By Our Reporter
Twenty-nine-year-old Ssebaana Kizito, son of late Dr. John Ssebaana Kizito, the former Kampala Mayor and Democratic Party President General, has shockingly vowed to oust opposition Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on ruling the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ticket if he makes it through the Party Primaries.
So far, no one else in NRM, apart from Ssebaana Kizito has genuinely shown interest in contesting for the Lord Mayor seat and if all goes like this, he is slated to be unopposed.
From opposition, the number is increasing and recent is Kampala District Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala who assured us that she is soon launching her campaigns
Others are the incumbent Erias Lukwago, musician Joseph Mayanja aka Jose Chameleon and Hon. Latif Ssebaggala.
In an exclusive interview, Ssebaana Kizito said he can only expect a hard contest from Leon Island artist Jose Chameleone, who also wants the same seat but to other contenders like the incumbent Lukwago, People Power’s Latif Ssengendo Ssebaggala, he said, “Let them all come.” To him it will be a walk over.
“I don’t fear any other contender be it Lukwago or others who have already shown interest in the top political City Hall seat. It is only Jose Chameleon because we are in the same age bracket, he is very popular and a crowd puller. He can give me a hard time but still, I will deliver victory to my NRM party if I’m given a chance to be the flag bearer in the coming Lord mayoral elections. Chameleone cant beat me ideologically,” said a Kampala powerful businessman Ssebaana Kizito.
Bellow is the full interview;
Qn: Tell us your Christian name?
Ans: I don’t have it. And it is intentional. My parents named me Ronald Ssebaana Kizito but in Primary Six, I deliberately removed Ronald from my names because as an African, I don’t see why I’m named after colonialists. I totally believe in Pan-Africanism, so I had to let go of that Christian name because they also can’t name their children after us.
Teachers tried to discourage me but I took my ground and all my academic and other documents are in Ssebaana Kizito names.
Qn: Tell us, where you have been in politics, you seem to be a new comer.
Ans: True but our family is apolitical and for 10 years I have been preparing myself for this big announcement.
Qn: Don’t you think Lukwago shoes are too big for a political armature like you?
Ans: No way! I am qualified for this office. Leadership is all about solving problems, period. Yes I can.
Qn: Why don’t you first try lower offices like the office of Councillor? You can’t just jump from nowhere to Lord mayorship.
Ans: Remind me sir, before USA President Donald Trump contested and won top office in this country, which political office had he ever held? What about President Museveni, before 1980 elections, where did he contest first? Politics isn’t about experience but can you identify the problems and what is your approach to solve them? We have seen those taken to be experienced in politics getting involved in corruption scandals and very incompetent in their leadership offices yet those referred to as political armatures are serving with transparency.
Qn: Is it true, some big names in NRM are fronting you, by the virtue of your name and young age to confuse opposition and the youth?
Ans: Do you see me as incompetent?
Qn: What about the allegations that you are joining the Lord Mayor race to target NRM money?
Ans: Lies! I’m not a poor man and I’m not joining politics to look for a job. At the age of 21 years I had savings of Shs100M. I come from a well-connected and hardworking family. I am sure, everybody who has been in Kampala for some good years knows about the Ssebaana Kizito family. I run a number of businesses in almost all Kampala markets like St. Balikuddembe Owino which has enabled me to associate with all kinds of people especially the underprivileged. I joined business at the age of 19 years during my Senior Six Vacation and at age 20 years I was able to import containers of clothes from China and was working closely with businessmen like Yunusu Lubega Kabanzo and Steven Musoke, who is now working from Canada. I deal in dairy products and I’m also a senior consultant in academic and legal matters. So I can make very good money.
By the way, if I was to look for a job, with my academic qualifications and all family connections and network, it would be easy for me. Be it at KCCA, in family companies like SWICO or becoming a lecturer.
Qn: Now what do you want in politics instead of concentrating on your businesses?
Ans: That is the problem with some of our people. They tend to think politics is for the jobless, that it is another job opportunity. That is a wrong perception. In fact, it is one of the reasons why electorates normally get disappointments from their leaders because they vote job seekers and serving selflessly, they are instead looking for riches and this has led many to bribes and corruption. I’m joining the Lord Mayoral race not to look for money but to serve Kampala people diligently, serving them with one heart.
