By Henry Wanume
The race to replace State Minister for Housing and Urban Development Isaac Isanga Musumba as Member of Parliament for Buzaaya County in Kamuli District got more exciting by the close of the Friday nomination deadline given by the Electoral Commission after at least eleven people registered with the Electoral body to eject the troubled Museveni Minister.
Musumba has represented the Constituency since 1996 although his reign was briefly interrupted by former district councilor Martin Muzaale Mugabi between 2011 and 2016.
He was however able to regain the seat in the last general election, giving him access to the tenth Parliament. This makes the Minister one of the longest-serving legislators under the 1995 constitution.
But prior to 1995, Musumba had represented Buzaaya at the 1993 – 95 constitutional making Constituency Assembly after overcoming the challenges of senior politicians of the time including Late Dan Baalwa, Late Kawugu Kawooya Mugainho, Late Dison Paul Kawooya Mugainho, former Busoga Kingdom Prime Minister Mutengu Keith among others. He was only 28 years old.
The main contest in Buzaaya is mainly expected to be between Mugabi Muzaale- the NRM flag bearer who beat Musumba, Musumba who is the incumbent and National Unity Platform’s Sharon Taliyiwula.
Musumba, who has already faced the furry of the voters in the NRM primaries will be trusting only the gods for miracle forgiveness over his role in amending the constitution on the presidential age limit.
It has to be remembered that the voters had, during a general meeting in Kisozi tasked him against supporting the controversial amendment when the issue was brought to vote during the meeting.
They were however left stunned when the Minister became one of the first MPs to rise in support of the bill to the disappointment of his electors. Since then, they patiently seemed to wait for an opportunity to reprimand him which could finally present itself come next year.
The Minister’s frosty relationship with area strong woman Rebecca Alitwaala Kadaga will neither help Musumba.
The two hail from the same Constituency and it’s been public knowledge that there has been a bitter split between the two politicians.
Over the years, it’s been established that fighting with the Speaker of Parliament wouldn’t be a good idea especially for a politician in Busoga. But Musumba has been courageous enough to dare her and the results are partly what was seen in the Aug 4 primaries.
The situation has been made worse with Musumba’s wife Proscovia Salaam Musumba challenging Kadaga for Woman MP which has been variously interpreted as a direct provocation of the most popular politician in Kamuli.
But that’s not even all. In a Constituency of six original sub-counties, the incumbent is at a disadvantage as his native Kisozi has produced the biggest number of candidates who include Kintu Paul who was the third in the NRM primaries ahead of Musumba, JEEMA’s Charles Omaali both from the same parish with the Minister and Mr. Kafambe Nicholas.
NUP’s Taliyiwula is the favorite to win in her native Nawanyago and Kadaga’s Mbulamuti with whom she enjoys a very good relationship, while Bugulumbya and Wankole are Muzaale’s strongholds. She also has an advantage in the suburban centers of Kisozi, Nankandulo, Kiyunga, Mbulamuti, and Kasambira where her party’s support has been seeing a drastic rise over the past couple of years.
Without the favors from the ruling party, therefore, coupled with his insurmountable opposition from Kadaga’s supporters, 2021 could certainly see the fall from grace of one of the longest-serving politicians in the Busoga Subregion and the country at large.