It all started with Bright Rwamirama, one of the ruling party MPs from Isingiro, fronting his son the very able Mpaka Mwine* who became western region youth MP in 2016.
In the end, we got father and son sit and earn lucrative remuneration from the same Parliament.
*Apparently, the Rwamirama successful experiment has since emboldened some other equally senior Museveni cadres to front their own children*.
One of these is Lands Minister Beti Kamya Namisango who has fronted her Arnold Spencer Turwomwe to stand for Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality MP position.
As Kamya campaigns to recapture the Rubaga North MP Seat for herself and continue chewing the taxpayers’ money, the young man is battling with giants like Cowboy Arinda the incumbent to carry the NRM flag*.
Younger Turwomwe, named after his late father a founding member of the Besigye struggle, previously stood for Igara East MP Seat which he didn’t win. The family believes now is the time for him to join the House and begin chewing things in Kampala.
The Municipality Seat he is vying for is also being eyed by former UNRA lawyer Marvin Baryaruha. This flamboyant UNRA dude has a lot of money having been awarded a lot of damages by court in the case he won against Government. Deeply connected Baryaruha is also closely related to Gen Henry Tumukunde through marriage because his wife hails from the General’s family.
Away from Beti Kamya, there are other diehard Musevenists who are fronting their children for MP jobs in 2021-2026. These include Hajji Moses Kigongo, Sam Kutesa, Suleiman Mafabi Lumolo and Ambassador Rebecca Omuge Otengo. Whereas some are doing this for obvious reasons to economically fortify their own children and families, for some it’s about safeguarding their own long term political interests and relevance so as to retain influence even after their own political expiry. We reflect on each one of them in details as follows:
Hajji Moses Kigongo
He is the second most powerful person in the National Resistance Movement Party just after President Museveni.
He has been at the helm of the party leadership as the First National Vice Chairperson since bush war days. He is also a powerful property mogul owning various high-end city residences and apartments such as the Mosa Courts among others.
Kigongo has been at the helm of NRM Leadership for decades now. As of June 2020, his daughter Faridah Nambi had declared intentions to run for Kampala Woman “Member of Parliament facing off with incumbent Nabillah Nagayi Sempala and vocal Makerere University don Dr. Stella Nyanzi.
A power in her own right, the graceful Nambi is the founder and President of the Union of Muslim Women and Organizations in Uganda and former host of the Nambi Talk show that used to hair on NTV Uganda every Sunday. At the height of her show’s popularity, Nambi hosted President Museveni during a show that was recorded before a live audience at Hotel Africana.
With the opposition feuding escalating by the day, Nambi (upon getting the NRM flag) could make history becoming the first successful ruling party candidate to become Kampala Woman MP.
The anticipated feuding between FDC’s Stella Nyanzi and People Power’s Shamim Malende could sharply split the opposition vote paving way for Nambi to do what NRM’s Peter Sematimba did in 2008 capturing Rubaga Division Mayorship after the death of Winnie Makumbi.
Suleiman Mafabi Lumolo
The Mbale-based tycoon, who is also the NRM Chairperson for Sironko District, is one of the fathers fronting their own kids to join parliament. Lumolo is the proprietor of Kampala Modernity Limited which is a leading importer of new and used Japanese cars.
He is also a property mogul owning chains of establishments in both Kampala and Mbale. Lumolo is also one of the top funders of the ruling party since the days of JPAM including printing campaign posters at T-shirts on credit and sometimes for free.
In the 2016 general elections, Lumolo successfully fronted his son Ishma Mafabi for the Eastern Youth MP slot. It’s alleged he invested billions into this project hence securing the position for his son.
As the young man’s tenure comes to an end, Mafabi will be remembered as one of the worst performing MPs given his quietness and invisibility. He hasn’t exceled in plenary nor committee work.
It’s rumored this has cost Hajji Lumolo the trust and confidence he once enjoyed from President Museveni. Hajji Lumolo, who is now married to Uganda’s High Commissioner in Pretoria Barbra Nekesa Oundo, is currently fronting daughter Asha Mafabi Lumolo for Sironko District Woman Member of Parliament.
