Zaharah Luyurika defeats Kwalaya Abubaker backed Hakim Kizza for KCCA NUP Speakership flagbearer

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There were ugly scenes at the offices of the National Unity Platform-NUP on Friday as councillors at the Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA belonging to the party met to choose who will be the candidate for the office of the speaker and deputy speaker.

NUP won majority seats in the 54-member KCCA Council. Trouble started after the Makindye councillor Zaharah Luyurika was declared the winner of the vote that was cast by 41 councillors belonging to NUP. Luyurika got 12 votes against his closest challenger Hakim Kiiza who got 10 votes.

Also in the race was John Mary Ssebuufu who got 09 votes, Tegusulwa Innocent 06 and Jeremiah Keeya Mwanje who got 04 votes. For the deputy speaker position, Masaba Nasur emerged the winner with 12 votes followed by Bukenya Boniface with 07 votes, Kigozi Rose Nalubwama 05, Nakubulwa Ritah 04, Nakitende Marvis, Nusifa Nakato and Ssemakula Munir each got 03 votes while Nakakande Lillian was the last with 02 votes.

To the majority of NUP supporters, this was unacceptable. They accused those who went through using money to bribe their way to the position. They said it was unacceptable that people who were NUP only in the name could come and take away positions that should have been for what they called the foot soldiers.

For about 20 minutes, the election of speaker for the five divisions of Kampala came to a standstill as the enraged NUP supporters threw files and papers of the Electoral Management Committee headed by Mercy Walukamba.

Led by Sauda Madada, the supporters demanded that the Committee overturns the decision of the Electoral College because it was inconsistent with the values of NUP. Before the voting, Kyagulanyi had also expressed dismay that some candidates had used the money to influence the election. He said that it is such kind of vices prevalent in the ruling National Resistance Movement that they came out to fight.

This is not the first time that allegations of bribery have been levelled against some members of the NUP. It is alleged that even in Monday’s election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, some Members of Parliament belonging to the NUP were given money to vote for either Kadaga or Anita Among who eventually became the deputy speaker.

Money is also said to have exchanged hands during the process of identifying the party’s flag bearers. Meanwhile, Walukamba before the melee had asked candidates who have been defeated in the party’s internal elections not to contest as independents. She said this undermines party cohesion.

It should be recalled that Luyirika who was in DP then was one of the councillors who in 2013 conspired with the government to impeach Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago. In the 2016 general election, she was defeated forcing her to get a job with the KCCA technical wing. She said she’s the best speaker for Kampala.

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