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Day June 1, 2009

How the Opposition lost to Sematimba

Mr. Muwanga and fellow UAH,

I was there in Kampala during these campaigns and I was very disappointed with the opposition myself. They were so fragmented and therefore produced fragmented results. DP and FDC need to calm down, sit on the same table and discuss the future. DP has got to join the inter party Cooperation because I’m sure that even donors will find it difficult to finance them independently.

  1. Sematimba would have won this election with a bigger majority if he had stood as an independent. I don’t think his pronouncing himself as NRM will help him in the long run if he is to remain contesting in Kampala. Urban centres are pro-opposition all over the world. This was just a one off.
  2. Sematimba said that he joined NRM in 1994 and that he only stood as an independent during Mayoral elections in Kampala because NRM had already fronted Mr. Kyambadde as their candidate. This alone shows someone with an element of indiscipline because he could not barge in for the sake of the party. Probably Kyambade would have won the mayoral race against Sebaggala if Sematimba had not stood as an independent. Sematimba said that he was in Dubai on Business and started admiring the way Arabs had built their city and that’s when he rushed back home to run as a mayor.
  3. Some people did not vote for Sematimba because he was looked at as a snob. I listened to him on radio CBS when he was being hosted by Medi Nsereko Sebuliba. He kept telling people that he is a very rich man and that he handles the same budget in his line of businesses as the Lubaga Division budget. He said that those running against him aren’t as rich as him. He boastfully called them all names under the sun depicting some one with less money. What confused me was when he said, at the same time, that he had decided to run on NRM ticket because ‘they are the one with money’. This means that the rich Sematimba is capable of joining any side with cash.
  4. Among some of his achievements he mentioned while being hosted on CBS fm was the introduction of Valentine’s Day in Uganda. I could not believe my ears that some one would use this to get votes and few in the opposition and religious circles challenged him. The fact is that the disadvantages of Valentine’s Day outweigh the advantages and we would have lived without this day. It is like some one saying that he introduced ‘sex’ day or prostitution in Uganda and we need to vote this person in a position of responsibility. Yes, I like Sema as a person but this was very cheap from him.

On the other hand, the opposition did not help themselves at all and I pray that this is the last time DP and FDC are fighting in public because it irritated a lot of voters:

  1. The opposition candidates kept campaigning while dressed in suits and heavy wears while Sematimba was only using T-shirts and light clothing. The opposition should know that Kampala is not a village where somebody needs to put on a suit all the time while looking for votes. Honestly, it’s so hot in Kampala and I don’t know how these guys managed to dress like this throughout the campaigns. The opposition should learn simple tactics of connecting with the voters.
  2. DP and FDC kept calling each other names in public and it put off a lot of people. I guess those are the ones who decided to stay at home on the voting day
  3. MP Kamya was another one that is more of a menace to the opposition than she realises. She is on FM radio political programs almost 3 times a week and her words towards FDC,Joyce Sebugwawo and Besigye are not helpful. We only know that she is playing politics but her politics is so childish and divisional. However, I listened to her when she was being hosted on either Capital FM or KFM and she talked sense about the PGB soldier who shot people dead at the bar before he shot himself. I think she was on this program with MP brother Hussein Kyanjo, UPDF spokesperson and other MPs.
  4. The opposition need to mobilise election funds jointly and need to have a joint candidate in all elections in future. The opposition did not have enough money throughout this campaign and this was evidenced on the size and the number of campaign posters they used. Sematimba’s posters looked bigger and more beautiful everywhere I went. I even tried to go in places which we call ‘BUSOKOLO SOKOLO’ like the junction at Namungona main stage. I went deep down there but Sematimba was everywhere and the rest looked like small babies on their posters. Sematimba looked like a smiling SALONGO with a baby face. Sematimba’s face was everywhere in Kampala and on the outskirts.
  5. For God’s sake,NRM had 7 people who contested against Sematimba within the party but they managed to agree on one. Why shouldn’t the opposition do the same in all elections?

Byebyo banange



Why the opposition lost to Sematimba in Lubaga

On the just concluded by-elections of Lubaga Division (constituency), a lot must have been talked.Out of a regestered 130,000 voters:

1. 17 000 voted the opposition candiates.

2. 15,000 voted the fomr N.America base diaspola ‘ssenga’ (sex-therapist on CBS)  turned pentecostal pastor of the NRM.This means that the turn-out was 25% of th electorate, which constitutes a MASSIVE BOYCOTT.This means that ssematimba was elected with an 11.5% vote.

