Late this month, Rubaga Division will hold by-elections for the LC III chairperson to fill the vacancy left by the late Winnie Makumbi. With political temperatures rising, EDRIS KIGGUNDU and SHIFA MWESIGYE ventured into the division and spoke to the three leading candidates about their chances of winning. Excerpts below:
I have the experience––Ssebugwawo
Who is Joyce Ssebugwawo?
I am a married lady with husband and children. I am an entrepreneur. I was secretary for women, Kampala district for 10 years. I have been working with women all the time. I joined the Buganda government in early 1980s where I have worked as a minister for women and for community work and mobilisation. Now I run my private businesses.
What motivated you to run for Rubaga Division?
You know Rubaga division is a special division unlike other divisions. It is unique and special because it has all Buganda cultural sites like Kasubi tombs, Bulange, Kabaka’s lake and so many sites of Buganda which we cherish so much. Because of the land wrangles going on between Mengo and the central government, I decided to come out and offer myself and try to protect all these assets that are dear to us. I fought for them and I was among the [Mengo] team that negotiated with government for ebyaffe. So I think I am the right person to stand in Rubaga.
In your view, what are some of Rubaga’s pressing needs that you think previous leaders have failed to address?
There are some areas that need attention like the roads. They are in a very bad state. The drainage system is poor in the division and it is affecting the way people live. The health sector is in a very bad state. The clinic and health centres have no drugs. These are issues that I hope to address.
The opposition has quite a number of candidates. Won’t this split your vote in favour of the NRM candidate?
This is one of the fears we have. I don’t know why we cannot come together. We are so many; we are going to divide the votes because we are looking for votes from the same people. I have been trying to see if we can unite and have one person standing against the NRM candidate. If this can work then things will be very easy. We have all the support from the public. I hope one person will come up to put us together. As candidates it will be difficult for us to agree that so and so should step down.
Why should people vote for you and not other people?
It is very simple. I have the longest experience in local government. And my profile is big. I don’t think there is any candidate who has my profile. I was a minister in the Kabaka’s government for a long time.
Any challenges you foresee in the race?
Of course challenges are always there. We need adequate resources that we don’t have. I have spent a lot already but we shall fight very hard to make sure that we win.
I am appealing to my colleagues that we should come together and select one candidate. I also appeal to voters to be careful. They should choose someone who will deliver not because he or she is their friend. For me I am not looking for wealth, I just want to serve my people. And by the way, Rubaga is the poorest division in Kampala and so there is no money to make.
I have a vision for Rubaga--Makumbi
Who is Moses Makumbi?
I was born and raised in Kampala. I will be 43 years in September this year. I attended Kabojja Primary, Namilyango College and I am a university graduate. I have been around Rubaga since I finished school and I have been involved in its politics.
What motivated you to stand? Some people say that the party fielded you hoping to win sympathy votes following the death of your wife, Winnie Makumbi who was the chairperson of the division
It was not out of sympathy. It was out of desire. Before my wife died, we had a programme for the division. When she died, I felt that I and to see through her dreams, my dreams and my party’s dreams. I have been around politics for a long time. It is just unfortunate that she died suddenly.
What do you plan to do for Rubaga division?
Rubaga has many challenges. There is the poor drainage system. A whole division in the city has got only 100 km of tarmac roads and 320 km of murram roads. We need to increase the percentage of tarmac roads in the division. We need to sensitise the population in terms of co-existence. People have to know that even if we belong to different parties, our problems are similar. Management of garbage is a big problem. My wife and I had started a programme with Makerere University to control garbage. The division used to sue Shs 3 million a week on fuel for garbage but we discovered that we could use Shs 1 million and save Shs 2 million every week with the Makerere arrangement. Rubaga should shine because it is the seat of Buganda Kingdom; this is where many major churches are found. It should have a good road net work.
The opposition has fielded many candidates. Why not work together and defeat the NRM candidate?
The important thing is that all parties are formed to win power. DP has an advantage in that the first five years were won for DP by Winnie. We encourage other parties to withdraw their candidates if they see it the way we see.
What advantage do you have over your opponents?
I have the drive, the commitment. I have been in Rubaga all my adult life and I have a vision for the division.
What challenges do you foresee in the campaigns?
The challenges are already there. There is bad mouthing of candidates in the media. We were in the bar one time and Mr Ssendikadiwa told me that he is going to spoil my name in the worst way possible. He said he was going to make sure I am hated. I could not report to the Electoral Commission because we have not yet officially started campaigns.
I would like to ask the people of Rubaga to put their trust in me and we work together for the betterment of the division.
I am tried and tested--Ssendikadiwa
Who is Justin Ssendikadiwa?
I was born far back in Rakai. I was educated in Mbuye P.S, Kasozi Junior School, Bukalasa Seminary, Kololo SS and Uganda College of Commerce for Accountancy. I did further courses at Uganda Management Institute, I worked with Gailey and Roberts Uganda Ltd in the accountancy department before moving to National Water and Sewerage Corporation. I retired and joined private business.
I am married to Mumbejja Rebecca Nkinzi and we have children. I am a DP stalwart having joined the party in 1961 when I was still a child.
I held different leadership positions in DP up to district level where I was a youth leader. Currently I am the organising secretary for DP Mutundwe Parish.
Why are you standing again?
To entrench development in the area and promote the people’s well being having done some thing like that earlier in as the chairperson of this division until 2006 when election results said so. But among the achievements before I left office [as Rubaga division chairman] is this magnificent building, the Rubaga division headquarters inaugurated in December 2003.
Why do you think you lost in 2006?
There were a lot of malpractices then which were organised by people who wanted to come to power. Unfortunately the person [Winnie Makumbi] died. Now I am the only available candidate to take on such a responsibility to sustain what I had created. People are complaining that most of the projects are being run down. Fortunately the electorate is asking me to stand as an independent which I am going to do.
So are you going to leave DP and join another party then?
No I cannot, I will die a DP. When the appropriate time comes when the top leadership has reorganised itself then I am going to participate in the top leadership.
What makes you sure you will win this time?
Today they know what I did during my term. They are failing to see it now without me. The lies that they were told haven’t materialised. People see me with a potential to guide them into a better future in terms of handling issues like public markets. There are already enough problems created during my absence.
What will you do different if elected in power again?
I am going to reorganise the administration so that technical people do their work and we politicians play our policy role. I want to attract good will investors and call back NGOs that had pulled out to come to our rescue and carry out comprehensive development.
I also plan to work on the roads which are in a sorry state. I will work on the drainage system most importantly the two main drainages of Kibuye to Busega and Nakulabye to Kasubi.
What makes you better than the other candidates?
I am a mature with enough education and politically alert. I have a wide experience in local government and councillorship.
I am someone whose integrity cannot be doubted. I have served Buganda and I am also a God fearing person who has high respect for people and property.
What are the biggest problems of Rubaga?
Rubaga is a semi rural division and most of its residents are unemployed; they don’t have lucrative jobs which makes taxation difficult and so the revenue for the division is meagre. In fact Rubaga is the poorest division in Kampala district.
We have fewer social services; the division only runs two markets, we have lots of garbage which the current leadership has failed to address.