I have been in Kampala, studied and working from the capital city. I have associated with vendors and traders, I have been using boda-bodas and taxis. I sometimes walk from town to my home in Kawempe. So I verily know Kampala problems. I have walked through the floods of Bwaise, Nalukolongo, Clock Tower and other areas. As a Kampala businessman, I have been affected by City traffic jam, affected by high taxes, etc.
I will be a Lord Mayor for different categories of People in Kampala. I employ many young people and have been perfectly managing my businesses in my absence. Our President, take an example is a successful farmer and cattle keeper and at the same time, a wonderful leader. All those who have shown interest to contest for Lord Mayor, no one has a solid background similar to mine both academically and understanding both the marginalized, the youth and the well-to-do people in Kampala.
Qn: So will your businesses fund your campaigns?
Ans: Truly I’m not banking on my party funds. I already have friends here and abroad who are determined and promised to stand with me. I have never worked in any government institution, never employed. I have no attachment with government or that my relative works in Bank of Uganda or in Uganda Revenue Authority. So no one is influencing me to join this race, for years I had a dream to serve my people in Kampala.
Qn: Which Kampala would you like to see as a Lord Mayor?
Ans: A jam -free, a clean and decongested city. I want to set up aShs5M low cost houses to accommodate our low income earners in Kampala and I will work hand in hand with His Majesty Kabaka’s Buganda Land Board to identify land in Kampala where we can put this project since Kabaka is the biggest land owner in Kampala.
It is easy for everyone to own a house, say, you pay three thousand on a daily basis for 30 years, and you finally own this house. We need to do away with slums and set up standard houses for our people. I will unite all Kampala people regardless of sex, religion, tribe or political party, and we together change our capital city for better. I want the waste management issues solved once and for all.
The political and technical wings must work hand in hand for a better Kampala not always being at war. Under my leadership, I will not tolerate torturing of vendors. We will find better ways of handling and accommodating them. I will support direct communication between State House and City Hall because we will definitely need financial support to work on our roads, city hospitals, waste management and other services badly needed by Kampala tax payers.
Kampala doesn’t need a defiant Lord Mayor because at the end, it will be the tax payers to suffer. In exchange of political disagreements, I will work for sanity. I will sensitize Kampala people to plant trees in Kampala, we want to have a green and cool environment. We will work on the sewerage and also work on a Metropolitan Physical plan. We must all have a common goal if our city is to be changed for better.
Qn: Do you agree with a resolution to return markets to KCCA control?
Ans: No. Markets must be run by vendors. The Technocrats failed and that is why the vendors took over markets. We can talk say to Nkajja Kayongo to lead his vendors and develop their Owino market. KCCA can stop at monitoring and supervision.
Qn: How will you manage transport industry especially ungazzetted taxi parks?
Ans: We will only tolerate gazzetted taxi parks if we are to decongest Kampala and streamline transport industry in Kampala. We will also make sure traffic lights work effectively 24/7. Taxis from upcountry shouldn’t reach Kampala. We will make sure they drop passengers outside the city Centre, then they use taxis on town service duty to drive them to the city center.
Qn: Do we still see city Abattoirs in the city centers?
Ans: Yes because they are run by vendors who should be given a chance and helped to develop them to standard Abattoirs.
Qn: Of all political parties, how can Ssebaana’s son choose NRM yet your father was a DP strongman and a former Party President General? Do you think wherever he is, he’s happy when you are dragging his great name into NRM politics?
Ans: First of all, NRM is the most organized party in Uganda with elements similar to Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) in Tanzania. It has a big network and bond with African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. A youth like me who wants to play politics for the coming 50 years, cannot waste time with disorganized political parties. NRM believes in Pan Africanism. Secondly, political parties are not monarchies, that if your father was a DP member so you must be? True in our homes we can dine from the same table but when we differ politically.
Qn: How are you prepared for attacks from DP for using the name of their hero into NRM politics?
Ans: Me I stand for what I believe. Who tells them that in our family, we are all DP members?
Qn: As per say, NRM is unpopular in Kampala. Out of nine members of Parliament, none is NRM. Out of the five Division mayors, none is from NRM and the Lord mayor is opposition. Who bewitched you to think, you can change this trend and win the Lord Mayor seat on NRM ticket?
Ans: The ballot paper will determine. Never know, NRM might have not had better and competent candidates like me. By 2021, opposition would have been in the leadership of Kampala for about 23 years. How has Kampala changed to better? Do we need to keep our city in this situation because we want opposition on the steering? But you also need to remember, NRM recently massively won in Kampala LC elections.
