
The former leader of the minority in Parliament is with no doubt set for a high jump in her bid to seek re-election in 2021. Her sour relationship with FDC, which the politically most dominant political party in the Rwenzori sub region has already complicated her situation. But her role in the anti age limit bill, along with her close relationship with the ANT leader Mugisha Muntu is an invitation for friction with the Museveni government. As the Leader of opposition in Parliament, Kiiza is known for having managed to forge cohesion among the opposition MPs in the house which laid the ground for the concerted efforts in the fight against the age limit amendment of 2017. She has since turned into a fierce influential politician in the Rwenzori sub region where Museveni will be tirelessly fighting to win over the hearts of the inhabitants due to the 2016 confrontations between the Rwenzururu kingdom forces and the government with resulted into mass loss of lives.
14. Mbwatekamwa Gaffa
He is one of the famous NRM rebel MPs who have ceaselessly dared Museveni each time he has told them to do what would betray their conscience. Needless to comment about his role in the mass resistance against the age limit bill, the man from Kasambya dared the president once again in February last year when he moved a motion in Parliament for the censure of Security Minister General Elly Tumwine before barking down at last.
Museveni might have ignored him for all the above but the Kyagulanyi diehard made an unwelcome declaration that he would be challenging Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi in Igara West constituency, surrendering his current Kasambya in Mubende as a way of punishing him for his role in amending the Constitution to scrap the age cap that would have prevented Museveni from seeking re-election in 2021.
As one would expect, an attack on Magyezi, whom Museveni has since rewarded for his role in the said amendment would certainly mean an attack on Museveni himself. The celebrated Museveni critic is unsurprisingly a very popular prospect in Igara pissing a very big threat to the Museveni loyal Minister of Local Government.
It ought to be recalled that Mbwatekamwa had announced his retirement from active politics and vowed to join activism until Museveni would retire but later ate his words and said that the pain and shame that Magyezi, who actually happens to be his uncle, had forces him to rescind his decision in order to effect what he called “cleansing the people of his native Igara of the curse the Magyezi curse.
For this particular unfriendly gesture, Museveni will have sleepless nights until he gets very sure that the law maker’s political luck ends in Mubende.
Others include Medard Ssegona of Busiro South of the Democratic party whose prior ties with Mengo poses a big threat to Museveni among the Kabaka loyalists, Kasibante, Mubarak Munyangwa of Kawempe, Muwanga Kivumbi.
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