1/10. Summary: Every body must fight for principled UNITY, even “of opposites” as they used to teach in philosophy classes.
The DP-FDC rift should not be looked at in clear-cut terms or as a “black-and-white” issue. Why? They have worked together before.
2/10. Iexamples are not few: In the Buyikwe by-election, FDC campaigned for the DP candidate. The young doctor won easily. To trounce the NRM so called “living encyclopaedia” in Bugweri, DP did not put up a candidate.  katuntu went through, causing NRM shem – for a whole deputy PM to loose in his own area.
What is the problem today then?:
3/10. The not so simple answer is “personalitioes” and ‘personalisation of Politics’ and some “poplitical hangover” with  some people.
That is why you have situations where, for example, in the last election,  “Seeya” Ssebagala had to distance himself from DP and ride on the then “besighye factor” [muna-magye y’esobola muna-magye munne – i.e. a soldier (M7) can only be managed by a fellow soldier] – which may have fizzled out now. That is, he read the peoples’ mood and mind better. So did Ms Nabila who even had her party [Social Democratic] but decided to ride on the mentioned factor when it lasted.
4/10. Come places like Lubaga division: The mood and mind of the people were clear for everybody to see. “You either join togethr or we shall not vote”. DP’s bringing in the husband of the late Chair did not help matters: it split the DP core-vote catchment area, to the extent that the Doctor shephard at Lubaga DID NOT support the DP candidate, Mr. Makumbi. He supported, instead, Mr. Ssendikadiwa, a regular perishoner!/member of the Liety.
5/10. Before the media hype by the FM radios and the pentecostal/NRM avalanche swept in, Owek. Joyce Ssebugwaawo was the ‘soul’ candidate [in most peoples’ minds]. After all, had she not been elected fron the RC’s starting 1987 up to the District council before she left to concentrate on Mmengo issues, after the coronation in ’93? [Owek. is short for “owekitibwa” – a tittle for high officials at Mmengo, especially ministers. Alomost like “Honourable”.]
6/10. BUT, but, but: DP considered this Lubaga the ‘cradle’ of the Party and even Owek. an ‘outsider’. The turn of the tide agaist Owek. Joyce Ssebugwaawo is what alarmed the rest of the opposition leaders. The Results were/would be inevitable. The “Man” Ken {Kennedy} Lukyamuzi, President of the Conservative Party cried at the rallies and FM radios almost daily ” People, INITE!!! You are gifting the NRM with an unpopular oition again”. His permanent call fell on the deaf ears of the opposition leaders. Calls for compromise meetings were ignored. the situation became so bad that even the FDC leader predicted the minority NRM’s  victory at one rally, which may also have contributed to the boycott.
7/10. Confusing the electorate: Another of the main causes of the confusion and subsequent boycott was the ‘anti-Joyce’ rhetoric of Beti’s “Federal Alliance”. The tiff between the two ladies Joyce and Beti within FDC board-rooms spilled into Lubaga politics. One voter [first name Francis, a Ssebugwaawo supporter asked, “If the Federal Alliance is for Buganda, how come they are decampaigning Owek. Joyce? I am giving my vote to Owek. but there is no chance with this ‘fratricide’. It’s bad” he concluded. His wife, like many potential opposition voters thus stayed at home.
8/10. So, were “Ssenga” [sextherapist] SEMAT’s votes genuine? Well, he got 11% of the whole voter-roll and that is not something to sing home about. In the last three days, the state macinery came in, in addition to the other preachers and hired youth brigades. Even though some good votes were ‘manufactured’ at Kyadondo road {NRM hqrs}, the media and poster and newspaper advert-campain were so massive that he had to get some votes. In fact, the per-capita cost of Ssematimba’s vote was, may be, 20 times higher than that of all opposition candidates put together.
So, the 11% was not bad, considering the presidential and ministerial ‘man-hours’ invested. The fact though remains, the cost in monetary terms was not justified by the fewer votes he picked, even in view of the wide-boycott.
9/10. Way foward: If the opposition are to have any go at the state next time , they must:
    • Stop being driven by the past: “this is our area’, “this is our nationality”, etc. The NRM uses state resourecs to enter through such flimsy divisions.
    • UNITE. Nothing need be added here. stop egos and selfishness. Indeed, does a house divided aginst itself stand?

10/10. Otherwise, the Uganda citizen-voter will continue to be betrayed by the  the so called ‘political elite’ in Party leaderships. The Lubaga spectacle, like those before it, is an indictiment of the political leaders, for failure to guide the people properly and fo being slfish. The leaders are lucky to escape with a boycott this time around. Next time they may be stoned for failing to do the obvious.

Cry, the beloved Country” – as Allan paton would put it in our stuation today [like he did in the case of 40’s/50’s South aAfrica].

Christopher Muwanga,



Namirembe gets Kityo as the new Bishop

It is 12:00 O’clock (East Africa Time)EAT, 31st May in the year of our Lord, 2009.Greetings fom Uganda. The sun is shinning, inter-sparced by rain, as usual. the credit cruch is bitting as the “kyeyo funds’ seem to have dried up and the financial year of the GoU is at and end, living on borrowed {called supplementary] funding.