Qn: When did you join NRM?
Ans: Six years ago.
Qn: Are you satisfied with NRM/NRA government service for now 33 years?
Ans: Very much. Look at the Buganda factor, I’m a Muganda and our satisfaction is when our King is on the throne. It is on record, since colonialists came here, Buganda has never been peaceful like it is now. Colonialists, Dr. Milton Obote and Iddi Amin Dada tortured and arrested former Kings like the Mwangas, Muteesa and others. Daudi Chwa died at the age of 43 years old. It is only under NRM government, 119 years since 1900 that has direct communication with Mengo establishment. To me, that is enough.
Qn: What are your chances of winning in 2021?
Ans: My focus is now on NRM primaries. When my party clears me, the rest will be a walk over. Right now I’m educating and encouraging new members to join NRM. I can also assure you, I will win NRM primaries.
Qn: But you are nowhere in NRM structures. Who will vote for you?
Ans: By election time, I will be known by even children. I’m already doing ground work, consulting and meeting NRM leaders. I’m also talking to hundreds of youth to join NRM and they are complying. I will convince my party to trust me, many in opposition are ready to rally behind me.
Qn: Why do you think Kampala people need to retire Lukwago?
Ans: They are tired of a lord mayor who instead of giving them service is fighting a legitimate government.
Qn: Assuming you lose in Primaries, what will be your next step?
Ans: I don’t expect losing. But if that moment comes, I will definitely rally behind the winner.
Qn: Where is your strength?
Ans: My political party, my business, youth especially in Ghettos and markets.
Qn: Are you not worried about in-fights in NRM within Kampala?
Ans: Be it that, my strength is in the people. I’m not here to fight party members.
Qn: Assuming in Primaries you are rigged, will you still rally behind the ‘winner’?
Ans: I’m not expecting that. But if any one is not satisfied with the declared results, he or she can go to courts of law. NRM is a democratic party.
Qn: Ok, if you win primaries and also emerge the overall winner in 2021, but at the same time Hon. Bobi Wine is elected president and opposition councilors dominate City Hall, will you resign?
Ans: Of course Bobi Wine can’t win. That is a daydream. But if a rare miracle happens, I am ready to work with him and the opposition councilors. I will be a listening and approachable Lord Mayor.
Qn: As a youth, tell us, how do you judge Bobi Wine’s political approach?
Ans: I don’t believe in the politics of underestimating and attacking our elders. We must have politics of ideas not muscles. Our people want ideas not muscles.
Qn: Which opposition politician do you admire?
Ans: No one. Their political approach isn’t pro-people. They are all about opposing every government program.
Qn: Who is your best friend in NRM?
Ans: No one.
Qn: Did you agree with the MPs who voted for the amendment of article 102(b) to lift age limit?
Ans: Yes. And that is why I am presenting myself to contest for Lord mayor. I have come to prove to Ugandans that age doesn’t matter in politics.
Secondly, about President Museveni staying around, we have total peace. In Sub-Saharan desert Countries, it is Uganda only which is safe and secure, leave apart urban crimes. They are everywhere even in America which is a powerful country. And we have trust in Police, Army and other security organs to combat these urban crimes. We only have to be vigilant and work closely with our security organs. We need to fight unemployment together to make our youth busy.
Qn: Lastly, your family has ever been given a chance to lead Kampala. Won’t people see you as opportunists, because they would expect this chance to be given to another family?
Ans: My ideas are different from his. I have my right to contest, I have worked for this. Why don’t you say the same in business?
Who Is Ssebaana?
Born to late Efusamu Nkajja and Sarah in Nakaseke then Luwero district, he went to Nakaseke International College and at Lukomera Parents in Luweero. Though the family is rich, he was taken to a Universal Primary Education (UPE) school.
After HSC, he later enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts at Makerere University Kampala. He holds a Diploma in Law from Law Development Centre (LDC), Post graduate in Information Security and Management from Uganda Management Institute (UMI) and also holds a Masters in Public Administration from UMI. By profession Ssebaana is a Public Administrator and a legal officer.
Both biological parents passed away when he was still a child and brought up by Prof. Mutiibwa of the Musa Mukasa Karijjunju where late Ssebaana Kizito was a family member.