Just like anyone would expect it, the race for the Country’s most urbanised and populated Constituency will be a congested one and very competitive.
With seasoned challengers like Harold Kaija of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change(FDC) not about to bow out, the Advent of Fred Nyanzi – the elder brother to People Power’s Chief, Robert Kyagulanyi, makes it even a more interesting affair to watch as 2021 draws closer.
Being that the Constituency is located in the heart of Kampala, the Opposition stronghold, tempts many to ignore one contender- Cedric Babu Ndilima, who Actually will pose the greatest challenge to the incumbent Muhammad Nsereko in the coming polls.
The discussion below details how undermined Babu in the race for the Kampala Central MP seat is a risk one wouldn’t afford to take and a bet that would most likely have you parking for the village after the polls in 2021.
Who is Cedric Babu Ndilima?
Cedric Babu is the current Head of content at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC). He is also the President of Uganda Tennis Association and also head of marketing at the Uganda Olympic Committee.
In an interview with the observer newspaper some 5 years ago on February 10, Cedric had clearly indicated he harbored no political ambitions and to those that followed and knew him then, his recent political declaration would come as a shock until you listen to the reasons he advance for the shift in thinking.
Cedric is son to former Museveni Minister Capt Francis Babu, no wonder, his political allegiance to the ruling NRM party.
Deciding factors in the Kampala Central Mp race
Kampala Central has had an unexplainable trend. In 2011, Nsereko of the NRM was President Museveni and FDC’s Col Kizza Besigye’s actual choice for Member of Parliament seat. Even in 2016,when Nsereko sought a re-election as an independent candidate for the 10th Parliament, it ought to be emphasised that he was and actually still ideologically affiliated to the ruling party.
Another paradox in the Constituency is the choice for the Kampala Central division Mayor. Even when NRM’s Nsereko has had it to Parliament easily, the voters have numerously rejected an NRM candidate Kibeedi Nsigumire, for the Chairmanship of the Division,which actually constitute the same electoral area as the Constituency.
It’s therefore important to note that since 1996, when the country had the first general elections under the NRM Government, the Constituency has elected their representative to Parliament on 5 occasions in 1996,2001,2006,2011 and 2016. It’s however surprising that it’s only once that an opposition Member of Parliament has had his way – in 2006-2011, when Lukwago toppled the then Museveni Minister, Francis Babu, who had actually represented the area for two terms.
This is therefore food for thought to those that would place their bets against the debutant yellow boy Cedric Babu, on a presumption that Kampala is for opposition that they will have to think twice.
Kampala Central with new comers.
It seems the Constituency has its own unique taste for political debutants. It’s on record that the electoral area has never chosen among the experienced seasoned politicians for it’s member of Parliament. In 1996, Capt Francis Babu, then an unknown young aviator only looked as though he was a joke against the famous Wasswa Lule, Ziritwawula and the likes. His victory was a true resurrection of the David_ Goliath biblical analogy. He actually went on to hold the seat for 10 years.
When Lukwago Erias, a little known politician from the DP, triumphed over Babu in 2006, it did not shock anyone. It was only easy to conclude that the Museveni Minister had fallen by the very virtual methodology he had put up. And in 2011, was Nsereko the big name player you expected to win on that race? Obviously not. And guess what? He took over the day.
Ten years is quite a long time.
Nsereko will be joint holder of the record for the longest serving MP. for that particular Constituency with veteran aviator Francis Babu, who is actually father to the man he will most likely face off with in 2021. By the time of his ejection in 2006, Babu senior had been to Parliament for ten years. The people of Kampala saw that much as his representation wasn’t actually one that you would describe as wanting, the ten years was quite a time enough to give way for a new face which actually paid off with Lukwago raising into one of the most prominent politicians of the contemporary Uganda. And now that it’s Nsereko in the 2006 Babu’s situation, one would have better prepared for a shock in 2021.
Babu’s focus points a head of the polls will surely reserve him a seat at the political dining table.
