Thursday, 28 August 2014


Lwanga, Badda dominance on Kalangala islands to be tested

Mr Fred Badda gives money to his voters recently. Photo by Henry Lubulwa  
By Henry Lubulwa

Posted  Saturday, August 23  2014 at  01:00
Will the charismatic and articulate Tim Mutekanga Lwanga retire or not? That is the vexed matter on the lush Ssese Islands district of Kalangala where he has served as MP for Kyamuswa County for eight years now.
As the Kyamuswa folk contemplate that question, their colleagues across the rural paths in Bujumba are already witnessing the early signs of an unrelenting bid to unseat the hardworking Fred Badda.
It could get very crowded: At least 12 politicians, four of them women, say the two gentlemen have done their time and should pass on the baton.
Mr Lwanga served from 2001 to 2006. Then he lost the popular vote to Mr Moses Kabuusu who spent the 2006 – 2011 term in Parliament on an independent ticket.
Mr Kabuusu was defeated in the closely run next election which saw Mr Lwanga return.
Although Mr Badda is serving a third consecutive term in Parliament, he has always been taken to court for alleged vote rigging after every election.
The list of contenders for the Kyamuswa seat includes Democratic Party’s Godfrey Ssekisonge Kabuusu (Independent); Ms Carol Nanyondo Birungi (Kalangala Woman, NRM), Ms Betty Nanyonjo Kabaalu (a councillor representing Bufumira Sub-county, NRM), Mr Frank Ssemakula (district youth chair), Mr Badru Ntulume (district councillor representing Bubeke Sub-county, FDC), Mr Isaac Ssali a journalist and Mr Vereriano Ssenabulya, the district speaker.
As the debate about whether Mr Lwanga is still interested rages around him, there appears to be little doubt about his contribution to the district’s growth.
Mr Ssenabulya recognises this fact, noting that: “he has been our link to the central government whenever there was need to raise matters of importance.”
A former minister for ethics and integrity, the incumbent in Kyamuswa has stamped his mark on things, working very hard to get social services delivered to the islands; not least among which was extension of medical services to Kalangala’s hard-to-reach Islands which never had medical workers before.
An elderly resident of the Kisaba landing site area, Mr Joseph Nkangi, told Saturday Monitor that it was only after Mr Lwanga “intervened that construction works for health centres begun in the constituency”.
The man himself is quick to acknowledge his own contribution, boasting of having promoted the tourism potential of Kalangala through his untiring and ultimately successful lobbying of the government to provide a marine vessel to ease transport on the lake.
“MV Kalangala is my initiative and that alone can show what Tim Lwanga can do,” he says.
He is proud of what he has done and despises those who would “spend money buying cheap drinks for voters”. The man is confident that “even though I get 10 opponents, I can still win the forthcoming election because people know and understand how I am impacting their lives”.
“Politics is not about spending many terms in Parliament, it is the art of changing and managing societies for further development. Many people fight to enter Parliament but if there is nothing you can do to help improve services in your area through your articulacy in Parliament, you consider yourself a poor leader,” he said.
“I come from Ssese and I can even serve when I am not in politics. I remember when Mr Kabuusu won, I continued serving the same people,” he said, adding that “I do not earn from politics, I went into the game while driving a Mercedes Benz and it’s the same brand I am still driving.”
Without confirming whether he will give it another go in 2016 or retire, Mr Lwanga cryptically responded to the question in a roundabout way.
He said if the people find value in what he has done in the area, they will let him return and that doesn’t worry him even when the irresponsible voters who only need a bottle of soda to vote for a candidate flood the area.
He signed off with a flourish: “People always understand and they will vote for me if I am to stand for MP again.”
Mr Lwanga may be a hard act to follow Ms Nanyondo, the woman MP here, believes she would be a perfect replacement for a man she respects but who she also believes is worn out.
“The woman MP seat is too disturbing and cannot let me help people in different communities easily since Kalangala is hard to reach. I have decided to move to such a constituency to help people in development related initiatives,” she says.
However, Fred Katerega, an observer of Kalangala politics, lamented that Kyamuswa is a constituency that has some of the most irresponsible voters who do not place a premium on service delivery when deciding where to vote for a given candidate.
“Since many of them live on landing sites and are regular migrants, many think that if they only received money and a few gifts from contestants who help them benefit during the campaigns then that would enough. Whoever gives more to the people gets the highest number of votes,” he said.
Like the woman MP, youth chairman Ssemakula sees Lwanga moving onto the life of a senior citizen of Uganda who will still deliver to the area even when he is not an MP.
Mr Ssemakula is in the running for Kyamuswa. He can expect a spirited challenge from the DP man Ssekisonge who presently resides in Britain.
“One reason I must stand is that I cannot see a perfect replacement for Mr Tim Lwanga better than me. I have lived and moved with all Kalangala MPs and I know what it takes to debate in Parliament,” Mr Ssekisonge, who observed that the incumbent has lost his 2001 spark on account of ageing, said.
In Bujumba, Mr Badda is likely to contest against more or less the same people he did battle with in 2011. Among them is Mr Rajab Ssemakula who came second.
To this day, Mr Ssemakula is adamant that Mr Badda stole his votes to win the 2011 seat. Asked why he didn’t go to court, Mr Ssemakula said he was time-barred having listened to advice that it is better to wait for the next election (2016).

The parliamentary elections law gives a dissatisfied candidate seven days within which to lodge a petition contesting an election result.
Other likely opponents of Mr Badda, including Mr Andrew Kulazikulabe (DP), Ms Lydia Kizza Nakimera (Independent) and Mr Rajab Ssemakula (Independent) also agree he has not been visible.

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