Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi
Butambala doubles as a county and a district so is Kabula/Lyantonde and Buvuma islands.
One of the reasons for creating new constituencies in 2015 given by the then Minister of Local Government Adolf Mwesige was that he wanted to put a stop at areas that doubled as districts and counties yet the three were so and were left out. Even this time they have been left out including Lyantonde, which was scheduled to have a municipality.
But Butambala and Kabula are special in modern history of Buganda and Uganda. Butambala, Gomba and Busujju, were the tiny counties that had been given to Muslims after they had been defeated in political religious wars of 1890s. When Nubian mercenaries rebelled and wanted to install Prince Nuuhu Kyabasinga Mbogo as Kabaka, even Gomba and Busujju were taken away from Muslims and the latter was given to Protestants and the latter to Roman Catholics.
However, as we moved towards independence, Roman Catholics gave Kabula to Muslims. Kabula had been a base for Christians, then part of Ankole, as they were fighting Muslims under Kabaka Nuuhu Kalema, who had starved his brother Kiweewa to death after Mwanga had been exiled to present day Tanganyika, but had returned to Kabula and joined forces with them to oust Kalema.
The Ropam Catholics did it out of national reconciliation, although critiques say that they wanted to woo Muslims to back DP under Benedicto Kiwanuka.
However, when kingdoms were abolished and Uganda became a republic in 1967, such sectarian political appointments stopped and Muslims were appointed as Pokino or County Chief Of Buddu, Kaggo or County Chief of Kyaddondo, and Haji Buwembo was appointed Secretary General (RDC) OF Mubende covering present day Mubende, Kassanda, Mituayana, Kiboga and Kyankwanzi distrocts.
While Katambala (county chiefs of Butambala) have remained Muslim, Bannabutambala have been electing councilors and MPs that are not Muslims. An example is Mary Namirembe Bitamazire, District Woman MP for Greater Mpigi even before Wakiso, Butambala and Gomba were carved out and after. People of Mawokota and Butambala chose Haji Musa Njuki as DP MP in 1961, and Haji Abbey Kafumbe Mukasa in 1980.
As matters are bow, the opposition is likely to win in Butambala because of religious differences.
This is because one of the Bishops is said to have publicly, endorsed the outgoing District Chairperson Bavekuno Mafumu as the incoming County MP and the incumbent District Woman MP Lydia Mirembe.
This angered Muslims who have been tolerant of Christian leadership like Lydia Mirembe and Bavekuno Mafumu.
They are said to be ganging up to support the incumbent County MP Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi of DP and People Power since the former NRM candidate Faisal Ssali Kikulukunyu retired from partisan politics and joined Ministry of Local Government as a civil servant.
They are also considering to support Aisha Kabanda, a former NRM Woman District Woman MP who is now NUP.
Traditionally Butambala MPs should be Muslims but many Muslims left Butambala for Mawokota, Gomba, Buddu, Mawogola and Kampala, and many non-Muslims came in and filled the vaccum.
Either Lydia mirembe is retained and a Muslim male candidate is brought in, or Lydia Mirembe is dropped in favour of a Muslim female candidate and Bavekuno Mafumu, a Christian is supported.
Butambala was supposed to be divided into two constituencies.
It would have been easy for an NRM candidate to win in Butambala South, that is Ngando and Bulo as it is easy for an Opposition to win in Butambala North that is Kalamba, Budde, Kibibi and Gombe.
The write is a journalist and a Deputy Spokesperson at the Office of National Chairperson, Kyambogo