New Besigye-Bobi coalition gives Erias Lukwago lease of life at City Hall

Kampala, (UG): Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s fifteen-year tenure as the Lord Mayor of Kampala City could be extended for another five years, thanks to the recently announced political alliance between his ally Dr Kizza Besigye and the Katonga faction of Forum for Democratic Change(FDC) and Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine of the National Unity Platform (NUP).

Lukwago assumed the top seat at City Hall in 2011 after serving one five-year term as a Member of Parliament for Kampala Central Division. In 2016, he won the re-election with relative ease riding on Besigye’s popularity in Kampala.

However, 2021 presented the seasoned opposition politician with his biggest test following the defection of then Kampala Woman MP, Nabbilah Ssempala from FDC to NUP and entering the race to end Lukwago’s enviable tenure at the helm of the Capital City Authority’s political wing.

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At the time, Besigye, upon whom Lukwago is understood to have rode on to secure his second term in 2016 had drastically fallen out with the citizens, leaving the celebrated popular lawyer exposed to the threat of Bobi Wine’s surge in popularity.

Even though the former Lawmaker was about to finally see off Nabbilah easily, many remain convinced it was only due to the former City Woman MP’s diminishing political fortunes after serving in the same electoral area for fifteen years. There is also a strong belief that had the NUP endorsement fallen in favour of a more formidable candidate like Latiff Ssebaggala maybe the result would have been different.

Lukwago, too has been observant of these developments and some reports have intimated that he has even considered retiring from City politics to concentrate on FDC to avoid being politically humiliated by NUP political novices. To him, retiring with honour is far better than trying and getting humiliated which would risk his impressive two decades record in City politics.

The new arrangement, however, guarantees that the City Mayoral position would be ring fenced which would seal his chances of getting reelected for a record fourth term. The arrangement would also pull pressure off Bobi Wine who is understood to be concerned about Lukwago’s popularity in the capital which should otherwise be his courtyard alone.

It should be noted that a number of NUP leaders have been enthused by the possibility of daring Lukwago in 2026, believing that he is no longer the invisible man he has been over the past decades, especially with his woes in DP and the disintegration of FDC, a new home he just joined in 2021.

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The likes of Kawempe Mayor, Mulyanyama still think Lukwago can be done away with to alleviate the strategic inconveniences his presence at city hall causes to NUP and its supremo, Bobi Wine.

There are also unsubstantiated reports that Bobi Wine’s elder brother, Eddy Yahweh Ssentamu has been clandestinely weighing up the possibility of contesting for the Lord Mayorship should he conclude that the indomitable Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda would be hard but crack in Kira Municipality than Lukwago in the Mayoral seat.

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