With the political feud between the two most influential politicians at the moment evolving at an unprecedented speed, a lot will have changed in the political set up of the country by the time the storms calms down.
One particular political aspect which will most certainly be affected is the political statusquo in Busoga sub region where Kadaga has enjoyed unrivaled supremacy for ages, seeing the hitherto strongest politician – Ali Kirunda Kivejinja slip into near political insecurity in the process.
Kadaga has over the years evolved into a political demigod of the sort in Busoga with her contagious influence reverberating in all the corners that make up the kingdom, with Kaliro District the only exception following accusations that she influenced the ascension of William Gabula to the Kyabazingaship at the expense of Prince Wambuzi Zibondo of Bulamogi.
With her policy of handling Busoga issues like a family concern, Kadaga managed to establish dominion over the whole region with most politicians paying allegiance to her as a goddess of good luck ahead of general elections. There have been rumours that there was a hotly contested quest for political overlordship between Kadaga and veteran Museveni bush war ally Ali Kirunda Kivejinja throughout the 1990s and early 2000s which all subsided after the super woman from Kamuli finally forced the former Bugweri legislator into submission.
Weary of the political valour in the emerging giant in Kadaga, Museveni became concerned after projecting a major political imbalance in the region. It ought to be noted with precision that Museveni has always tried to avoid raising one dominant politician in a particular region as it would give raise to individuals rivaling his monopolised political superintendency within his ruling National Resistance Movement party.
Having elevated Dr Specioza Wandira Kasibwe to the Vice Presidency and managed to tame her over all the time she was in that particular office, Museveni was reluctant to tame Kadaga’s projected future hostility as he never expected any difference between her and his then Vice President.
This gave Kadaga time to lay a long time strategic game plan for future political use. She identified and empowered her political allies throughout the region until a time when any political leaders feared being in her wrong books which would translate into a direct risk of losing in a future election.
Besides Kivejinja against whom it’s alleged that Kadaga assisted to make a hitherto unknown Abdul Katuntu into a major rival who finally managed to eject her rival – Kivejinja in Bugweri, one particular name comes in anyone’s mind familiar with Busoga politics. Throughout the 1990s,there existed a man called Alhaji Ahmed Kaugu Kawoya Mugaino (RIP) in Kamuli. He had contested and came second behind current Buzaya MP Isaac Isanga Musumba in the race of the delegates conference that made the 1995 Constitution.
Kaugu was a very popular man in Kamuli but he never admitted that Kadaga, a woman would be left to influence the politics of the district. He was elected overwhelmingly to become the District Chairman in 1996. He used the position to mobilize against Kadaga, trying to eject her from Parliament using a one Naigaga Kalikwani in 1996, 2001and 2005.
In essence, Kadaga feared Kaugu. He was very popular among the people of Kamuli and defeating him in an election was an impossibility. She thus realized there was a gap to exploit in order to tame him. He had no the prerequisite academic qualifications for the office he occupied. He was thus ejected Midway the 2001 – 2006 term on grounds of lack of academic qualifications. He was re elected in 2006 and faced the same fate and in 2011 which finally led to his death after developing a heart problem due to stress.
All that points towards the warior that Kadaga has been throughout her political career. In a bid to contain her, Museveni has tried to elevate a number of politicians to contest her supremacy in Busoga over the years, a move that has often failed miserably. Notable among those that have reportedly been elevated in the past to keep Kadaga under check include Kirunda Kivejinja, Isaac Musumba, Igeme Nabeeta, Fred Mukisa(rip), Moses Kizige, Daudi Migereko, Isanga Nakadama Rukiah, Kasule Lumumba and many more.
Unfortunately, none of them has ever been able to successfully face off against her with majority bowing before her for political survival.
With the current battle clearly drawing a line between Museveni and Kadaga, the only option for Museveni will be to lift another person to either replace Kadaga or ably challenge her supremacy in the sub region. This would leave her isolated or leave her loyalists decided among different leaderships.
After male politicians appointed Ministers in the past facing it hard to make an impact beyond their Constituencies of representation, Museveni seems to have turned his hope to their female counterparts.
Currently, there over three women from Busoga holding offices so close to the President. These include;
The NRM Secretary General and perhaps the most influential amongst them all. The former Bugiri Woman MP has been tipped to be the next VP by numerous media reports after her successfully tenure at the helm of NRM as SG. If appointed to the office as anticipated, there would likely be a shift in the political balance of power with many likely to opt for the country’s second most influential leader against Kadaga.
The challenge for Museveni in effecting this would be resistance from other regions which would feel cheated if Kadaga retains the Speakership, as having the speaker and the VP from the same region wouldn’t be very good news for many especially from other regions.
Minister Mbayo enjoys the closest proximity to President Museveni, being the one in charge of of the Office of the Presidency. She hails from Luuka, one of the new District curved from the old three districts of Kamuli, Iganga and Jinja. Her position at Minister for the Presidency has established her as one of the NRM party greats in the Busoga subregion. Should Museveni consider dropping Kadaga, Mbayo would certainly be one of the favorites to replace her.
Persis is a Princess who hails from Busiki in Namutamba District. She currently serves as Minister of State for Lands. Inspite of her not being a cabinet Minister, Namuganza demonstrated the metal hard character when she one time dared Kadaga, a risk most politicians from Busoga would never dare to take.
It all stemmed from Kadaga’s attending a coronation ceremony in the Busiki Chiefdom where Namuganza herself is a Princess. She had told off Kadaga to keep out of cultural issues since she was a politician and not a royal. The scandle escalated, resulting into members of the Busoga Parliamentary caucas threatening her with expulsion.
Eventhough the confrontation ended without a clear winner, it led to the emergency of Namuganza as a force to reckon with in Busoga. It was evidently seen in the Bugiri Municipality’s parliamentary by elections, during which the Minister was the center of power and attention, pointing towards a possible change in the balance of power in the future, which seems likely to be approaching.
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