Ahead of the eleventh Parliament’s first seating in less than two months from now, Robert Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform [NUP] will be expected to announce the next Leader of the Minority Government in the August House.
Having attained the highest number of MPs in the next Parliament as an opposition party, NUP will be taking over from Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] who have held the position since the return of multiparty dispensation in 2006.
Speculations have already been making rounds over the probable choices available for Bobi Wine ahead of a very contentious decision for the party that has been in existence for less than a year. These have basically been; Mukono Municipality’s Betty Nambooze Bakireke, Busiro North’s Medard Lubega Ssegona, Party Deputy President and Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga, Jinja City Woman MP Manjeri Kyebakutikka and Manjiya County MP Nambetshe, who also doubles as the party’s Deputy President for Eastern Uganda.
By far, Nambooze and Ssegona remain the most qualified if at all Bobi Wine is to consider political seniority and administrative exposure. Another name worthy mentioning on the list is that of Mathias Mpuuga who likewise has had some legislative exposure in the 10th Parliament.
As expected, a very hostile cyber army has already started throwing rotten eggs in the direction of the Mukono Municipality MP whom they accuse of being double edged. The group who claim to be exceedingly loyal to NUP and Bobi Wine have regularly asked Nambooze to keep away from Bobi Wine or else she will face their wrath first hand. Early this week, Watchdog ran a story on how cyber bullies had targeted Nambooze’s children in a bid that has been interpreted by political analysts as attempts to force the MP out of the L.O.P queue.
In the series of cyber attacks on the MP, her children have either been texted or tagged in messages that threaten to kill them if at all their mother doesn’t stay away from NUP and it’s leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
In a telephone conversation with Watchdog, Nambooze said she was aware of the threats on her children but had opted not to report the matter to the local authorities but rather to the “Chief of all police Chiefs in heaven.”
Nambooze also wondered why the police has not yet taken interest in the group threatening her innocent children yet when she wrote about the murder of late Ibrahim Abiriga, they were quick to persecute her!
All these accusations and attacks coming at a time when Bobi Wine is contemplating on his choice for the next L.O.P, targeting the woman many see as the real deal for the position, it is very easy for anyone to connect the dots.
Why is Nambooze being targeted?
Like noted earlier, Nambooze and Ssegona remain the most suitable for the position if we are to go by their seniority.
Having been Members of Parliament since 2011 with ten years of legislative experience, NUP, with majority of it’s MPs first timers in Parliament, Bobi Wine couldn’t have demanded more from his first Leader of Opposition.
As for Ssegona in particular, he has served as a Buganda Kingdom Minister as well as lecturer at Makerere University Business School before joining the mainstream politics. One of the most refined legal brains in the country at the moment, Ssegona’s name on the list will certainly take a lot for Bobi Wine to eliminate him while choosing among his men and women.
One thing that gives Nambooze an edge over Ssegona and the others is the fact that her resolve to carry on in the struggle has been tested with both blood and iron without giving into the highly tempting ruling side. Even at a time when her dear sweet Democratic Party [DP] had turned into a sweet hell for her, Nambooze made her alternative choices carefully, allying with Besigye’s FDC rather than Museveni’s NRM where she would certainly make it into the cabinet.
This kind of steel in Nambooze’s spine will undoubtedly make Bobi Wine to vigorously scratch his head each time the idea of foregoing her crosses his head. And understandably, others in line for the same position have all the reasons to feel threatened.
In a bid to form a United front to challenge Museveni’s power in Parliament, Bobi Wine will require to have someone who can ably bring FDC and DP MPs along with some moderate independents through an opposition alliance of the sorts. With her past friendship with FDC and her natural born love for DP, Nambooze ticks all the boxes in this particular regard. As such, even without the announcement coming out, others eying the position will have all the reasons to start the fight early.
Last but not the least, with Bobi Wine’s new found love for Kampala Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago, it’s just natural that he will consider elevating Nambóoze – his[Lukwago’s ] confidant to act as a bridge between his Kampala popularity and NUP. Nambooze is also the natural bridge between NUP and other opposition parties including FDC, Jeema, PPP, DP among other opposition parties in Parliament.
With the decision not far away from now, NUP, opposition supporters and those from the ruling side – NRM will be keenly following to see who in Kyagulanyi’s wisdom will be tasked with maturing a very young and delicate group of MPs in Parliament and at the same time checking excesses in Museveni’s government.
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