2021 Polls: A Breakdown of the Mayoral Races in Ten Newly Created Cities

Over 40 candidates from different political parties and independent tickets will be contesting for mayorship in the ten newly created Cities, a ChimpReports mini-survey indicates.

According to this survey, 21 candidates out of the 40 will be contesting on different tickets of; National Resistance Movement (NRM), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda people’s Congress (UPC), Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), the National Unity Platform (NUP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the rest are independent candidates.

In the Cities of Eastern Uganda, 15 candidates will be facing off with; eight (08) vying for Mbale City, Three (03) for Jinja City and four (04) in Soroti City.

In Western Uganda, 12 candidates will be contesting with; five (05) in Mbarara City, four (04) in Hoima and three (03) in Fort Portal.

In Northern Uganda and West Nile, 13 candidates have expressed interests with; four in Arua City, five in Gulu and four in Lira City.

In Central Uganda (Masaka City), three candidates have expressed interest.

3% of the incumbent mayors who lost during their party primaries have bounced back as independents and these are; Mutwalibi Zandya Mafabi who lost to Cassim Namugali in FDC primaries in Mbale, Isa Kato lost to Sam Nyakua in NRM primaries in Arua and Mary Grace Mugasa lost to Brian Kaboyo in NRM primaries in Hoima Cities respectively.

Upon his loss, Zandya said, “You voted well but they counted in their own way. It is simple, my people don’t worry I am still here to serve you and shall come as an independent.”


Two incumbents have just pulled out of the race and these are; Godfrey Kayembe in Masaka will be joining the MP race in the newly created Kitunsi Constituency in Masaka district and Majid Batambuze in Jinja City.

Who will contest where

Mbale City

Eight candidates were nominated for this position and these are; Mutwalibi Zandya (independent), the incumbent who was defeated during the FDC party primaries, ending his party flag dominancy which he has held since 2011.

Zandya lost to a businessman Cassim Namugali in the tight race but refused to concede defeat.

Namugali scored 66 votes, followed by Zandya with 15 and Silagi trailed with 11 votes.

NRM fronted Vincent Magombe, who won the race. William Masai and Abdu Magoola who were not satisfied with Magombe’s victory also bounced back as independents.

NUP has fronted Abbas Wetaka to face off with these four. Two other candidates; Karim Wodero and Abedi Mwenyi also joined as independents. It remains to be seen who among these will subdue the others.

Jinja City

The former UPC die hard who later defected to the ruling NRM, Robert Kanusu, will be facing off with FDC’s Frank Nabwiso. The incumbent Majid Batambuze will not be coming back for this race.

The two will be facing off with popular comedian Alton Kasolo alias Swengere who was given the NUP party ticket. Despite the NUP popularity in urban areas, political observers say that the major competition in this City is between FDC and NRM.


Soroti District Boss, George Micheal Eguyu won the NRM ticket to oust FDC’s Paul Omer who is currently holding the throne. The two have been joined by Alias Ejoku from NUP and Peter Ojur who has come on an independent ticket.

Ojur was defeated by Omer in the 2016 general polls on the same seat.


The competition has been stormed by four major candidates; Robert Odongokalu from DP, George Labeja, the incumbent from NRM, Patrick Oola of FDC, Walter Odong-Wee-Yoo from UPC and the former Gulu District Secretary Works and Technical Services, Alex Otim on an independent ticket.

In this region, the major competition is between NRM and UPC, according to political observers.


Four candidates; Isa Kato the incumbent (independent), Sam Nyakua (NRM), Micheal Agonda (NUP) and Aslk Charles on independent ticket are taking on the Arua mayoral race.

Kato was defeated by Nyakua in a tight race where he scored 19,000 votes against Nyakua’s 21,300 votes. He later bounced back as an independent, after querying the voting process which he said was unfair and marred with corruption, violence and bribery.


UPC’s Micheal Ogwaye Veve, the incumbent, will face off with Willy Omodo Omodo from NRM, Denis Ongom Ayeng from NUP and Sam Atu alias Tulman on the independent ticket.

In this region, the major competition is between UPC and NRM, according to political observers.


Robert Mugabe alias Kakyebazi from NRM defeated his two contenders during the NRM Primaries to retain the flag for the 2021 race.

In a tight race, Mugabe scored 36,116 votes, beating his two contenders; Herbert Kamugisha who polled 9,303 votes and Justus Karuhanga who got 1,234 votes.

Mugabe will face off with Stanley Katembeyi from FDC, Vicent Norman from Alliance for National Transformation, Albert Atukunda and Apollo Kibira on independent tickets.

Fort Portal

Edison Asaba Ruyonga, the former three terms mayor of Fort Portal Municipality (between 2001 and 2016) bounced back in the NRM polls to defeat his competitor P. Kasande, to win the NRM flag for the same seat. Ruyonga polled 17,328 votes against Kasande’s 7,241 votes.

Ruyonga will be facing off with Rev. Will Kintu Muhanga (Independent), who defeated him in the 2016 general polls. The two have been joined by Robert Bwayo fron ANT.


Brian Kaboyo defeated the incumbent, Mary Grace Mugasa, to win the NRM flag for this position in the 2021 polls. Kaboyo polled 11,074 votes followed by Mugasa, who polled 8,459 votes and a one Fredrick trailed with 1,067 votes.

Mugasa, who queried the polls results, has since bounced back as an independent candidate in the general elections.

NUP fronted Dan Ssemoboe to join the race while Rogers Abwoli Amanyire will also be contesting as an independent.


Godfrey Kayemba, the incumbent mayor, pulled out from the City mayoral race and has since opted to represent the newly created Kitunsi County in the 11th Parliament.

The race has since been joined by Andrew Lukyamuzi Batyemeito from NUP, Florence Namuyanja from DP and Emmanuel Kaweesa Lwasa on an independent ticket.


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