After months of anxiety regarding who would Bobi Wine choose to carry the National Unity Platform (NUP)’s flag for the Kampala City Mayorship in next year’s elections, it was finally announced that music star Joseph Mayanja alias Chameleone will not be the one to represent the new party in the race to eject FDC’s new boy Erias Lukwago from City Hall.
Even though the choice of Latif Ssebagala – a more experienced politician with 20 years of legislative exposure would be clearly understandable, Chameleone’s recent bonding with the People Power Movement, fully seeming to buy into its philosophy makes Kyagulanyi’s decision an utter betrayal of a true ally.
Just over a month ago, it had evidently appeared as though Chameleone was the last man standing in the race when former Kampala Mayor Nasser Ntege Ssebagala’s bid failed to capture public blessings.
An expectant Mayanja would then go ahead to completely cut ties with Democratic party – the party he had just a few months ago joined amid fanfare as he got baptized ‘ Ssabakunzi” by it’s supremo Norbert Mao. He is now fully in NUP where he finds himself at political crossroads.
All that aside, there is one strong factor that could have costed Chameleone the slot he so desperately needed. His celebrity status!
It’s no secret that Chameleone is one of the most successful icons in the field with many arguably baptizing him at the top of the game among all his living counterparts.
His role in mobilising for Museveni’s re-election in the last general election through rallying his fellow artistes would later become a point of envy majorly from forces hostile to the ruling National Resistance Movement party which he subscribed to then. It’s partly why Mao would welcome the popular Mayanja into the ranks of Democratic Party, willingly offering him the party flag for the Mayorship even when he would otherwise be legally barred on grounds he had just joined the outfit.
In NUP, Chameleone’s addition had been reasonably seen as an advantage for he, like Bobi Wine was a celebrity with unrivaled melodic success to write home about. As a mobiliser with a prior record that speaks for itself under President Museveni, the sky would be the limit for the young party.
Surprisingly though, it’s this very strength that freaked Bobi Wine. Rather than a complementary ally, the Kyadondo legislator viewed Chameleone as a rival that would affect his popularity and challenge his authority along the way.
In preparation for the race a head, Chameleone had embarked on an ambitious strategy to propel him to City Hall, buying a multi Million high-tech car besides the magnificent office in Rubaga to the shock of many NUP technocrats including Bobi Wine.
As such, the NUP top leadership advised that Ssebagala be convinced to pull out of the race for the Kawempe North MP seat to provide a way out for Bobi Wine who was by now desperate to get rid the music genius from the ranks of NUP.
Before the decision was finally announced late last week, Chameleone had conducted himself as though he had realised there was a plot to ditch him in the process.
Even though he had scored highly in answering the questions before him during the vetting session earlier on, it turned out to have been a mere formality for the direction of the flag and the verdict were predetermined.
The events however have placed Mayanja in a very precarious situation which will require him to make big decision on whether to quit politics or form a rival opposition outfit and carry on with his ambition in politics.
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