NUP reopens search for Kampala Lord Mayoral candidate

Joel Ssenyonyi the People Power spokesperson.
Joel Ssenyonyi the People Power spokesperson.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The National Unity Platform (NUP) has reopened the search for a Kampala Lord Mayoral candidate asking persons with ambitions to contest for the seat to pick vetting forms.

This follows a move by Kawempe North MP Latif Sebaggala Ssengendo to pull out of the race, a day after he was endorsed by the party’s elections management committee to be the party flag bearer. Sebaggala had been chosen ahead of Joseph Mayanja also known as Jose Chameleone who is also seeking to contest for the same seat.

In a letter dated September 23, the NUP stated that the party has agreed to receive interested individuals and take them through a vetting process to come up with another flag bearer.

Joel Ssennyonyi the spokesperson of the National Unity Platform (NUP) told this publication in an interview that the Elections Management Committee got guidance from the party legal team to decline the option of fronting any of the candidates who came second in Ssebaggala’s vetting process. He says the lawyers guided that the process has to be repeated adding that the new process will go on from September 24 to September 25, 2020

Meanwhile, the National Unity Platform (NUP) has dismissed allegations that Latif Sebaggala’s decision to quit the Lord Mayoral race was a syndicate influenced by big wigs within the party.

Sebaggala said he had opted out of the race to decongest the opposition list and ensure that the ruling NRM party does not snatch the seat from the opposition.

But in the aftermath, there was speculation that NUP planned the move to block candidates who would have given the incumbent Erias Lukwago a hard time in the race and also give the party a legal reason to back a candidate from another party.

Read Also: Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago launches campaign scorecard

This was the People Power approach before it became a political party. The movement led by its co-founder Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu moved around the country campaigning for opposition candidates in several by-elections.

But sources within NUP say that when People Power manifested into a political vehicle (NUP), the freedom to join such alliances became limited under the party constitution.

However, Senyonnyi says that the speculation is baseless.