Sunday Monitor | A Three Horse Race | Museveni, Besigye, Amama Pick Campaign Teams

Posted November 7, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in The Roadmap to 2016 ~ 2,295 views


campaign teams

Kampala- As the 2016 presidential campaigns kick off tomorrow, with the various candidates holding their first rallies in diverse parts of the country, the incumbent, President Museveni, has picked a team of people he expects to help him retain power, while his challengers, Mr Amama Mbabazi, Dr Kizza Besigye and their counterparts have appointed teams which can convey them to State House next year.

Although the teams had not been officially unveiled by press time, Sunday Monitor established the key personalities who will be charged with the election campaigns in the camps of three candidates: Mr Museveni, Mr Mbabazi and Dr Besigye and their responsibilities as Uganda gears up for what is billed as a tight race.

Dr Kizza Besigye
The campaign team for Dr Kizza Besigye, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate, is set to be unveiled today ahead of the start of official campaign tomorrow.

According to sources in FDC, the team will be four-dimensional, with a technical campaign bureau, field campaign force, candidate’s campaign team, and special task force.

The technical bureau will be headed by an executive director and will constitute six directorates – of finance, administration and fundraising; policy and research; legal and security; communications and publicity; logistics; and technical support for field operations.

The overall head of the election team will be the director general. Sunday Monitor could not confirm all the names on the Besigye’s various campaign teams but sources said the director general would be Mr Wasswa Biriggwa, who is the party chairman.

Party president Mugisha Muntu, sources indicated, would head the candidate’s campaign team, which will include party leaders such as secretary general Nandala Mafabi, Wafula Oguttu, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, and Dokolo MP Cecilia Ogwal.

Mr Geofrey Ekanya, the Tororo County MP who chaired Dr Besigye’s campaign team in the race for party flag bearer, was tipped to head the field task force.

Our sources said the main bases of the election team will be at the parish, sub-county, district and regional level, underlining the party’s belief that protecting the vote is central to this election.

There will be 20 sub-regional desks modelled on the old independence districts of Lango, Bukedi, Kigezi, Tooro and others in the same format.

Below these will be district desks that will penetrate down up to the parish where much of the efforts and resources will be committed, our sources said.

The special task force will comprise allies from the other political forces who back Dr Besigye’s candidature.

During Dr Besigye’s inaugural rally at Nakivubo stadium in Kampala after his nomination on Wednesday, the Conservative Party leader and Rubaga South MP, Mr Ken Lukyamuzi, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and former coordinator of intelligence services, Gen David Sejusa, addressed the gathering at the venue and declared their support to the FDC flag bearer.

By press time yesterday, it was not readily clear where they will fall under the various segments of Besigye’s campaign task force.

Mr Biriggwa, the overall of the campaign team, is a relative new comer to the party who became party chairman only in June. His key role, sources said, will be administrative, with the political work headed by Gen Muntu, the party president.

Amama Mbabazi
Sunday Monitor has learnt that Mr Mbabazi will structure his team to include a technical wing and a political one.
Mr Mbabazi is backed by diverse groups from the Democratic Party (DP), People’s Progressive Party, Jeema, Uganda People’s Congress wing under Mr Olara Otunnu and Ms Beti Kamya’s Uganda Federal Alliance.

The DP president Norbert Mao told Sunday Monitor that Mr Mbabazi’s campaign team will “inevitably” be composed of the parties that were part of The Democratic Alliance (TDA) that backed the former prime minister during the unsuccessful negotiations to have a joint Opposition candidate.

Our sources say Mr Mao is poised to be named head of the political wing of Mr Mbabazi’s campaign, but he declined to comment on this, saying the announcement is for Mr Mbabazi to make.

However Mr Mao said: “DP is the political blood bank of the Amama campaign.”

Even if Mr Mao were to be named head of Mbabazi’s national campaign team, he will likely pay special attention to northern region, in particular Acholi, which he has vowed to deliver to the former prime minister.

