In a surprise turn of events, the newly appointed flag bearer for position of Lord Mayor of Kampala Capital City under the National Unity Platform (NUP) has quit the race even before he was nominated.
Hajj Latif Ssebaggala, the current Kawempe North MP announced Tuesday morning that he was quitting the race in favour of keeping good ties with in the opposition by not antagonising the incumbent Erias Lukwago.
But Ssebaggala’s decision is likely to cast him in unfavorable light as an unserious and undecided person since his initial focus was to keep his Kawempe seat in Parliament.
“I have taken the decision to withdraw from the mayoral race of Kampala for the best interest of the opposition and also given the fact that we have very many conflicts within us as NUP to the extent of even members of my party supporting different candidates something that would cost us to lose the city,” he said.
Ssebaggala made the announcement in the absence of any NUP party official something that suggests the matter was not discussed. This could also be a source of conflict in the party, especially after they rejected musician Joseph Mayanja aka Chameleon by handing SsSsebaggala the flag who appears to have absconded.
Ssebaggala insists that he remains a loyal member of the NUP, Albert the change of mind.
“I remain a member of the National Unity Platform (NUP) and will still give all my support to Honorable Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu for presidency,” he said.
He however appealed to his party supporters to take his decision in good faith and not backtrack on the love and support they have for him promising to unveil his plan soon.
“That’s why I have decided to take this decision and I apologize to my party, all Ugandans and also those that had put trust in me,” he said.
Rumour however has it that Ssebaggala’s decision was a result of the pressure from the muslim leadership who saw his challenge against Lukwago as unnecessary fighting among brothers.
But Ssebaggala’s reputation will likely be bruised after this flip flop.
He initially expressed interest in running for Kampala lord mayor, before changing to keep his seat and then back to the mayoral race.
Reports indicate that Ssebaggala cut a deal with FDC to rent their support for his bid to contest for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in exchange for quitting the mayoral race.
But with FDC increasingly getting weak, it is not clear how much clout FDC will have in the 11th Parliament.