US ambassador lured me to the Movement – Mutagamba

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    US ambassador lured me to the M ovement – Mutagamba
    Wednesday, 20th October, 2010
    Mutagamba welcoming the youth to the NRM party at her office in Kyotera in Rakai
    By Ali Mambule

    I was wooed to the NRM party by the US Ambassador to Uganda, water and environment minister Maria Mutagamba has said. Mutagamba, formerly the secretary general of the Democratic Party (DP), said the envoy whom she declined to name, became a major factor before she denounced her party to join the NRM.

    “As Uganda was making preparations to receive US President Bill Clinton, that US ambassador called me to his office and told me the truth about politics,” Mutagamba said.

    She added that while in his office, the ambassador challenged her to mention what was in DP’s constitution that the NRM government had not done. “From that day, I made up my decision to join the NRM since my goal was to serve the people of Uganda,” Mutagamba said.

    She was on Sunday receiving 100 youth from Kyotera town council in Rakai district who crossed to the NRM from the DP and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC).

    The youth, under Agali Awamu Kyotera Youth Association led by Medi Sembatya, told Mutagamba that they had remained in opposition for a long time because they had not benefited from the current government.

    Sembatya asked the minister to make arrangements for them to meet President Yoweri Museveni so that they hand over to him their former party cards.

    Sembatya said they would work with the Government to fight the HIV/AIDS scourge, idleness, poverty and illiteracy.


    Ono Mutagamba ye principles ze ziri ku ki? Ate omuntu omulala bwanaja namugamba leero okugenda mu UPC kinaba kitya awo? Bano mbu bebeyita banabyabufuzi heheheheh era Uganda tejja kuva mu byakisilu.


    Mubuuze Okujjako okulunda amagana genvuunza nebidiba ebijjudde mukene mu Kampala wakati NRM ekoze kiki enyo mu Uganda yaffe ?? Lwaaki abantu nga Mutagamba tebekweeka? Kyannaku nyo okulaba nga ne Uganda Parliament eyazimbibwa ba Colonialists tezibwangako wadde mwiiko oba langi emyaka kikumi egiyise!!Oba Uganda-Railways kati eyafuuka Tonninyira mu kange..Mandela yagamba mu kitabo kye nti “Long walk to Freedom” naffe tukyalina eggeendo..


    Why we defected
    Written by David Tash Lumu
    Wednesday, 03 November 2010 20:12
    We sealed deal with President on October 26.

    Henry Peter Mayega was a candidate for president in UPC’s March 2010 delegates’ conference.

    He lost to Olara Otunnu, but secured a position as vice president for Buganda under the new leadership. On Monday, he was one of three UPC stalwarts who defected to NRM. David Tash Lumu asked him why.

    Why did you leave UPC?

    There are a number of reasons; first of all, people need to understand that I’m one of the four people who registered UPC. In other words, the promoters of UPC are four, going by the records with the Registrar of Companies.

    It is Dr James Rwanyarare, myself, Hajji Badru Wegulo and Cecilia Ogwal. And Dr Rwanyarare retired from politics, Cecilia Ogwal has gone to FDC, Wegulo has crossed to the Movement, so the promoters are gone.

    There are so many problems ever since Milton Obote died; UPC has suffered a series of misfortunes, which have caused it to be a caricature of its old self; it’s no longer the UPC I knew where Obote used to inspire us to be members of that party. Many people have deserted and there are no efforts to bring them back.

    Some prominent defections include Cecilia Ogwal, Ben Wacha, the late Okullo Epak and, recently, Yona Kanyomozi, and there’s absolutely no effort made to bring back these people and reconcile them with the party so that we can move as one unit.

    And I want to remind UPC and the general public that what makes a party strong is unity, and we don’t really have it at the moment. The dismal performance of Olara Otunnu as UPC president has actually caused us a lot of problems and, I hear of so many desertions to come.

    So, part of this is the reason why I have decided to leave UPC and join the party which I think can handle my interests because right now the ideologies are the same; UPC are social democrats and the NRM are also social democrats.

    But you were one of the strongest people in UPC, why didn’t you initiate reconciliation instead of deserting?

    I’m no stranger to UPC leadership. For instance, there was a time when Cecilia Ogwal, Ben Wacha and others left UPC after quarrelling with Obote; they went and formed the Interim Executive Committee (IEC).

    And in 2004 Dr Rwanyarere had left me as acting chairman of the Presidential Policy Commission (PPC), so I successfully organised a meeting between UPC members of Parliament at the time and the PPC, where it was agreed that we work together.

    But towards the end of 2005 when Obote died, we went back to the old confusion. So, for me, that’s one of the biggest contributions I made to UPC. The other one is the struggle to make NRM open the political space, which we achieved.

    How come you are realising it now after so many years that UPC and NRM are the same?

    UPC has wound up completely as far as I am concerned because they are not making any headway. When you look at the leadership of Otunnu, it is full of procrastination…… indecision, and I don’t want to be part of that anymore.

