Democratic Party (DP) deputy president Fred Mukasa Mbidde recently shocked Norbert Mao loyalists when he announced he would support Robert Kyagulanyi’s 2021 presidential bid.
Mao is the DP presidential flag bearer for next year’s race for the top office in the land. He is making his second attempt at the presidency. He lost in the 2011 race.
While most members of the DP from the Buganda region, from where Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine hails, months ago crossed to the National Unity Platform (NUP), Mbidde and a few others had remained.
But Mbidde recently claimed Mao himself had granted his request to back Bobi Wine.
“I talked to my boss the President General of the Democratic Party (DP), Norbert Mao; I requested him to allow me to campaign for the National Unity Platform (NUP)’s presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and he accepted,” Mbidde claimed during the launch of his parliamentary campaigns at Nyendo Trading Centre.
A member of the regional East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala), Mbidde is seeking election as the MP for Masaka City’s Nyendo-Mukungwe constituency.
Another DP top leader who has ditched Mao for Kyagulanyi is national treasurer Mary Babirye Kabanda.
But to understand why Mbidde and Kabanda will find it difficult to decline to back Bobi Wine, one has to rewind to the August 13 exodus of majority Baganda DP politicians to NUP.
The list of these politicians includes: MPs Betty Nambooze, Joseph Ssewungu, Moses Kasibante, Allan Sewanyana, Medard Seggona, and Florence Namayanja.
Other politicians were: Matiya Lwanga Bwanika, Muwadda Nkunyinji, Sulaimani Kidandala, Vicent Mayanja, Muhammad Kawuma, Abed Bwanika, Mike Mabikke, Tebusweke David Mayinja, Lubega Mukaku, and Angella Kigonya.
Most of these DP-leaning Baganda MPs crossed to NUP to tap into the central region popularity of singer-turned-politician Bobi Wine for their political survival.
This is a fact Mbidde himself is well aware of.
“I am among the few parliamentary contestants who wish Mr Kyagulanyi well because most of the incumbents in Masaka are schemers who simply want his backing to retain their parliamentary seats other than making him win the presidency,” Mbidde said.
With Bobi Wine seen by some as a Central Uganda (Buganda) candidate, politicians from the region seem keen to identify with him for political relevance as they seek election to various political positions.
But in the case of Mao and Bobi Wine, some of these politicians seem to think that the former is weaker than the latter, and therefore unable to give them the push they need to the positions they are vying for.