On February 7, pandemonium broke loose at State House, Entebbe, which was previously known as “Government House” when it was the official residence of the British colonial governor of Uganda protectorate.
The occasion was a meeting of the NRM parliamentary caucus held to choose NRM’s candidates for election to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) at elections scheduled to take place in Parliament on February 28.
As its name implies, State House is strictly for conducting State business, not party affairs. If Sir Andrew Cohen who was a resident of Government House in the 1950s rose from the dead, he would be shocked to death by what is happening there today.
That shameful event was captured for television news by NTV and NBS and was the front page headline story of Daily Monitor of February 8 titled, ‘Don’t vote the jobless to Eala – Museveni’ and the New Vision of February 8 which published the story on its front page under a bold headline, ‘Chaos mars NRM East Africa polls’.
Before delving into the substance of the matter, I wonder, like most Ugandan patriots, why a purely partisan affair should in the first place be held at State House which belongs to all Ugandans and is funded by taxpayers irrespective of party affiliation.
Why must Ugandan taxpayers routinely pay for NRM party events? Why must Ugandans allow this blatant abuse of State House to take place every now and then with impunity? It is despicable and totally unacceptable.
I appeal to patriotic lawyers to urgently seek legal interpretation and redress on this matter in a court of law. It is a disgrace and an insult to turn State House into NRM party headquarters. State House has been desecrated by the activities of a party whose record leaves a lot to be desired. What is happening in Uganda today is the enduring legacy of a decadent and shameless regime.
According to the New Vision of February 8, “the National Resistance Movement (NRM) caucus elections for its flag bearers in the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) polls yesterday were marred by chaos and consequently cancelled.” The elections were eventually held on February 9 and six candidates chosen amid bitterness, confusion and turmoil.
What transpired at the NRM caucus at State House was captured graphically by one of the candidates, Mr David Lewis, in a frank and shocking comment published in the New Vision of Tuesday, February 14. It was a disgusting and shameful experience for the young advocate who, I predict, will soon quit NRM altogether.
Lewis laments that “whereas most MPs were civil and gracious, some were not ashamed to ask for as low as Shs100,000 to give audience to a candidate.” Well, this was kitu kidogo which wananchi often demand from them during campaigns. He was shocked by MPs lack of interest in ideas and some were sectarian.
“A member bluntly told another in my face who attempted to introduce me to him ‘we must promote our own tribesmen!” How low must Uganda sink?
The Daily Monitor reports that the chairman of NRM warned his party against voting “jobless people” to Eala, saying East Africa needs people who understand and can fast-track regional integration which contradicts what he has been doing all along such as, turning Uganda’s formerly distinguished and exemplary diplomatic service into a dumping ground for all types of failed, jobless and unemployable politicians.
No wonder NRM Members of Parliament no longer take Sabalwanyi seriously; they simply ignored his warning and went ahead to bribe and even fight for seats in Eala. Why should they care about East African integration when their boss is openly boasting that he is fighting for himself and his family! Well, Scripture warns and teaches that a man will reap exactly what he sows! It is happening now and I tell you, there is much more to come.
Uganda deserves better than this charade and theatre of the absurd. Every avenue to serve our country has now been turned into an opportunity for the usual hyenas, vampires and vultures to eat and feast on poor and hapless victims of exploitation and oppression.
The sooner Ugandans wake up and put an end to this nightmare, the better for Uganda and East Africa. What good can come from people who have bribed their way to Eala for primary purpose of eating? What can they do to promote the vital interests of Uganda and East Africa?
I hope our partners in the EAC are watching and taking note of the tragicomedy which is playing out in Kampala, the citadel of corruption. One hopes that the two candidates from DP and UPC, namely Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde and Mr Chris Opoka Okumu who are seeking re-election will sail through and at least provide continuity for Eala members from Uganda. Their record at Eala is good and I am sure they will save the name of Uganda at Eala. Aluta continua!
DAILY MONITOREala is latest bonanza for Uganda's political elite