With the old guard gradually fading away, children and siblings of various top government figures, politicians and business people have picked up the baton to succeed their aging parents and relatives in Parliament and other public positions of influence.
Daily Monitor has profiled some personalities whose sons and daughters and siblings across the country are aspiring for parliamentary seats in the 2021 General Election.
Ms Farida Nambi, a daughter to the National Resistance Movement party (NRM) first national vice chairperson, Al Hajj Moses Kigongo, as of June 2020, had reportedly declared intention to run for Kampala District Woman MP seat.
She is the founder and president of the Union of Muslim Women and Organisations in Uganda, and formerly host of the Nambi Talk show, which used to air on NTV Uganda.
Ms Nambi was last month quoted by the media saying she chose to contest because she is passionate about serving people, especially vulnerable children and women, a cause for which she has been championing since 2006.
Early this year, Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa surprised many in Sembabule District when he announced retirement from elective politics and vacating Mawogola North seat for his daughter, Shartis Musherure Nayebare.
While addressing residents of Sembabule Town who had gathered for a voluntary cleaning exercise in September last year, Mr Kutesa said time had come for energetic youth like his daughter to take leadership positions.
“I have been a leader in Sembabule for more than 20 years and know this area very well. I have no doubt Shartsi will bring more services since she has managed to bring this idea of routine general cleaning in town and planting trees,” Mr Kutesa was quoted by Daily Monitor.
Mr Kutesa aged 70, who has served in different ministerial positions during the NRM government, has represented Mawogola in Parliament since 1996.
Between 1994 and 1995, he represented Mawogola as a delegate in the Constituent Assembly that made the 1995 Constitution. Before relocating to Sembabule, he first served as MP for Mbarara North Constituency (Nyabushozi) from 1980 to 1985.
Ms Nayebare, a lawyer, is married to Dr Paul Musherure, the chief executive officer of her father’s local radio station, Mbabule FM based in Sembabule Town Council. She returned from the US one-and-half years ago, settled in Sembabule District and has used the radio station to popularise her charity activities in the community through sponsoring women development groups and youth sports activities.
Ms Nayebare will most likely face-off with Henry Kizza from People Power Movement of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka Bobi Wine.
In Kisoro, Ms Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke, daughter of the State Minister for Regional Cooperation, Dr Philemon Mateke, wants to stand for Kisoro District Woman MP, a seat she lost in 2016 to incumbent Rose Kabagyenyi.
Mr Mateke is sponsoring his daughter’s political bid to unseat Kabagyenyi.
When contacted, Dr Mateke said: “It is an obvious question that I support my daughter for this parliamentary seat. It is her call now, nobody can stop it.”
Ms Nyarabashitsi, however, on Saturday denied joining politics because of her father. She said she was rather motivated by the desire to serve her people.
“The fact that my father is a politician at national level doesn’t mean he is influencing me to join politics. Although I cannot take his political clout and influence in Kisoro District for granted, I must ride on it to strengthen my politics by incorporating his supporters to my camp.
“Personally, I have started several projects that include a university campus in Kisoro Town that is serving the community; being in politics is purely to serve the people in my rural communities and not looking for personal or family gains,” she said.
Mr Fedil Kanyamunyu, a local leader in Kisoro, said he has no problem with the ministers’ children contesting for elective seats when their parents are retiring.
“It is not bad for Nyarabashitsi to contest for a parliamentary seat because her father is a retired politician who was assigned a duty of being a minister,” Mr Kanyamunyu said.
In Kabale District, Mr Alex Muhwezi, a nephew to Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, has declared his intention to contest for Kabale Municipality Parliamentary seat, currently occupied by Andrew Baryayanga, who has held it for 10 years.
Mr Muhwezi says the fact that his father Mr Wilson Kakuru, together with his uncle Dr Rugunda started the Uganda Patriotic Movement that later propelled the ruling NRM party, he feels the same platform can deliver him victory.
