The just-concluded district council elections in Kampala will come as a sweet consolation to opposition sympathisers in the city following the overwhelming support given to Erias Lukwago in his re-election race against NRM’s Daniel Kazibwe and DP’s Isa Kikungwe.
Despite low voter turn-out, high vigilance by Lukwago’s voter protection team which included all newly-elected opposition MPs in Kampala district helped Lukwago to beat his NRM rival Daniel Kazibwe aka Ragga Dee in the mayoral race for Kampala.
Lukwago was declared winner with over 170, medicine 000 votes against Kazibwe’s 40,000 and Kikungwe’s 7000 votes. The tally, although nearly 100,000 votes less than those received in the 2011 elections, was an overwhelming victory for Lukwago.
But as Lukwago sailed to victory, his former party – the Democratic Party were left nursing wounds after majority of their representatives were defeated by FDC candidates in the local councillors race.
But the just concluded elections will be loathed more perhaps by supporters of the Democratic Party who have lost majority of their councillors in the council to their rivals Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).
Blamed by the electorate for having gone to bed with an unpopular KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi Ssemakula, voters punished DP councillors by replacing them with FDC people.
FDC took more than 16 places (more than 50%) of the total 30 elective positions in the KCCA council.
According to newly elected Lubaga South MP Kato Lubwama, the rejection of DP councillors in this week’s polls was a protest vote against those councillors who colluded with KCCA minister and Executive Director Musisi to frustrate Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago from performing his duties.
Lubwama said: “Whoever blocked Lord Mayor Lukwago has been defeated. The people of Kampala have sent a clear message to the government that Lukwago represents their hope.”
Perhaps sensing the mood of the electorate in Kampala, most contenders have done their best to identify with Lukwago by promoting his poster alongside theirs.
It is perhaps not surprising that in Makindye East thanks to his support of Lukwago in his war with the central government, Allan Ssewanyana overcame strong support from more influential rivals.
Lubwama’s argument that DP have been voted out of Kampala for opposing Lukwago, will certainly be a source of headache to President Yoweri Museveni and his team in KCCA led by Kampala Minister Frank Tumwebaze and Executive Director Jennifer Musisi.
Although President Museveni admitted last week that his party’s poor performance in Kampala was a result of Musisi’s hard-line policies against the urban poor, the re-election of Lukwago looks set to continue the political statement between Lukwago and Museveni.