Last week in a meeting at his Mbale-based palatial residence, Lumolo was quoted to have called upon the people of Sironko to vote for his daughter Nabulo who he believes will excel and do better than the youth MP. Asha Nabulo is the manager of her father’s hotel businesses and other critical assignments.
She is a senior graduate with extensive financial literacy and will face off with incumbent Florence Namboozo for the NRM party flag. Namboozo has lately been crying to State House while accusing Asha Mafabi’s supporters of unleashing violence in the trading centers of Sironko to levels never seen before.
She accuses Lumolo of using his position as NRM chairman and money to unduly advantage his own daughter at a time he is expected to be neutral as an elder in the party. Many of her supporters have been thumped even before campaigns commence, making this a do or die affair for the cracking tycoon.
Sam K Kutesa
The billionaire Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda surprised many earlier this year in Sembabule when he announced his retirement from elective politics. Kutesa (an astute lawyer, business mogul and politician) is paving way for his daughter Shartis Musherure Nayebare to take the Mawogola North MP Seat in Sembabule where he is also the NRM chairman for the district.
Unlike many, Kutesa’s daughter Musherure is not widely popular in the district and politics. Until she picked political ambitions, she was only known as a non-resident MD for her father’s Mbabule FM Radio based in Sembabule but with potential to cover many district of the Central region.
Analysts suggest that if indeed Kutesa wishes to see his daughter in parliament he might have to do a lot of marketing to popularize her among the voters. Others note that Kutesa needs to do much more including marketing her more aggressively than he has done thus far. Musherure will most likely face it off with Henry Kizza, an activist connected to Kyadondo East MP and leader of People Power Movement Ssentamu Kyagulanyi.
Otengo Amuge Rebecca
The Politician cum diplomat is the current ambassador of Uganda to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union, UNECA and IGAD. She is a two-term MP for Lira and Alebtong districts respectively.
Having started out as a councilor and Vice Chairperson Lira District Local Government, Otengo later grew to become the pioneer State Minister for Northern Uganda (2011-2016); a docket Gen Museveni had created to coordinate reconstruction efforts covering over 55 districts that had been affected by the post-1986 insurgencies.
Little is known about Otengo’s business dealings but impeccable sources intimate that Otengo (who as first big-name UPC defector to NRM inspired many others like Betty Amongi to subsequently embrace Museveni openly) enjoys a very comfortable relationship with President Museveni and his brother General Salim Saleh with whom she commenced political pacification of Lango at a time many considered this risky.
It’s due to this comfortable relationship that she has always been given classified assignments to execute for the country and the first family. According to well-placed sources, President Museveni has earmarked Otengo to lead his campaign in the 8 Districts of Lango so that he leverages on her excellent mobilization skills.
As early as 2019, Otengo’s son Daniel Obal embarked on popularizing his candidature for Ajuri Constituency MP Seat currently occupied by State Minister for Sports Denis Hamson Obua. A source familiar with politics of Lango suggests that Otengo’s decision to front her son Obal has greatly destabilized Obua with whom she has been in loggerheads for years.
But there are also some State House handlers who perceive Obal as a God-sent opportunity to political cripple Obua, a man that has always been perceived as unpredictable. Such Museveni handlers see Obua as a rebellious and opportunistic member of the ruling party.
He is accused of actively flocking with rebel MPs who in 2013 demanded that Gen Museveni explains the circumstances of Cerinah Nebanda’s death. That Obua also rode on the age limit project to access lots of groceries from the HE which logistics he used to strengthen himself back home in Lango.
This is the reason younger Obal’s bid has found many willing allies within Museveni closest circles. State House sources say it’s because of that apprehension State House generally has towards Obua that the deep-voiced politician hasn’t had any one on one meetings with the Presi9dent since becoming Minister.
In Lango, Obua is seen as one of the many MPs whose cabinet inclusion was influenced by a powerful legislator from Teso sub region. By way of profiling, the 22-year-old Obal is a lawyer by profession and his entry into the race has created mob excitement especially among his fellow young people and elders that resent Obua’s leadership style.
As she emboldens the Museveni support in the 8 districts, Otengo will equally be available to ensure Obua, her long term nemesis, is dealt a final political blow that could potentially send him into permanent oblivion.