Maj Gen (Rtd) Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile, a brother to Bank of Uganda Governor, Mr Tumusiime Mutebile, is aspiring for Kabale Municipality Parliamentary seat. On Wednesday, he said he will tell the public his mission and vision for the municipality.
Maj Gen Mutebile says it is not his brother or President Museveni who influenced him to join politics but the people of Kabale Municipality.
“It is false for anyone to purport that my brother (Governor Tumusiime Mutebile) influenced me to join politics; it is the NRM supporters,” he said.
Mr Leopold Twesigye, an opinion leader in Kabale Town, says relatives of government shots are welcome to join politics as long they are not using their (relatives’) clout to suffocate other political players.
In Sironko District, Ms Asha Nabulo Lumolo, the daughter of NRM district chairperson and businessman, Mr Suleiman Mafabi Lumolo, will contest for the district Woman MP seat.
Mr Lumolo is the proprietor of Kampala Modernity Ltd, a leading importer of new and used Japanese cars and owns chains of retails in Kampala and Mbale.
According to reports from the NRM Secretariat, Mr Lumolo is one of the top funders of NRM.
His daughter, Ms Nabulo has declared her intention to contest on the NRM party ticket to unseat the incumbent, Ms Florence Nambozo.
Ms Nabulo is a graduate of International Business and founder of Mafabi Aisha Foundation, a local NGO supporting vulnerable people.
In 2016 general elections, Mr Lumolo’s son Isima Mafabi contested for Eastern Youth MP seat and won.
Mr Lumolo could not be reached for a comment, but Mr Abdul Magombe, a personal assistant to his daughter, said Ms Nabulo is contesting because: “She has unique lobbying skills, is vibrant and we believe she can make a difference in the leadership of Sironko.”
In an earlier interview, Ms Nabulo had said her focus is to promote education for the girlchild and the construction of more secondary schools.
However, Mr John Wasukira, a local elder in the district, described the political move as ‘wrong and disastrous’.
“I respect Mr Lumolo but don’t agree with him fronting his daughter because he already had family representation in the form of his son who is the Youth MP,” he said.
Other aspirants for the same seat include Ms Femia Wodada, the former district Woman MP, Ms Robinah Wamanga, the FDC flag bearer, Ms Hilda Nadunga, a teacher and Ms Eve Kayegi, working with Vision Group.
In Kayunga, the district NRM chairperson, Mr Moses Karangwa’s 27-year-old daughter, Jacqueline Kobusingye Birungi, will contest for the district Woman MP seat.
She wants to unseat former ICT State minister Idah Nantaba.
Birungi is one of six other aspirants vying for Nantaba’s seat.
Mr Karangwa and Ms Nantaba have fallen out and their icy relationship has divided Kayunga.
Ms Birungi is riding on her father’s strength, wealth and popularity as an ardent NRM supporter who moves across the country to mobilise support for NRM candidates.
Ms Birungi’s supporters have since nicknamed her ‘ndukusa’ (banana sucker which breeds other banana plants).
“I urge you to elect my ndukusa because she is going to serve you like I do,” Mr Karangwa often tells residents.
Mr Sam Kisitu, an elder in the district, says he sees no problem with Mr Karangwa’s daughter standing for election. He said the issue is whether she can deliver to the expectations of the people.
“All that people want is good service delivery, whether it is Karangwa’s daughter or not,” Mr Kisitu says.
In Kyotera District, Ms Asha Lubyayi Kayanja, a wife to Mr Lubyayi Kisiki, the former MP for Bukomansimbi North, has declared to challenge Ms Juliet Ssuubi Kinyamatama for Rakai District Woman MP seat.
She is a younger sister to Maj Gen Elly Kayanja (Rtd, former commander of Operation Wembley, a crack unit that was tasked with fighting armed and violent urban crime in the early 2000s.)
Ms Justine Nameere, a daughter of Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja, is seeking to represent youth in Central Region.
