When National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine chose to run for president, he certainly knew a possible loss would render him jobless for he would have missed out on the chance to retain his Parliamentary seat in Kyadondo East.
In the January 14 elections, Bobi Wine finished in second position behind winner Yoweri Museveni.
He was replaced as Kyadondo East MP by City Lawyer Muwada Nkunyingi.
As it started becoming clearer that the NUP leader was likely to lose his electoral petition at the Supreme Court challenging Museveni’s victory, concerns started growing among NUP members over what would be their leader’s status in the country awaiting the next general election.
With him out of parliament, it would imply Bobi Wine would watch political events from the sidelines for the next five years, a pill too bitter for majority of his supporters to endure.
After it was revealed that one of the NUP MPs-elect Muhammed Ssegirinya had had his election questioned over lack of prerequisite academic qualifications, silent appeals have started emerging, urging Bobi Wine to attempt to secure a position in the next parliament.
According to Isma Kateregga, an ardent NUP supporter and a resident of Nansana, the ejection of Ssegirinya would be a blessing in disguise, especially if Bobi Wine finally accepts to take up the vacancy.
As it increasingly becomes clear that Ssegirinya may not survive, it is highly unlikely that his main tormentor Sulaiman Kidandala will get the party’s endorsement.
Despite being the group’s chief mobiliser, Kidandala may not only be penalized for going against his NUP brother but also disobeying the party when he stood as an independent after being denied the card.
Having attained the highest member of MPs after NRM, NUP managed to dispose FDC as the main opposition political party in Parliament.
This implies that if it’s leader bounces back to the House, the Leader of Minority Government position would be his to take.
This would effectively improve on his rating in the country’s politics.
Will Bobi Wine contest in Kawempe North?
Whether or not he listens to the proposal for him to contest in Kawempe North — in the event that Ssegirinya is thrown out — remains entirely a matter of choice.
Although veteran opposition leader Col Dr Kizza Besigye opted to lead opposition from outside of the House, leading opposition party leaders before him also doubled as Leaders of opposition.
These include: Apollo Milton Obote of the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) in 1961, Ben Kiwanuka of the Democratic Party from 1962 and Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere from 1980.
In 2006, then Kyadondo MP Sam Kalega Njuba (RIP) offered to resign his position in Parliament to give way for FDC leader Col Kizza Besigye to join in his place and lead opposition in the House.
Besigye however turned it down, preferring to take charge from outside of Parliament.
For Bobi Wine, whose suitability for the level of leadership he aspires to get to has variously been questioned by naysayers, leading his group in the House could present a great opportunity for him to prove himself while preparing for the next election.
This way, NUP members could ironically find themselves celebrating gaps in Ssegirinya’s academic qualifications while thanking Kidandala for going against him.
Sources are also claiming that NUP is considering Nkunyingi to resign his parliamentary seat in Kyadondo East to cause a by-election that will give way for the party principal to return to the House.
Pearl Times News couldn’t independently verify this claim.
It should be remembered that Bobi Wine rose to the country’s political space through a by-election that threw out FDC’s Apollo Kantinti.