50 Ugandans to watch in 2014 who is who
Posted Thursday, January 2 2014 at 02:00
As the year starts, the Daily Monitor has generated a list of top 50 Ugandans who will influence and move things throughout the year. These individuals include men and women from music and entertainment, politics, business and the armed forces. The name selection was based on Monitor’s coverage of events throughout last year as well as projecting the 2014 terrain across the board.
President Yoweri Museveni
In Uganda, every political and economic decision rotates around the President. He always rejects Parliament decisions taken without his blessings and government officials have to pilgrim to his country home in Rwakitura to secure approval. He maintains political allegiance through several forms, including patronage. As the country’s Fountain of Honour, he will definitely remain a top influence across the board this year.
Many have described her as a pro- people Speaker who has breathed life in an erstwhile forsaken Legislature. Words like ‘presidential material’ come 2016 have also been used in describing her. This year, it is more likely that she will continue with her radical, and sometimes anti-NRM stand on controversial issues that will come in Parliament including electoral reforms.
By the close of last year, Mugisha Muntu had consolidated his leadership of FDC by wadding off most of the resistance from within the party, especially members loyal to the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi.
The FDC leader will play a more robust role this year as the biggest opposition party reorganises itself to be more relevant towards a more intense political 2015—and eventually in 2016 when the country goes to the polls.
Although he is not very vocal (commenting on every issue) in the House, the Ndorwa West legislator can be referred to as a backroom cook. A deputy NRM Chief whip, he is a respected NRM Caucus strategist in Parliament. He is, most of the time, the brain behind the calming of NRM MPs and their sudden change in decisions and opinion on controversial issues— especially after caucus meetings.
Dr Kizza Besigye
Even after retiring from FDC presidency last year, Dr Besigye has remained an enigma in Ugandan politics, commanding support in towns across the country. As the party reorganises in preparation for 2016 polls, Besigye’s imposing political figure and views will continue to be influential in the party and country.
Throughout 2013, the Prime Minister was the man to beat in, especially, Parliament politics. His calmness, wit and political intelligence are the main weapons he uses consistently to dwarf attempts by the opposition to push through their interests. Although worrywarts are predicting his fallout with the President, either way the coin flips, Mbabazi is going to remain a discreet but highly proficient and influential figure in this year’s political scene.
Mafabi’s political influence dates back prior to being the Leader of Opposition in Parliament. His leadership in Parliament has been criticised by his opponents. Even if he is moved from being Leader of Opposition, as is most likely, Mafabi has the potential to exceptionally perform in any position and will remain relevant in and outside Parliament this year.
Money always determines a politician’s political and socio-economic influence. Sam Kutesa is one of the wealthiest politicians in Uganda and is one of President Museveni’s most trusted government officials, besides being the President’s in-law. Kutesa is also the president-elect of the UN General Assembly, a post he is taking starting this year.
The ‘rebellious’ four (Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Niwagaba, Barnabas Tinkasiimire and Muhammad Nsereko) (Politics)
The ‘rebellious’ four have been a hot item on the political menu for the last two years. They still have a case in court, which is most likely to be decided this year. Either way the ruling goes, the four will maintain their positions on the political menu. If election reforms are tabled in the House, the quartet are expected to play a central role during the debate, just as they did during the oil debates.
The security trio [Col Ronnie Balya (ISO), Robert Masolo (ESO), Brig Charles Bakahumura (CMI)]
The three men were in a tight corner last year because of what many in the security circle consider as a mischievous way in which they handled the David Sejusa issue. Both Robert Masolo and Col Balya have previously impressed the President and he thus gave them the most prestigious award of Nalubaale for great service rendered to the nation. For Masolo, he is the longest serving ESO boss since the creation of the agency. As the New Year starts, the three, including CMI’s Bakahumura, are the men to watch, especially on how they will handle more complex intelligence matters— that is in case they remain in their current positions.
The Kampala Lord Mayor will be a hot item this year mainly because of his continued disagreements at KCCA, especially fighting off the impeachment albatross. His political ideology combining both populist and technocratic elements makes him a darling of many. How he will continue to play in the murky waters of KCCA politics makes him a politician to watch this year.
He is one of the few floor leaders in Parliament on the opposition side. A firsttimer in the House, Ssegona has increasingly kept himself relevant in the House and is very influential, especially when it comes to debating Bills and making laws. His influence keeps growing each passing year.
He chairs the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee. This committee will be handling the electoral reforms Bills in case they are tabled. The same committee handled the Anti-Pornographic Bill and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He is a man to watch, especially on how he will handle the controversial Bills that will go to his committee.