Sseggona, Nambooze, Kyebakutikka or Nambeshe! Who will Bobi Wine choose for Leader of Opposition?

With the sectarian accusations levied against the younger party and fueled by President Museveni, appointing a fellow Muganda into the position could be self-incriminating for Bobi Wine.

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By Kalema Willy

As Bobi Wine keeps pushing for the nullification of the January 14 presidential election results in the supreme Court, he remains assured of keeping something out of the polls he claims were exceedingly fraudulent regardless of the outcome of the petition after attaining the highest number of MPs after the ruling National Resistance Movement.

Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform [NUP] emerged second best regarding the number of MPs ahead of the 11th Parliament’s seating in May this year.

With 61 members, NUP was able to displace Besigye’s Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] which had dominated the position since 2006.

The next task ahead for Mr. Wine will be identifying the next leader of the minority Government to replace incumbent Betty Aol Achan. A number of names have been advanced for the role and below we try to assess each one of them basing the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Betty Nambooze Bakireke

She has been the Mukono Municipality MP since 2011 and was again elected for a third successive term last month.

Betty Nambooze, a strong Buganda royalist remains one of the most experienced Members of Kyagulanyi’s NUP.

Historically, she has been a member of the Democratic Party on whose endorsement she got elected to both the 9th and 10th Parliaments.

A rocky relationship with the Mao administration in DP however found her in a close political marriage with FDC and Col Dr. Kizza Besigye in whose People’s Government she remains a spokesperson until now.

Betty Nambooze is a very reliable opposition politician that has stuck to her guns on opposing Museveni even after getting exposed to grave physical and psychological danger.

Currently incapacitated with a broken back and often moving in a wheel chair after the harm retained during the 2017 presidential age amendment in Parliament, it is natural that anyone would find Nambooze a worthy choice for the job.

Her being from Buganda could however become an obstacle. It ought to be noted that 59 out of the 61 NUP MPs are from the Central Region.

With the sectarian accusations levied against the younger party and fueled by President Museveni, appointing a fellow Muganda into the position could be self-incriminating for Bobi Wine. 

Manjeri Kyebakutikka

The 28 year old is the Jinja City Woman MP. She becomes the pioneer MP for the newly created city after pulling a comfortable win in the Jan 14 elections.

Kyebakutikka is also the only NUP MP to have come from Busoga sub region despite the fact that party leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu edged Museveni in the sub region at the presidential level.

She remains the least qualified choice on this list going by her age and political inexperience. Being one of just the two MPs outside the Central region for Bobi Wine to choose from, the simple red girl from Jinja stands a chance.

With Bobi Wine seemingly under pressure to water down claims by his nemesis Gen Museveni that his movement is a purely ethnic one, he could find himself looking at every other available alternative to bail him out.

And if the NUP leader is to adopt Museveni’s policy of rewarding regions that have provided the most support through appointments, Kyabakutiika would not be rivaled after her Busoga was the only region outside Buganda where Bobi Wine Won.

Medard Lubega Ssegona

Ssegona, by far remains the most qualified on this list. Having represented his Busiro North in Parliament since 2011, his experience would be a real treasure given the fact that most of the MPs in the party will be fresh.

As such, having a leader of Ssegona’s stature as LOP would greatly boost their legislative competencies.

He has also been one of the most refined debaters in the tenth parliament which also gives him another added advantage. 

A former Minister in the Buganda Kingdom, Ssegona will always be looked at as a possible bridge between Mengo and the Kamwokya based political group.

On the other hand however, he could find himself at a disadvantage if Boboi Wine opts for regional balance other than experience.

John Baptist Nambeshe

Nambeshe has represented Manjiya County in Bududa district sine 2016 having won on the ruling party’s ticket which makes him fairly qualified for the job.

He is also the NUP Deputy President in charge of Eastern Uganda since August last year when he replaced Bugiri Municipality’s Asuman Basalirwa who had led the region under the People Power Movement which metamorphosed into NUP.

If NUP remains kin on maitaining regional balance so the public won’t continue calling them a Buganda affair, then Nambeshe would stand the highest chance of landing the most powerful position in the opposition.

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