    I won’t sink with UPC like the Titanic! For instance, Otunnu came here and said ‘we should work together with other parties in IPC so that we dislodge Museveni and his NRM’ but he backtracked on that when he pulled out UPC.

    Besides, he said the cardinal thing was for all of us not to contest in the elections but eventually he picked nomination forms to contest in those very elections! So, I cannot fool myself that we can do any meaningful politics by procrastinating; being indecisive, it’s really a very stupid thing.

    We have been told that you were supposed to be received officially by NRM on October 26 when Otunnu went for nomination at Namboole.

    That’s not true. Otunnu has his timeline of doing things and mine is completely different. Mine started about three months ago and it came to fruition last week on Tuesday [October 26] when we met the President at State House, and we told him that ‘we cannot stay in the UPC anymore, because it is a spent force.’

    Who linked you to the President?

    Of course I had a series of meetings with people involved in this process before, but I don’t want to name them here.

    But even if you name them, the deal is done and it’s a good one for you….

    I don’t want to call it a deal; which deal? Me joining the NRM? Someone made me laugh today [November 1] when he said ‘you’re now going to eat big.’ But I’m already eating big. I am not needy.

    So, the fact is very simple; there’s no deal in this one. UPC cannot represent my interests anymore because the party has come to the end of the road with that leadership. You can’t be part of the coup in 1985, and then you come and say you want to take leadership of that very party which you removed from government.

    Some of us have been religiously supporting UPC through all sorts of odds and I never saw any of these gentlemen come here to be with us in the struggle. Even when we were shot at in 2001 during a rally organised by UPC and somebody got killed, I never heard Olara Otunnu come to say sorry, so I don’t know where he came from to become leader of UPC.

    But he won an election and you were one of the candidates?

    I don’t know where he came from. I saw him at Namboole [laughs]… Anyway, I’m saying that in all the processes, waves of indignation and trauma that we suffered as UPC and its leaders since the 1985 coup, Olara Otunnu has not featured anywhere until recently.

    And that doesn’t augur well with many people in UPC and many more defections are on the way.
    I have heard many people who were staunch supporters of his campaign saying they are sorry to have backed his bid for UPC president, and they’re elders in the party.

    But we told them Otunnu would not take the party anywhere. We even told them earlier that even Miria Obote was not taking the party anywhere. For instance, we got two million signatures in two weeks in 2005 when we registered UPC in our names; I can even go and apply to wind it up.

    Are you going to do that?

    I don’t know, let me think about it. But when Miria went to contest for the elections, she got 50,000 signatures of the two million; what went wrong? Even this Abed Bwanika, whom I had never heard of, beat UPC! A party that ruled the country twice cannot be bitten by a mosquito and it dies.

    You have talked of many other defections coming, who are those?

    I can’t disclose them because they would be kept under lock-and-key; so, you wait until the thing unfolds, but I can assure you they are coming.

    You say there’s no deal between you and the NRM, but what were you negotiating for three months?
    We’re talking about crossing from a desert to a forest.

    What were the terms or sticking issues?

    No preconditions from either side. In fact, there were no sticking points because those people had been scouting around to get defectors. And when we rhymed in terms of interests, I said ‘fine let’s quit this thing.’ Actually I told the President at the conference centre today that it’s bad to lose power twice but it is worse to look for power twice and you can’t find it, a situation that UPC is in now.

    Won’t people view you as power hungry?

    If I was power hungry I would have guns and would go to the bush; I’m not that desperate. But I’m saying I can be part of this political dispensation of the Movement and then we move ahead together.

    MP Peter Nyombi and your wife Gorette, who works at Makerere University, have been linked to your defection?

    That’s not true. MP Nyombi is my brother and true he belongs to the Movement, but he wasn’t involved. My wife doesn’t like politics at all; in fact she learnt of my move when her friends called her this afternoon after seeing me on television.

    What are you bringing to the Movement?

    I’m adding value. I have crossed with a group of 50 people unlike others like Aggrey Owori who joined as individuals. My group comprises former UPC district chairmen [for Mpigi, Wakiso, Kiboga and Nakasongola], so they will each bring 50 other supporters and there will be a multiplier effect. Even Museveni clapped for me today because I didn’t come alone.

    And you expect a reward for that…

    I don’t know, but if it came, I wouldn’t refuse it. But I didn’t make any special request.

    Where do you see your political career after the February 2011 elections?

    First of all, I’m not going for elections but I will be looking for votes for the NRM throughout the campaign period. After that, I’m sure something will work out but I don’t want to pre-empt. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Related stories

    Defectors went for pension, says UPC

    UPC has no money – Wegulo


    Ono si politics gano malya nsimbi. Abafere bajude eno, basalagana badda eno neri nga banoonya kyakulya. Bonna bano tebayinza butaleeta bwa kondo mu gavumenti, bonna babbi. Gwe laba oyo owa UPC bwagamba nti NRM yerina ebitukiriza interests ze ye nga omuntu. Wabula ye munabyabufuzi assose okuvaayo nagamba nti NRM ne UPC byebimu.

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