Feeding the 5000
Deputy Lord Mayor for Kampala City, Doreen Nyanjura, says Ssegirinya’s acts are commendable but not sustainable. “You can buy lots of food and charcoal and so much more but still realise you have not fed about 5000 people. It is a good act but it is not sustainable,” she says. “That’s not our work, the voters force us to do it.”
Nyanjura, a KCCA councilor representing Makerere University, says MPs who have not been aping Ssegirinya’s acts of buying food have faced backlash from their electorate. Nyanjura says being a relief plug should not be the yardstick for elected officials particularly those in the opposition who are denied access to state resources.
Sticah Nakatudde, a woman councilor in Kira Municipality, says the MP has been doing that since he was a Lord Councilor although she says there are now allegations by some people that he is being funded by government. At the time, his monthly salary was a paltry Shs3 million.
Meanwhile Ssegirinya plans to shore up his credentials as a legislator so as not to just be seen as a mere benefactor while serving in parliament by the watchful public. He says he is mooting two Private Members Bills; one about increasing salaries of doctors and teachers, the other about term limits for MPs and the President. “Why should Latif Ssebagala go to parliament and be there for twenty years?” throwing a dig at the man he defeated in the 2021 elections. He first stood for the Kawempe North seat in 2011 and lost badly.
Ssegirinya rode to parliament after felling a field of 10 candidates and it was his record in Kawempe that won him a landslide. The race had other notable candidates like former deputy Lord Mayor Sulaiman Kidandala whom Ssegirinya beat to the NUP ticket.
His antics where he played cat and mouse games with the police in the city had many dismissing him as a comic who stood no chance.
However the MP says he had always been preparing for his current office. In 2017, he allied with Bobi Wine when the singer joined politics contesting for the Kyadondo East seat which fell vacant after a court petition. That year, Ssegirinya was among the opposition figures who would dress in red ribbons demonstrating against the plan to lift the presidential age limit so that President Museveni could run again in 2021.
A tweet the first term MP sent out on July 31 had the usual Ssegirinya energy “JUST IN :each Child you give birth at Kawempe North Hospital you get yourself a prize of two kilograms of Byenda[offals].”