With victory up his sleeves in the just concluded NRM CEC elections, the pronunciations from Plot 13 Kyadondo Road have left many former political heavy weights reeling on the canvass and sent tongues wagging!
And yet with the political storm yet to ebb, one cannot miss out the incredible story of Singh Katongole, the new Vice Chairperson for Kampala in the NRM‘s top organ the CEC. The businessman turned politician has defied odds to anchor himself onto the ruling government’s top political echelon.
One would ask his winning formula, and yet again like many headline grabbers whose journeys to stardom have been riddled with obstacles, Katongole is no exception.
He was shown the parliamentary exit doors in 2011 when Moses Kasibante took him to court and accused him of voter bribery and ballot stuffing. Ill fate trailed him to 2016 when he was denied the NRM party flag on grounds of inadequate academic qualifications. While he returned to school to attain the required qualifications, Singh Katongole’s unending crave for leadership found him pitted against little known Proscovia Lukwago in the battle for LC1 chairperson of Makamba Zone-Rubaga Division in 2018.
He embarrassingly lost this battle too but never lost grit, wit and mettle, ingredients that finally saw him floor Godfrey Nyakana and Salim Uhuru by polling 4503 votes against 2665 and 2468 for Nyakana and Uhuru respectively.
Many in his close circles know him for being an astute businessman whose wealth would earn him reserved tables in top hotels and clubs in town blending with the high and mighty and yet it’s not unusual to find Singh Katongole traversing the filth laden alleys of slums of Rubaga division freely mingling with the residents. This hands-on style of leadership has been the biggest attribute in his endeavors for leadership.
When asked about what they felt in his recent victory in the CEC, Hamid Lukenge a boda boda rider in Kisenyi II had this to say: “I have personally voted for Katongole every time he has vied for a position because he listens to and associates with the common person. He also visits almost all corners of the division”. Nakyajja Harriet, who operates a used clothes stall in St Balikuddembe but resides in Wankuklukuku says that she is thrilled by the way Singh Katongole speaks Luganda fluently and this to her removed her earlier doubts that he would have a language barrier.
And yet for a man who has been dragged through the murky waters of politics, this victory tells a thousand stories but most importantly spells out his resilience, people centeredness, and humility. Surely Singh Katongole’s better days lie ahead and his star can only get brighter!!