Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Candidates vying for the newly introduced speaker’s seat at Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA have intensified campaigns as the election date draws closer. KCCA councilors go to the polls on March 5, 2020 to elect their pioneer speaker.
Three councilors have expressed interest in the seat. They include Doreen Nyanjura, the Forum for Democratic Change- FDC party official candidate, Abubakar Kawalya also from FDC and their ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party rival, Bruhan Byaruhanga.
The three aspirants are working hard to woo councilors to their side. Nyanjura told URN that she no longer has weekends as she continues to reach out to individual councilors from different parties to back her candidature.
The outspoken Makerere University councilor has the full blessing of the Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, who has openly expressed his support for her. Some of the councilors on Nyanjura team are the Nakawa councilor, Moses Mugisha Okwera, Kyambogo’s Olive Namazzi, Kennedy Okello and Makindye’s Doreen Sabuka.
Nyanjura faces stiff competition from Lubaga North Councilor Abubakar Kawalya who claims to be the right FDC candidate. Kawalya is said to have emerged winner in the caucus polls held in December 2019. Nyanjura declined to participate in the elections and opted that the party top leadership guides the process.
The FDC leadership asked interested members to express interest in writing for nomination. Despite expressing interest, Kawalya declined to turn up for nominations when he that the candidate would be decided by the party National Executive Committee. Kawalya, a People power sympathizer, says he is be hunted by his party because of his affiliation to the pressure group.
He has continued to camp despite threats of disciplinary action by the party leadership, which he calls betrayal. Kawalya has the support of at least five FDC councilors including Ismail Damba of Lubaga South, Umar Kajumba of Makindye West, Rashida Naluwooza of Kawempe North, Nakabugo Faridah of Rubaga South Councilor and Happy Nasasira from Nakawa are his know supporters.
The Opposition dominated council has 32 councilors 18 of whom are from the FDC. Despite enjoying the majority, the two FDC councilors need support from non FDC members to win. According to KCCA Amendment Act 2019, one needs more that 50% of the votes to be declared Speaker.
Some members from the two FDC camps, told URN on condition of anonymity that they are seeking an alliance with the NRM candidate Byaruhanga. Both are proposing that he supports them for Speakership in exchange for the position of Deputy Speaker.
Byaruhanga confirmed that some members from both teams claiming to represent their candidates had approached him with the alliance deal but he declined the proposal saying he knows he is strong and stands high chances of victory.
However, the two FDC camps have denied seeking an alliance with NRM. Nyanjura says this is blackmail and should be treated with contempt.
Byaruhanga is one of the councilors said to be not in good books of the Lord Mayor. He openly told Lukwago told the last council meeting that could be his last meeting to chair under KCCA.
In his response, Lukwago said it appeared there were some Councilors who could not wait to see him out of the chairmanship of the council. Byaruhanga says whether he is in good books of the Lord Mayor or not, it is not a prerequisite for him to win the speaker’s seat.
The position of speaker and deputy speaker were introduced at KCCA and the five division in the KCCA Amendment act 2019. Speakers will take over Chairmanship of council sitting from the Lord Mayor and Division mayors.