The UPC leader Olara Otunnu, who also hails from Acholi, is expected to play a key role in the campaign. It is not clear yet, however, whether he will be more active on the international front, as it seems to have been the case in the preliminary phase, than on the local scene.

In any case, however, Mr Otunnu is expected to join Mr Mao and FDC MP Beatrice Anywar, who has declared support for Mr Mbabazi instead of Dr Besigye, her party’s flag bearer, to try to woo Acholi.

Mr Mao’s credentials, apart from being leader of DP, could also be propped up by the fact that he was the campaign manager of Mr Ssebaana Kizito during the latter’s presidential bid in 2006.

Although Mr Ssebaana, Mr Mao’s predecessor as DP president, came a distant third with less than 2 per cent of the vote, Mr Mao says he took lessons from the experience.

Again in 2011, Mr Mao launched a challenge of his own, still coming a distant third and polling less than 2 percent of the presidential vote. He speaks with pride, however, about the fact that he is the only opposition candidate to have won in his district (Gulu) since 2006.
To coordinate Mr Mbabazi’s campaign, if he gets the nod, Mr Mao will likely work with other DP members such as Mr Mathias Mpuuga and Mr Medard Sseggona, two MPs who were formerly officials in Kabaka Mutebi’s administration at Mengo.

Mr Mpuuga (MP Masaka Municipality) is a central figure in preparing for Mr Mbabazi’s first rally tomorrow, set to take place in Masaka.

The duo will likely be reinforced by Mr Mulwanyamuli Ssemogerere, a former prime minister in the Kabaka’s administration who also backed Mr Mbabazi during the TDA process. The others from DP are Ms Florence Namayanja, MP for Bukoto South County, and Mr Mathias Nsubuga, DP secretary general and Bukoto South MP.

Others who are expected to take up roles in the team are Ms Beti Kamya of UFA, Mr Asuman Basalirwa and Mr Muhammad Mayanja of Jeema, Dr Dick Odur of PPP and individuals such as former minister Miria Matembe and Fr Gaetano Batanyenda based in Kabale.

The technical wing, our sources indicate, will be headed by Ms Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, who is designated as chief of staff. At the nomination rally at Nakivubo on Tuesday, Mr Mbabazi was all praises for Ms Kimbugwe for the work she had done.
As chief of staff, Ms Kimbugwe is in charge of the general administration, taking care of the organisational and logistical issues.

Our sources say she works closely with Mr Mbabazi’s family members, particularly his wife, Ms Jacqueline Mbabazi, who is currently hospitalised in London, and daughters Nina and Rachel Mbabazi.
Former Kabale Woman MP Hope Mwesigye, who has actively worked on Mr Mbabazi’s bid for a long time now, was described as a “bedrock” of the campaign.

Yoweri Museveni
President Museveni will revert to the most tested hand at his disposal to manage what could be his most challenging campaign ever, sources close to State House said. Hajj Moses Kigongo, the man our sources say will head Mr Museveni’s campaign team, was in charge of the previous campaigns in 1996, 2001 and 2006.
In the 2011 campaign Hajj Kigongo was a relatively peripheral figure as Mr Museveni heavily relied on two women – former vice president Dr Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and then head of the Microfinance Support Centre, and the then Finance minister Syda Bbumba.

In all the campaigns, especially the most recent ones, Mr Amama Mbabazi was a powerful cog, with his official position possibly speaking little about his actual importance in the whole affair.

Now that he is not only out of the NRM system but also actively participating as an opponent against the status quo, it is possible Mr Museveni set up his team mindful of the dangers Mr Mbabazi may pose.

The former chief of military intelligence, Mr Henry Tumukunde, was recently promoted by two ranks, from Brigadier to Lt General, and retired.

He goes straight into Mr Museveni’s campaign team and, sources say, he is assumed to have the know-how to fill the void left behind by Mbabazi’s departure. Mr Mbabazi himself had a long experience in intelligence.

The others on the campaign team are Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who is expected to deputise for Hajji Kigongo, with party secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba also tipped to play a pivotal role.

Source —  Sunday Monitor

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