Uganda’s high-profile candidate for Kampala mayor - singer Jose Chameleone - is not holding grudges against the National Unity Platform (NUP) party or its leader, pop star turned politician Bobi Wine. This is after the party led by the Kyadondo East MP, real name Robert Kyagulanyi, rejected his bid to compete in the 2021 Kampala Lord Mayor elections.
Speaking at the electoral commission regional offices in Ntinda - northeast of Kampala, Chameleone said he still supports Bobi Wine on his plans to challenge President Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has ruled Uganda since 1986, despite NUP snubbing his candidature and opting for Kawempe North Member of Parliament, Latif Ssebagala. The latter later stepped down from the race, citing the need to maintain unity in the country's fragmented opposition against Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM).
“I was rejected for this race but my supporters said they want me to lead them. I still support Bobi Wine but I also have my personal ambitions. I want you to know that whoever stands in my way will face the power of people. I am still a NUP member much as the party has decided someone else to contest for the same position. I decided to defy the party to come as an Independent after I was denied a card for NUP…The city is not looking for an Opposition leader. It needs a capable leader who will be able to promote development and come up with strategies to create jobs for the youths,” said Chameleone.
Explaining why the Leone Island boss was snubbed, NUP party spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi said Ssebagala had an edge over the singer. “Our team was sent on the ground to ascertain what people are saying because this is People Power. People must be involved in the selection process. These teams were in every corner of the constituency interacting with the people. They may not go everywhere in the constituency but they reach in a good number of places, so Hon Latif Ssebagala had an edge over Joseph Mayanja,” narrated Ssenyonyi.
Chameleone has since vowed to soldier on and denied joining the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party to battle it out against the city’s incumbent mayor Erias Lukwago (Forum for Democratic Change), singer Daniel Kazibwe, popularly known as Ragga Dee who is NRM’s flagbearer, as well as entrepreneur Beatrice Mayanja of the Democratic Party(DP).