As the 2021 general elections heat up, a number of journalists and media personalities are jeering up to swap their low-paying jobs for the lucrative political offices.
This round’s election cycle has attracted a considerably large number of media faces ranging from radio, to television and print.
Patrick Mujuuka alias Patricko needs no introduction across the wide Luganda language population, thanks to Emmanduso Morning Programme (Mukeeze). Patricko has also cultivated strong following thanks to his acting career both on stage and on the silver-screen.
His gental character and light-hearted humour has endeared him to millions of people. One wonders why he wants to tarnish his good name by joining the dirty game! So, Patricko has joined the game of the monkeys and can no lonnger afford to hide his behind. Working under the National Unity Platform (NUP), Patricko is battling the powerful and deep-pocketed NRM incumbent Engineer Kafeero Ssekitooleko for the Nakifuma county seat.
Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira
Hajj Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira is no small fish in the media fraternity. Bashir is the reigning President of the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA), a role he occupied since September 2018.
Kazibwe has long haboured political ambitions, even though he has been relatively successful as a journalist. He declared his ambitions to unseat the FDC incumbent Mubarak Munyagwa.
Simon Kagwa Njala
Simon Kaggwa Njala, also needs no introduction for followers of current affairs on television. The Akaboozi ku Bbiri radio/NBS TV current affairs guru is a veteran in the news/current affairs league. Njala is not new to politics either, having surprisingly lost to Super FM’s proprietor Pastor Peter Ssematimba of the ruling NRM party.
Njala was the victim of the delayed voting materials across Wakiso, that many say was aimed at undercutting the Opposition support in the district. Despite these games, Njala is believed to have won the poll, but was suprisingly declared in second place.
Some of Njala’s friends intimated to us that he had the evidence to go to court, but chickened out. Nothing much has changed in this race, as the two are once again amassing troops for war. Perhaps the only new thing is that another media personality in the names of Stephen Danstan Busuulwa is vying for the same seat.
Joyce Baagala Ntwatwa
Joyce Baagala, the News Manager of Next Media Productions, caused a lot of excitement in 2016, when she contested for the Mityana district Woman Member of Parliament against the then inexperienced Judith Nabakooba.
When she lost, she got comfortable with her busy job of reporting about Nabakooba. Baagala has now risen from slumber and wants to return to challenge Nabakooba. This wont be easy especially considering that Nabakooba has deepened her roots and spread her image and influence across the district by donating planting materials and engaging in several other economic development projects. Baagala is one of those politicians who are still split between DP and NUP. So her poster has a hoe and an umbrella. This confussion is likely to hurt her chances more, especially in the current environment where all that people have are posters.
His real name is Dennis Katongole, but he’s popularly known as Katongole Omutongole. The Beat FM/Delta TV presenter wants to take a second shot at Bbaale county parliamentary seat. Katongole political interest began way back in 2011 when he contested for Bbale constituency NRM parliamentary seat primaries where he lost to former Minister for Elderly and the Disabilities Sulaiman Madada. Katongole says he is determined this time to uproot the incumbent George Nsamba Kumama from the constituency.
Kyeyune has the misfortune of not being able to benefit from his Television works as other people that present. Only a few people know that he’s the voice behind the ‘Zungulu’ slot that is featured on NTV every Friday. Kyeyune wants to again compete for the Nakasongola parliamentary constituency after contesting and losing the same race to NRM’s Mutebi Wanzala Noah.
The former Top radio, Beat FM, Super FM and currently Record FM’s News Anchor has decided to abandon his former constituency of Kasanda North, where he lost to Nsamba Oshabe. Perhaps he has feared Nsamba’s new strength, after he crossed to the NUP. Kwezi has decided to go for the more rural Bukuya county to stand against incumbent Dr. Michael Bukenya.
It seems Sumaya Muwonge is tired of media nomadism. Since she left Bukedde FM as a news anchor, she has been to Salt TV, Top TP and God knows where else. Now Muwonge, wants to prove that she’s a very versatile person and has vowed to take the Kampala district woman MP seat.
Sumaya’s face is not entirely new to most Kampalans since she was one of the popular Bukedde TV crew when it ruled the airwaves a few years ago.
The senior journalist however faces tough opposition in the name of foul-mouthed Dr. Stella Nyanzi, People Power Lawyer and activist Shamim Malende among others.
The Moon TV investigative journalist and Pearl FM presenter of its The Inside Story show is set to compete for the Kawempe North Parliamentary seat together with other popular politicians i.e. Area Lord Councilor Muhammad Ssegirinya, City Lawyer Shifra Lukwago, Former Deputy Lord mayor Sulaiman Kidandala and incumbent Abdulatif Ssebaggala Ssengendo.
Agnes Nandutu has always held serious plans of coming to Parliament as an MP after she was reportedly blocked from covering Parliament by some powerful forces.
Nandutu used her connections to secure a part-time gig with State House’s PR department. But things didn’t work out and she returned to NTV.
She was recently nominated to contest in the NRM primaries scheduled for September 4, 2020.
Nandutu is contesting for the Bududa district woman MP in Eastern Uganda.
Charles Mwanguhya Mpagi
Mmwanguhya is one of the highly respected journalists in Uganda. He is the Country Bureau Chief of the East African newspaper, after he served for a long time on the features and political desk of the Daily Monitor as well as hosting KFM’s evening political talk show the KFM HotSeat.
Mwanguhya studied law, and has been on the ground in Fort Portal serving Tooro Kingdom as its minister for information. Whichever you look at his bid, Mwanguhya is firm and prepared to uproot incumbent and former journalist Margaret Muhanga from Burahya county Bundibugyo district.
Innocent Tegusuulwa of the Toli Mwavu Mutwe gwo gwe mwavu fame is planning has not been left out of the political wave sweeping media houses.
He has however chosen to aim low by contesting for lord councilorship – representing Luzira-Butabika in Nakawa division at KCCA.
Dembe fm and spark TV’s Twezimbe morning show Presenter is ambitious in his quest to become the Zirobwe Town Council Mayor come 2021.
Commonly famous by his name Jaxter, the former Record TV, Digida FM and Delta TV presenter eyes becoming Nakawa Division LCV Councilor.
Simon Peter Watch kaswabuli
The former radio Maria, Sapientia, Dembe fm and currently Salt TV’s journalist has also opted to using his 20 year journalism experience to secure himself a political office. Watch intends to represent people of the newly created Nantabulirwa ward in Mukono district as an LCV councilor on independent ticket.
Commonly known as Omugagga Kamagu, the vocal Top radio presenter eyes at out sitting Mukono Municipality legislator Betty Nambooze Bakireke in the forth coming general elections.
Ruth Faith Nakanwagi
The renowned Bukedde’s Agataliiko Nfuufu reporter is gunning for the Woman councilor race of Kireka Ward in Kira Municipality.
Whereas we have seen a number of journalists and presenters turn to politics, the working conditions of journalists have continued not to change and it happens to be like they only use the media as a gate pass and forget about colleagues they left in the industry
Former journalists like Kira Municipality parliamentary representative Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda, Makindye West’s Allan Ssewanyana, Mukono Municipality’s Betty Nambooze, Igara west’s Raphael Magezi, former Minister for Elderly and disabled Sulaiman Kyebakoze Madada, Rubaga North’s Moses Kasibante among others have on several occasions opted fighting for other sectors and forgot about their very own fellow forth estate Generals.