Commentary

So, what if the Supreme Court rules that Lukwago stays away from KCCA?

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By Asuman Bisiika

Posted  Saturday, May 17  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

We have been told that sentimental association with the kingdom of Buganda is one of the main rallying points for Baganda (or Buganda) votes.

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I am a registered voter in Kampala Central. My polling station is City Engineer’s Yard on Sixth Street. My Member of Parliament is Mr Mohammad Nsereko.

On Saturday, May 10, I learnt that my MP may contest for the Nakawa Division parliamentary seat in the 2016 Parliamentary elections. If this is true, I would like to warn him that he is likely to lose the elections.

Nakawa Division is a tricky constituency. Unlike the other four divisions of Kampala Capital City, Nakawa Division is more cosmopolitan; in fact it could be the most cosmopolitan constituency in the country.

We have been told that sentimental association with the kingdom of Buganda is one of the main rallying points for Baganda (or Buganda) votes. But we know that in Nakawa Division, native Buganda sentiments don’t drive the polls. That’s why from 1961 to date, the area has had non-Baganda representatives in Parliament save for one: Mr Jaberi Bidandi Ssali.

From 1962 to 1971, the area MP was D. A. Patel (an Indian). Between 1980 and 1985, the area was represented by Dr Ojok Mulonzi (an Acholi?) while Mr Bidandi Ssali was the area MP between 1989 and 2006. Freddie Ruhindi, the current MP is a native of Kigezi.
Opposition to President Yoweri Museveni, MP Nsereko’s forte, may not drive parliamentary polls in Nakawa Division.

So, I ask myself: what is my MP seeking in Nakawa Division? I suspect that MP Nsereko wants to leave the Kampala Central seat for Mr Erias Lukwago.

This is a wild guess though. However, assuming that my wild guess comes through, it would mean that Mr Lukwago will not stand for the office of Lord Mayor in 2016.

On the Saturday (May 10), I learnt that MP Nsereko could shift base to Nakawa Division, I also learnt that an opinion poll on Lukwago’s situation had been finalised pending publication.
This brings us to the small matter of the Lukwago case which, in all honesty, has strained the Judiciary like the unending treason cases against Dr Kizza Besigye of yester years.

In the Besigye case, the Judiciary offered the State an escape route: They (the Judiciary) dismissed all the cases against the man and ordered all courts not to try Besigye on similar charges. It was an overkill by the Judiciary but the main beneficiary was the State: the Judiciary saved the State from the Besigye phenomenon.

But how can the Judiciary save the State from embarrassment of the Lukwago issue? Or rather, how can the Judiciary relieve itself of the strain caused by the Lukwago issue?

To the best of my knowledge, the Lukwago issue is political, like that of Besigye before him and it will take a political solution to resolve it. Yet the Judiciary can still help ‘us’ out.
I can bet that when all the chips fall in place, Mr Lukwago’s ‘forced exile’ from City Hall will be compensated financially.

What I cannot bet on is the assurance that he will be back at City Hall as Lord Mayor until the next election cycle in 2016.
For starters, what if the Supreme Court rules that Lord Mayor Lukwago should keep away from the office of City Hall until the disposal of his petition in the High Court?

The Supreme Court could then declare that Lukwago is (remains) the legitimate Lord Mayor of Kampala Capital City. Then re-instate his salary and some of the privileges that go with the Office of the Lord Mayor.

In the same ruling, the court could, however, order that Lukwago keep away from City Hall pending the disposal of the main suit now in High Court.

Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East Africa Flagpost.

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