Singer-turned-politician, Joseph Mayanja’s quest to stand on the National Unity Platform (NUP) party ticket for Kampala Lord Mayor elections in 2021 was partly rejected because of being a Catholic.
According to what has been described as the “comprehensive assessment of NUP Party aspirants for leadership positions,” Mayanja, commonly known as Jose Chameleone, scored 3 out of ten marks for religion.
The assessors commented: “Religion – catholic. Denomination not very appealing to majority voters.”
NUP spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi was not readily available for comment on Monday morning.
NUP’s decision to judge aspirants’ abilities basing on religion has since infuriated Chameleone’s fans.
“How does one being Catholic mean that makes them less appealing to Voters in Kampala? Have we reached a point where it’s assumed that Kampala Leadership is a reserve for people of one Particular religious sect?” wondered Justus Ssebbale on Facebook.
“This is not a post of endorsement for Jose, but interrogate how bigoted the select NUP elections committee was on that very aspect, why reduce qualifications for leadership to religion when voters are not voting on lines of religion or by doing this you want to ignite a feeling among people to vote on lines of the latter?” Ssebbale added.
“Do voters in Kampala vote on religious lines and are Kampala Voters Majority Muslim? Does being Muslim mean they shall by default vote a fellow Muslim? These bits need to be interrogated! This is an insult to the Catholic Faithful!”
NUP late last week released a full list of its flag-bearers in the forthcoming elections on various positions of Local Government in the Metropolitan Districts of Kampala Wakiso and Mukono.
Among the long-awaited results were those of the position of Kampala Lord Mayor, where there was stiff competition between Hon Latif Ssebbagala and Chameleone.
Mayanja is a long-time friend and fellow musician to the NUP Principal Hon Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
Chameleone’s brother, Weasel described NUP’s actions as a “very big joke.”
He said: “Joseph Mayanja is a catholic and has less international exposure than Latif Ssebbagala – NUP Vetting Committee. A Very BIG Joke. Once again we are Watching You. Let the People Decide.”
Other factors considered by NUP include name recognition whereby assessors observed that “without the name Chameleone. Candidate is not recognizable.”
Regarding ‘popularity on ground’, NUP assessment committee said Chameleone had “little voter confidence” and that he was only popular in East Africa.
The committee also observed that Chameleone’s chances of winning is given a ticket were low and needed “much principal’s (Bobi Wine) intervention.”
Chameleone is expected to run on an independent ticket as Kampala Lord Mayor, pitting him against the powerful Erias Lukwago.