Last week, controversial Kampala Central MP Mohammed Nsereko come out to categorically state that he would willingly work with incarcerated Presidential candidate Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde in a common bid to send the county’s longest-serving Head of State into forced retirement in Rwakitura.
Many observers have since termed the outspoken MP’s statement as a call to his parent NRM party to the war. It ought to be noted that Nsereko was elected to replace current Kampala city Mayor Alhaji Ssalongo Erias Lukwago in 2011 on the ruling National Resistance Movement ticket to the surprise of many, his Constituency being in Kampala, an opposition stronghold.
Throughout the 9th Parliament, however, Nsereko established himself as one of the regime’s fiercest critics which won unparalleled popularity among his electors back in the Constituency.
In 2016, Nsereko who had already earned himself a name among the rebel MPs for consistently antagonizing his party’s political decisions on account that they were anti-people, was overwhelmingly re-elected for the second consecutive term, making him the joint longest-serving MP for the particular electoral area with former Museveni Minister Capt Francis Babu.
In the 10th Parliament, Nsereko started from where he had stopped in 2015. This time he went bare knuckles with the Party’s most feared executive, President Museveni when he defied the 1986 former LRA war Lord to stand for the Deputy Speakership of the House. Although the party chairman convened a party parliamentary caucus meeting and agreed that Nsereko steps down in favor of Jacob Oulanya who had given way for Kadaga for the Speakership, he held to his guns pushing the war until the last hour when he was defeated finally.
From the above scenario, Nsereko had reached a point of no return in the books of NRM. Even though he had already broken the ranks when he chose to run on an independent ticket, the party had still treated him as one of their own until then. While speaking to this website recently, Cedric Babu, the man seeking to set Nsereko parking from Kampala politics intimated that the NRM party would not forgive the Kampala Central MP for abusing their trust and betraying their ideological concepts. ” He used the party to reach where he is and later dumped it. He definitely has to be punished for it,” remarked Babu, who is also the president of the Uganda Tennis association.
Left seemingly alone and isolated, Nsereko has realized he badly needs an alliance that will cushion his political career from the bumpy friction caused by his politically unfriendly relationship with most of the major political players in the country and so is why he has unsurprisingly chosen to clutch onto the prison-bound Henry Tumukunde.
It ought to be noted that despite establishing himself as one of the most consistent critics of the Museveni administration, the Kampala Central lawmaker has failed to cultivate tangible and meaningful political alliances with any opposition groupings that would identify him intimately with the county’s change seeking forces.
The fact that FDC’s Deputy Secretary-General Harold Kaija was his challenger in the last general election clearly points towards the Rocky relationship the Mp has with the county’s biggest opposition party.
This failure to closely work with other change-loving forces has cost the outspoken legislator the trust of the people from the opposition. It’s against this background that he has numerously been accused of double-dealing with many labeling him a Museveni spy within the opposition ranks.
Last year, Nsereko was embarrassingly accused of trying to broker a deal in which the Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu would be convinced to give up his Presidential ambition, giving way for the NRM four decade long reign over the poor East African state. In the alleged arrangement, Nsereko was to be rewarded with a major Ministerial appointment. The deal however failed to materialize reportedly after People Power leader Robert Kyagulanyi outrightly rejected the proposal.
Although he vehemently denied the truthfulness of the allegations, Nsereko had been undressed and the population was not going to forgive him. In a desperate move to defend himself, he retired the more when he remarked that ” I have never been to Kyagulanyi’s home and neither do I intend to be there because I don’t think I have anything to discuss with him,”. With this kind of reckless political misjudgment, the two-term Kampala legislator had crossed the line. Even though he was elected on merit in the previous election, undermining Kampala’s most loved kingmaker was a political mistake that Nsereko will have to pay heavily for.
Cedric Babu Ndilima on the other hand has realized the significance of using a cautious political approach that doesn’t create political and ideological antagonism. Even though he expressly points out that he is ideologically inclined to the NRM, he reserves much respect for Bobi Wine and FDC’s Col Kizza Besigye, reasoning that the two opposition chiefs have come from a long way towards awakening the people’s consciousness to demand accountability from the government which he says is not an easy task.
“I belong to NRM because it’s their ideology that I understand most but for Kyagulanyi, I have immeasurable reverence for him just like Besigye. They have done a lot in challenging the masses to demand political accountability from the NRM leadership and that’s an important task that’s not for the faint-hearted,” Babu shot back in response to our question on what he thinks about Kyagulanyi’s Presidential bid early this month.
Deeply analyzed, this response above depicts that the flamboyant broadcaster from UBC wants to trade consciously while avoiding political wars that have heavily costed the man he is set to displaced from Kampala.
He also seems to lecture his Kampala electorates that all that they needed was a pro-people leadership hence he is willing to team up with the elected leadership regardless of political affiliation as long as it will deliver the much-needed development for the people of Kampala.
With Babu pursuing a categorically all inclusive political approach, and Nsereko desperately clutching onto embattled Henry Tumukunde, it all remains to be seen who of the two will have Victor’s laughter come 2021