Luweero DP Leaders Split Over Mbabazi, Besigye Top story

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In short
Francis Kiwanuka, the Wobulenzi Town Council DP Publicity Secretary says he has decided to back Besigye because he is tested and trustworthy to lead the liberation struggle compared to Mbabazi.

Several Democratic Party officials and supporters in Luweero district have declined to back the candidature of Ex-Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi citing his ties with the ruling National Resistance Movement and his past corruption scandals.

The DP leaders and supporters have instead decided to throw their weight behind Dr. Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party presidential candidate in defiance of their party leadership. The DP national executive committee endorsed Mbabazi's presidential bid last month under his Go Forward platform.

Last week, Norbert Mao, the DP President General asked DP members to support Mbabazi during his campaign rally at Kasana play ground in Luweero Town Council saying he would deliver change in the country's leadership, a thing the opposition has failed to do for the past 30 years.

However, over 300 DP leaders and their supporters led by Luweero Town Council LC 3 chairperson Charles Ssebyala have refused to support Mbabazi in favor of Besigye. Ssebyala says Mbabazi is not committed to causing a fundamental change but he is focused on capturing power for his personal gain. 

According to Ssebyala, the current government needs a total overhaul, a thing he says only Besigye can do. Francis Kiwanuka, the Wobulenzi Town Council DP Publicity Secretary says he has decided to back Besigye because he is tested and trustworthy to lead the liberation struggle compared to Mbabazi.

Kiwanuka also claims that Mbabazi hoodwinked opposition members claiming that he had a number of followers in NRM but they are yet to be seen a few months to the polls.

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Julius Ssebyala, a DP member in Wobulenzi Town council says Besigye is aggressive and consistent compared to Mbabazi. Ssebyala says Museveni fears an aggressive and fearless person like Besigye and not a soft spoken person like Mbabazi.
Abdul Wahab Ssali, another DP supporter says he doubts Mbabazi's capacity to lead a struggle against Museveni because he propelled him to prominence. Ssali also welcomed Besigye's campaign strategy of defiance saying Museveni can't be defeated by compliance.

Emmanuel Nsubuga, the DP Chairperson Luweero Town Council says Mbabazi is dented by past corruption scandals, which makes it difficult to market him in Luweero. He observes that Mbabazi is an unapologetic over the brutality meted against opposition by the NRM government and continues promoting its ideology, a thing they can't tolerate.
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But Erasto Kibirango, the Luweero DP Chairperson says the group that has decided to back Besigye can't fail Mbabazi's bid in the district. He insists that Mbabazi's commitment to address key issues affecting Luweero that include paying veterans, elevating Luweero Town Council to municipal status and revive cooperatives has swung support to his side.

In the 2001 general elections, Besigye garnered 17.2 percent of the total votes casts in Luweero against Museveni's 79.2 percent. In 2011, Besigye gained as he polled 27.54 percent of the 106.826 votes cast against Museveni's 67.63 percent. The entry of Mbabazi in the presidential race is likely to reduce to the margin of both Museveni and Besigye in Luweero depending on how each of the candidates appeals to the voters.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.