In an interview on July 17, Mr Ssempijja, who also doubles as MP for Kalungu East, said Nameere is free to stand for any elective office like any other Ugandan since she has the required qualifications.
“Being my daughter doesn’t deprive her of the right to vie for any elective position. I support her and wish her well,” he said.
In 2016 General Election, Ms Nameere contested for Bukoto East seat but lost to DP’s Florence Namayanja.
In Ntungamo District, mayor Jacob Kafureeka, and son Gerald Karuhanga are expected to turn the 2021 election into a family contest.
Kafureeka aka ‘Jack Jex’ has been Ntungamo Municipality mayor on NRM ticket since 2011. He is a prominent businessman owning commercial and residential buildings in Ntungamo Town, including Jack Jex Day and Boarding Primary School.
Mr Kafureeka has already declared he will seek reelection while his son Karuhanga, who was elected the Ntungamo Municipality MP on an Independent candidate in 2016, will also seek reelection under the ticket of Opposition Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party.
“My politics is not engineered by my father. Even if he wasn’t running, I would be running. I started at Makerere University as a Guild President. I did not agree with the regime but my father does. I am self-made, he never influenced me to join politics,” Mr Karuhanga said.
“NRM government stopped working for Ugandans. President Museveni said he is not working for anybody but his children and grandchildren. His wife is a Cabinet minister, his son heads the army, his sister is in education and his younger brother [Gen Salim Saleh] is actually the one running government,” Mr Karuhanga said.
Banyankole have a saying: “When you live near an anthill, you eventually take its colour.” President Museveni doesn’t want to leave power and is planning to have his son succeed him. Those who are serving in his government and supporting it are simply copying what he has done,” Mr Paddy Vincent, a lawyer and opinion leader in Mbarara, said.
Ms Rebecca Amuge Otengo’s son, Daniel Obal, had by 2019 embarked on plans to popularise his candidature for Ajuri Constituency seat, currently held by the State Minister for Sports, Denis Obua.
Ms Otengo is a politician-cum diplomat and Uganda’s current ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti; Permanent Representative to the African Union, UNECA and IGAD, and a two-term MP for Lira and Alebtong districts, respectively.
She was also the State Minister for Northern Uganda from 2011 to 2016 and has a cordial working relationship with President Museveni.
In western Uganda, the State Minister for Animal and Veterinary Affairs, Col Bright Rwamirama (retired), and his son Mwene Mpaka are in the race for MP seats again.
Mr Rwamirama has been MP for Isingiro North since 2001.
He served as State Minister for Animal Industry from 2006 to 2016 and was appointed the Minister of State for Defence in-charge of Veteran Affairs in June 2016, before being redeployed to the Animal Industry docket in December 2019.
As he prepares to compete for Isingiro North MP seat for the fifth time, his son Mpaka, current Western Region Youth MP, is also vying for Mbarara City South MP position.
Mr Mpaka owns Mbarara City Football Club that has played in Uganda’s Premier League for two consecutive seasons.
Mr Mpaka beat Mr Amanya Tumukunde, a son of presidential hopeful, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde (Rtd) in the last election. He will tussle it out with Mr Emmy Mbarebaki and Mr Shaffi Kajiiko for the NRM party flag.
It is not new for families to front a brother, sister or daughter for a parliamentary seat.
Following the death of Micheal Oromait, Usuk County MP in Katakwi District in 2011, Ms Patricia Alengot Oromait, then aged 19, contested for the seat on NRM card and won the by-elections with 54.2 per cent.
She served as MP up to 2016 and at just 19 years, she was the youngest MP in Uganda.
On December 14, 2012, when Cerinah Nebanda, Woman MP for Butaleja District died, her elder sister, Florence Andiru Nebanda, was fronted by the family as her replacement. She won the by-election held in 2013.
She served the remainder of that term until the next General Election in 2016.
Compiled by Philip Wafula, Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa, Alfred Tumushabe, Fred Muzaale, Ambrose Musasizi, Fred Wambede & Robert Muhereza