You and others are asking why Hasib Takuba and Al Haji Nasser Sebaggala are fighting each other for Kampala mayoral seat. This is because we are both Muslims and Democratic Party (DP) members. You are also asking why I should not step down since Takuba won DP primaries for the seat.
Itâ€™s not that I want to be mayor. But you should remember that I was the first elected mayor for Kampala in 1998 and on a DP ticket. For five years my aspirations had been to become president of this country.
After my nomination for the presidential seat, the DP National Executive Committee held various negotiations with me. In fact these negotiations started right from the delegatesâ€™ conference when members elected John Ssebaana Kizito as the party presidential candidate.
We signed a memorandum of understanding with the party executive on condition that after withdrawing from the presidential race, they would endorse me as the party candidate for the mayoral seat.
This same scenario happened to me in 1980 during the party primaries, when I wanted to contest for the parliamentary seat for Kampala East. We were nine candidates in the race including the late Dr. Ojok Mulozi, late Henry Semukutu, Kiwanuka, among others and I won the party primaries. But in the interest of the party (DP), the executive advised me to step down for Mulozi because Baganda had dominated the constituencies. The party leadership wanted to make the party have a national character and was interested in having balanced representation in parliament. That is how I withdraw from the race then.
During my tenure as mayor, I nominated Hasib Takuba for the position of minister of health in the council. But after being arrested and detained in the United States, the executive chose Takuba on sympathy support to become the deputy mayor and bring harmony in the council. He still holds that position.
DP supporters and fans in this political arena and race for the mayoral seat are uncertain about who the rightful candidate is. I acknowledge Takuba won the party primaries and was endorsed by the district executive committee to contest for the seat, but NEC has to harmonise our positions to avoid confrontation and conflict since we are Muslim brothers. At this level if we do not harmonise our positions, it will create a bad impression in the Muslim community.
Since I have the experience in canvassing support, I would advise Takuba to emulate what I did in 1980 and what I have also just done to withdraw my candidature for Ssebaana.
Because even in the mini-referendum exercise we carried out as a party in the areas of Kikaaya and Najjanankumbi, we had no votes, yet I had overwhelming support. This means that if I withdraw from this mayoral race, the party will be losing Kampala district to the NRM.
Now that the Electoral Commission has written to the party secretary general Prof. Ebil Otto, requesting him to immediately choose one of the two candidates for sponsorship, the problem will be solved. In fact the EC stated that after the party choosing one candidate, the other will automatically contest as an independent.
The most important issue now is that Takuba does not have the capacity to win the mayoral elections. I have established structures at all levels with particularly the hawkers, food vendors, car washers, bodaboda cyclists, etc. I have no doubt that after resolving this problem we are going to win the elections because we have the structures at all levels.