While speaking to this website in an interview at his UBC offices late last month, the flamboyant entertainer detailed what he had in store for his constituents should he get voted.
Speaking about the physical infrastructural development for the city with utmost precision, with regard to the highly competitive growth rates of the City, Cedric put emphasis on women development while maintaining that women empowerment will be an important conduit for development. He also put a close look at talent development with mind-blowing figures highlighting it’s potential for boosting the economy and improving the livelihood of the population.
With such a manifesto, Cedric will certainly be an irresistible choice for many regardless of the different political affiliations.
He categorically chooses his message so that whoever has an interest in the development of Kampala will be pushed to consider him before their political belongings come into play.
Nsereko, an orphan in the era of political alliances and Cooperation.
The biggest miscalculation for which the super legislator is bound to pay heavily is believing he can go it alone.
Asked about why he had chosen to oust Nsereko, a known NRM ideologically inclined candidate like himself, Babu reiterated by saying that Nsereko actually needed to be punished for betraying the party that made him.
Whereas it would be short sight to say that this alone would bring the fall of the mighty Kampala Representative to Parliament, it’s also wisdom to reason that he needed a backup plan. Like for instance, when Lukwago fell out with his Democratic party, he made an alliance with FDC and his position as the City Mayor was shielded.
Rebel MPs like Bernabas Tinkasimire, Theodore Ssekikubo, Mbwatekamwa among others, will make sure opposition parties will find it hard to have candidates stand in their constituencies. But now without the NRM, his position becomes a difficult one.
It’s public knowledge that Nsereko’s relationship with People Power is not at its best at all. Last year, he came out to say he had never been to Kyagulanyi’s home and was not about to because he didn’t think he needed to.
“I have never been to Kyagulanyi’s place and I will never go there because I don’t need anything from him, ” Nsereko had remarked, while responding to allegations that he had been procured by his NRM party’s Principal Yoweri Museveni, to convince Kyagulanyi to drop his presidential ambitions.
Asked to comment on the Nsereko’s outburst, Joel Ssenyonyi, the Political Movement’s Spokesperson said there was more important things to respond to, other than the Nsereko business, further showing how the relationship one you would describe as being death beyond resurrection.
On the other hand however, Ndilima Babu Cedric seems to carefully choose the steps to take on his political walk.
When asked to comment about Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi’s political fame and chances at the Presidency, Babu expressed his open admiration for the self made man from Magere and warned his Party not to take chances as the Magere man is capable of causing them an upset in the future.
Although it would be and ideological risky to conclude that He wishes him the very best in his present Presidential endeavors, it clearly shows that Babu is intent on avoiding political conflicts on his way into politics.
With FDC already an unlikely political ally having their Deputy Secretary General, Harold Kaija set for the same seat, political cooperation with Kyagulanyi’s People Power is the only sure avenue that would give the productive legislator a new lease of political life.
There are however some factors that will play against Babu in his nod to challenge Nsereko as enumerated below:
Nsereko had arguably been one of the most productive Members of the floor of Parliament in the 10th Parliament.
According to the Ansard, Nsereko had been featured among at least the best 20 MPs on reference to his activities on the floor of Parliament. Convincing voters against such a high productivity representation will be an uphill of a task although Babu reasons that he is not coming to work on what Nsereko has done well but rather on what he has not done.
“Admittedly, he has performed well in the house. For me he has been one of the best but just as you one, one person can not do all things and be in all places. I want to focus on what he has not done as well as consolidate what he has achieved for our people,” Babu informed Watchdog in an interview.
A section of the population has also accused Babu of trying to ride on the foundation left behind his father Capt Francis Babu reasoning that it would be an hereditary like affair . But when asked to comment on the same, he says he sees it nothing with reaping from the labors of his parents since all hardworking individuals work to leave a legacy for their children to pride in.
He also faces the first thick test of going through the NRM Party primaries which is equally a tough hurdle to jump before finally getting his. name onto the 2021 ballot.
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