By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA-SHIFTMEDIA- The writing was put on the wall regarding the fate of the National Unity Platform(NUP) after the just concluded elections for divisional Speakers.
The bitter fact, that may be disproved at moment is that NUP is a ‘political vehicle’.
The clear writing was displayed in the Lubaga speakership race that the NUP dominated councilors lost to the ruling NRM party, with few councilor representatives because cash exchanged hands.
We don’t need to remind readers that NUP swept most of the seats in Kampala, Central Greater Masaka, and parts of Busoga. Most Members of Parliament from Kampala and Wakiso, say for Hon. Mohammed Nsereko (Kampala Central) and Hon Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda (Kira Municipality) are from the National Unity Platform.
NUP also won majority of the councilor seats at KCCA. Both the Speaker and her Deputy are from NUP
Similarly, most divisional mayoral seats- Kawempe, Nakawa, Lubaga, Makindye, apart from Kampala Central (Salim Uhuru) were won by NUP candidates.
Cash at play
Right from the onset, the NUP councilors from Lubaga had shown that they wouldn’t toe the line of the Kamwokya based NUP antics. This can be attested by the fact that out of the 91 directly elected councilors from Lubaga, 64 being from NUP, 15 NRM, and 6 from Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), NRM’s Musah Mbaziira with the minority won the speakership race.
Apparently, on ground, we unearthed that despite a warning from the NUP principal, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine to the councilors not to elect a non-NUP candidate as Speaker for Lubaga, the majority opted to pocket the cash and vote for NRM.
Most of the councilors who spoke to us on condition of anonymity said they literally bought NUP flag bearer tickets to contest. “Right from the start, NUP leadership revealed to us that it is business. Only those who paid were given the party flag as candidates. It is time to harvest now,” said one councilor.
The new Speaker apparently also spent a great amount of money supporting the councilors to get NUP tickets on the condition that they will retain him as speaker. His warnings threatening to expose NUP councilors who pocketed his cash for campaign posters might have sent fear waves among the NUP flag bearers.
We also established that a leading Cabinet Minister who lost in the Lubaga division helped Mbazira splash millions of shillings into luring the NUP councilors into voting for an NRM candidate.
Our revelations were backed by former Presidential Press Secretary, Tamale Mirundi who during the Impact FM Gyagenda Ssemakula Dhikusooka’s Friday morning show said: “I personally called Hon Beti Kamya to thank her for supporting NRM win the Lubaga Speakership race. I pray President Museveni retains her as minister despite losing in the parliamentary seat.”
Inside sources within the NUP camp in Lubaga revealed that each councilor was given shs1m to rally behind the NRM candidate. “It is true, one of our own was the one calling others to come and pick their share of the money. Unless something is done, we shall not go far as NUP,” said another councilor who said we keep his name concealed.
Ssegirinya and Nkuyingi parted with millions to get NUP flag tickets
This investigative website is yet to ascertain other claims by Tamale Mirundi that NUP is a political vehicle geared towards minting money. Tamale claimed that Mohammed Ssegirinya the Kawempe North MP had to part with USD$ 50,000 (Shs182.5m) to get the flag ticket for Kawempe North.
“Ssegirinya was able to get the NUP flag ticket after paying $50,000 that his wife based in Boston America sent him,” said Tamale on Impact FM.
He said Hon Nkunyingi who replaced Robert Kyagulanyi as Kyadondo East MP parted with shs150 million after offsetting his land title with a bank to be given the NUP flag.
“Getting these fellows out of their seats will be very difficult since they will have to recover the monies that they invested,” he explained.
None of the legislators, Ssegirinya, nor Muwadda Nkuyingi picked our calls when contacted for comment. Similarly, NUP spokesman and Nakawa East MP Joel Ssenyonyi wasn’t reachable when contacted.