The National Unity Platform (NUP) Political party is facing arguably its first major challenge of choosing its flag bearers for different electoral positions and levels.
This stems from the party’s lack of structures that would help it organise primaries at different leadership levels.
The party recently overcame the headache of choosing its choice president when it handed the flag to Robert Kyagulanyi, the Party President, after it emerged he was the sole applicant for the job.
Now, The Sunrise has learned from reliable sources that NUP has come up with a three way test to qualify a candidate as the party’s flag bearer.
“First and foremost we are to consider is possession of relevant academic qualification. In the case of MPs, it will be possession of a Senior Six or ‘A-Level’ certificate. We cannot give our ticket to someone who will be bounced by the Electoral Commission.”
Our inside source adds that second option is to ask the contestants to sit on a round table to negotiate, with the assistance of volunteers at each level of leadership.
But without financial resources to compensate contestants to quit, after they have invested money in printing posters, and related campaign expenses, this strategy is likely to be quickly dismissed.
NUP leaders are confident that these negotiations will manage to reduce the number, before the secretariat can intervene.
The third option, according to the source, will be to send spies to the ground to try to assess the popularity of each of the candidates.
“We shall use out informal network of volunteers and spies to go to the ground to find who is stronger. When we finish this, we shall inform them of our findings but still ask the weaker candidate to support their counterpart or advise them to consider another position.”
Upon conclusion of these exercises, the party will announce the final flag bearers.
But observers warn that the party faces numerous challenges including financial resources to traverse the whole country in just four weeks before Electoral Commission’s nomination date of Oct 12 and 13, 2020 for Members of Parliament.
The source also added that NUP flag bearers will as well be selected basing on what addition and value they attached to the Party for the past period.
The fiercest fighting is especially around Kampala and Wakiso as well as a few urban areas where the new political party has caused some excitement.
We’ve selected some of the battlegrounds constituencies to illustrate the challenge facing the NUP leadership.
Rubaga North constituency in Kampala district is held by the incumbent Moses Kasibante. But Kasibante, recently joined NUP along with fellow MPs under the DP block, in what many analysts saw as a plot to prevent the popular party from fielding competitors to uproot them.
Kasibante is facing a formidable opponent in the names of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Speaker Abubaker Kawalya. The former FDC member, is one of the young and charismatic leaders.
There is stiff competition among new political entrants Former Makerere University Guild President Roy Ssembogga and Journalist Hajj Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira who have both been active in party work.
The two are targeting to uproot the FDC incumbent Mubarak Munyagwa Mugaati gwa Bata.
Kawempe North is one of the constituency with the most number of MP aspirants under the NUP umbrella. Comedian Lord Councillor Muhammad Ssegirinya, has vowed to uproot 5-term incumbent Hajj Latif Ssebaggala Ssengendo, who has also turned out to be a vocal supporter of the party. The race also has former Deputy Lord Mayor Sulaiman Kidandala who has been unwavering and visible supporter of the party.
The highly popular CBS presenter Patrick Mujuuka aka Patriko is facing some stiff competition from city businessman Fred Ssimbwa. The duo are fighting for the NUP ticket to uproot incumbent Engineer Kafeero Ssekitooleko.
Kyadondo East Constituency
The two time parliamentary aspirant Muwada Nkunyingi is in a close race with Kasangati Town council Mayor Tony Kiyimba Ssempebwa.
The Rubaga South constituency has attracted the highest number of competitors under the umbrella symbol with up to 30 people vowing to uproot incumbent Kato Lubwama.
But the hottest race is between Fako Proprietor and councillor Aloysius Mukasa, former presidential aspirant Samuel Walter Lubega Mukaaku and Princess Eugenia Nassolo who are all very ambitious.
Nassolo and Mukasa have both invested heavily in her campaign by buying ambulances among other expenses.
Although there had been reports that Nakawa Division had been split into two to create room for NRM’s Fredrick Ruhindi. Reports from the Electoral Commission, indicate that the ruling party has reversed the plan and will not split Nakawa.
According to EC Spokesperson, Nakawa has not been split. This obviously puts NUP into a crisis as it has to choose between Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga, the incumbent mayor of the division now vying for the MP seat, against NUP’s very loyal spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi.
From the DP block, Kenneth Paul Kakande, a seasoned loser of the Nakawa MP ballot. But whoever wins the flag, shall face a daunting challenge of beating incumbent Michael Kabaziguruka of the FDC.