When Dr Kizza Besigye turned up at Namboole for his nomination to run for president last Wednesday, there was one eye-catching oddity: the presence by his side of Nabilah Naggayi Sempala.
For the uninitiated, Nabilah is the Kampala Woman MP who had, in 2011, abandoned her own party to run on the FDC ticket. It was recently on radio that Nabilah had ‘given her behind’ (as Seya would say) to presidential candidate John Patrick Amama Mbabazi.
So, it was surprising that Nabilah accompanied Besigye, the FDC flag bearer and Mbabazi’s rival, for his nomination.
So, how did it happen? Wolokoso has learnt that Nabilah remembered that Besigye was the ‘president of Kampala’ and concluded that it would be political suicide not to be by his side in his moment of honour. So, she ‘flew’ to Namboole before Besigye’s procession sealed off Jinja road. By the time Besigye’s entourage arrived,
Nabilah had already occupied the seat reserved for Besigye’s spouse or other significant female.
Now we all know that Dr Besigye is married to Uganda’s much-loved engineer Winnie Byanyima, who would have accompanied him; but it seems that since Winnie, the global Oxfam boss, was away, Nabilah chose to be the ‘acting Winnie’. This allowed her to share the limelight as ‘Kampala’s First Lady’ for the cameras.
Trouble is that there were real Besigyeist girls like Shifrah Lukwago, who had hoped to sit beside Besigye and who were shocked to see Nabilah at Namboole.
At one time, Shifrah (who wants Nabilah’s parliamentary seat) was walking side by side; but in a move that would make Moses Golola look a novice, Nabilah closed in on the couple.
She slowed down as she approached her target. Then, she aimed and chose her moment. Finally, she dived in, elbowed an unsuspecting Shifrah away, and planted herself firmly beside Besigye – as firmly as the tyres on Formula One cars!
For the rest of the nomination exercise, Nabilah did not blink.
Lukwago on way out?
Embattled Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago may be enjoying his last days with that tittle, after reports emerged that a bill changing the method of filling his position is to be go to parliament soon.
Unreliable sources told Wolokoso that a meeting was recently held in Kampala, where a top minister intimated to councillors how the Lukwago issue was to be resolved.
The rumour goes that parliament will soon hold an emergency sitting and pass a law to allow lord councillors to elect a mayor from among themselves.
The other option MPs will be given is to have the president appoint the lord mayor. If, as expected, this law is passed, that would be the end of our muloodi. Wolokoso hopes that does not happen. What would the city be without a real lord mayor?
Lukwago was impeached and thrown out of City hall by councilors in November 2013 on grounds that he had failed to convene authority meetings. He challenged the decision in court but the matter has not been disposed of.
Now it seems the minister is determined to find a political solution to this legal problem.However, addressing journalists last Thursday, Lukwago vowed to mount a titanic legal challenge against what he called the NRM’s latest political machination.
Tanga ‘bites’ MP Kakooza
It is not easy for an honorable member of parliament to stomach being embarrassed by an ordinary senior party official.Yet this is exactly the situation Kabula MP and former minister James Kakooza found himself in recently.
Kakooza, who lost the NRM primaries in his constituency, had gone to Kyadondo road to file a petition with the party’s electoral commission. However, commission chairman Tanga Odoi was in an uncompromising mood.
“I don’t want to see any politician coming here with petitions; I am tired of petitions! Don’t allow them in,” Tanga was overheard telling his charges.
Kakooza, who was at the entrance with his petition and bodyguard, looked on in disbelief as Tanga clattered up the stairs to his office.
Humiliated, Kakooza left.
“Can you imagine Tanga has chased me away?” Kakooza later cried on the shoulder of Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo.“What did I do to that man bannange? I had gone there to give him my petition; there were irregularities in Kabula but I was shocked to be bounced just like that!”
Just like that.