  • The 3-in-one  sevice at this ‘ancient’ wonder of architecture has been going on since 9:00 AM. Things like the pesentation, the oaths, the Minutes of the House of Bishops, The ‘examination’ [a touch interrogation], are over. It is now the consecration. His Grace   the Archbishop of the province of Uganda announces:“I hereby declare that Bishop Luwulira Kityo Wiberforce has been duly connsecrated a BISHOP”.
  • But wait, Namirembe does not have a Bishop yet. Becoming a bishop as at this moment, does not give you authority over East and Central Africa’s oldesct Diocese. So, So, more things follow:
    • The Mandate is read by the provincial Chancellor
    • The New Bishop Luwalira reads the Promises.
    • Then followed the investiture and presentation of the symbols of Office:
      • The Archbishop delivered the Episcopal ring.
      • the Pectoral Cross
      • The Stole
      • The Coper
      • the Metre
      • and finally: THE PASTORAL STAFF. This, presented by the Archbishop on behalf of the people of the Diocese of Namirembe is the symbolof Authority, of a good shephard like Jesus was – to uphold him and sustain him as he carries it in His name.
      • After all this, actual enthronement took place. The Archbishop declared,at 12:30 Hrs EAT.
        • “We, Henry, by the devine mercy of the Almighty God, do hereby declare Bishop Luwulira Kityo Wilberforce, Bishop of Namirembe Diocese…”
      • The the Heavens broke loose and shouting, ululations and “Tukutendereze Yeesu..” could probably be heard all over the 7 hills of Kampala.
      • The elders od the Church then took their new Bishop to the THRONE.
    • Charge: the new Bishop then read his CHARGE [manifesto in Politics] where he promised to, among other things, fight child sacrifices, corruption, land grabbing , “..it is time the big men stopped robbing the poor of their land..” whereby the TV cameras focussed on Amama Mbabazi (of the Temangalo fame)who was sitting next to his boss. He asked that parents be allowed to provide for food in UPE/USE schools “a hungry child is an annoyed individual” [under UPE, no charges of any sort are allowed, even for food, which causes many to dop out.[M7, in reply, promised to consider a waiver on this].
    • 2:30 PM Hon Ms Beti Kamya is invited to introduce political leaders. She starts with M7 and the Hon. minister for Karamoja. She is proud to say her grand-dad Andrea Kamya was the first catichest in Ankole Kingdom and that her dad’s protrait hangs in the Bishop’s office next door [he was diocesan treasurer in Amini’s time, at Namirembe]. She then likened her self to  the Biblical woman who touched the garment of Jesus after suffering from ‘a blood hamorrage’ for years and she asked to be allowed to say some thing. She asked M7 for “federo“. She had fogotten to recognise the presence of DP suprimo Ssebaana Kizito and was reminded and did later.
    • Next spoke the Katikoro od Buganda and finally the BIG man himself, who pledged a vehicle for the new Bishop [as usual]. he said Kamya’s question cannot be discussed at this fora. “We discussed this thing (federo) in the Bush and since we came to power…”
    • 3:20 PM. Two stanzas of the National Anthem are sang [as a rule when the President is present, otherwise one is the norm], followed by 3 of late Rev. Pollycarp Kakooza’s 1950’s “Ekitibwa kya Buganda..”.
  • The ceremony in this former hqrs of the E.African church ended with a pubic fest at the grounds of Mmngo School (1897]. M7 and his entourage drove off with their mobile kitchen, hospital and this time around mainly dishuised security, though the gun nests could bee seen around as were the army filed kitchen and serving areas to the wers of kampala.
  • The Archbishops of Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Dallas, were present or represented.

The Building: Namirembe is old but still an imposing structure. First build in 1893 by the then Buganda’s the Chief  architect  Nicodem Sebwato, in ancient ganda syle of reed-arches and slanting thatch, it was destroyed by fire, termites, lightening, etc] and rebuilt  final to the current form, from the Architectural drawings of Gerald Gelford Pite. Sir Apollo Kagwa, Ssekiboobo [Provincial Governor Kyaggwe] Ham Mukasa, and even the King, Sir Daudi Chwa, took direct part in the building process.. but, from 1915, it now needs repair and the New Bishop has his plate full on this one. May God bless him in his new office.

I did not see President Obote of the UPC but one can find out, and revert with an answer, either from the organising Commitee at St. Paul’s, or directly from her friends at Impala  Avenue, Kololo House [matrimonial home [a Sh. 300,000/= storeyed flat offered as a gift by an Indian, in 1963 after their marriage (the Obote’s ONLY property in Kampala, one  hears). [in his book, “Crisis of confidence“-the NRM supremo KK (Kirunda Kivedindha) calls this Obote’s first {and only?} case of corruption –Hmmmm]. [Obotes’s cascate ‘rested’ there from Zambia}.

P/S: The Nkima clan were present in FORCE.


Christopher Muwanga,


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