By John V Sserwaniko
On Thursday 27th December, President Museveni hosted a delegation of about 20 leaders from Bukedea district. The agenda was why they must forgive woman MP Annet Anita Amongi who has lately distinguished herself as an effective Museveni mobilizer. Comprising mostly of NRM Sub County Chairpersons and other local government leaders, the group has been fighting Amongi to the extent of threatening her 2021 reelection. A failing candidate in 2011 and 2008 when Bukedea was first created, Amongi only triumphed in 2016 when she finally defeated Rose Akol who at that time was Internal Affairs Minister with the full police at her disposal. Few expected Amongi (who for the first time abandoned the FDC ticket to run as an independent) to win. Akol grumblingly accepted defeat and now is an MP in Arusha-based EALA where she monthly earns over Shs50m. Even in Akol’s absence her political network (mostly of NRM diehards) remained active and have been politically tormenting Amongi. “Whereas many softened and embraced Amongi after flooring Akol, majority local NRM leaders carried on the feud and have been demonizing her causing the populace not to warm up to her despite the massive development activities she has funded to economically transform Bukedea in such a short time,” a knowledgeable source told this website.
WHAT SHE HAS DONE;
Among things she has done is the establishment of the district’s leading Bukedea Comprehensive Academy and Maama fm the district’s first Radio station. Its state of art equipment was recently imported. She already has a frequency and Maama fm studios are situated on her school premises in Bukedea town. Amongi also has a modern livestock farm in Kolil Sub County with over 300 heifers. Whereas these are personal things, they have created jobs for locals to levels no one ever envisaged during the Rose Akol era. Yet there is much more. Amongi has bought taxis for jobless youths, tractors for the elderly, 2 trucks for economically active women groups and that’s on top of the gomesiz she buys for all women every festive season. Overlooking all these, NRM diehards have remained very bitter with her and had threatened to quit the party protesting Museveni’s closeness to her. Akol is in Arusha but her anointed successor Merab Among, who works as an accountant in Bukedea local government since graduating from UCU, was counting on such resentment to upstage Amongi in 2021. “This hostility was creating anxiety and negatively impacting on the development initiatives she is continuing to lobby for the constituency. That is why the President, who is expected in Bukedea to inaugurate her radio, felt it was time get involved and reconcile them,” says a source close to the matter. Those against Amongi have been led by LC5 Chairman Moses Olemukan closely working with a group of influential councilors led by Mike Okwir who is also the works secretary for the district. Below them is a list of others who, according to NRM Bukedea chairman Isaac Epiro, include James Oluka (Kolil Sub County), Samuel Oluka (Malera Sub County), Ikotwe (Kachumbara Sub County), Bukedea Town Mayor Alfred Igune and Rose Akol’s PA Simon Alem.
THE RWAKITURA MEETING;
These are some of the Amongi haters Museveni met with on Thursday 27th. Ironically they were herded to travel in a mini bus belonging to Amongi. At Rwakitura, Museveni explained to them why he was unhappy with them ganging up on Amongi whom he described as the best cadre Teso sub region ever produced. He said unlike all the other NRM leaders, he has been working with, Amongi is versatile and genuinely desires to see Teso’s economic transformation. Narrating how he previously toured Teso villages and authored a book guiding leaders on the interventions leaders must implement to bring development, Museveni said he was always betrayed by the area NRM leaders’ lukewarm commitment to economic development. He said he was glad God finally delivered to him Amongi whose hands-on approach is the catalyst he has always lacked in his Teso anti-poverty interventions. “I’m disappointed that you my own NRM people are fighting hard to chase her away. Why are you doing this? What exactly do you want?” Museveni was quoted as telling them meeting before proceeding to explain his first encounter with Amongi. That in 2016 he had just finished addressing a campaign rally for Kolil and Kachumbara Sub Counties when “a brown light-skinned young girl” came and greeted him. He later learnt she was a candidate running against his minister Rose Akol. “I said to my people but how can that young lady dare stand against a whole Minister? Then later on I asked who has defeated Hon Akol and they told me the brown young girl you greeted last time. I said how can that be?” Museveni told the meeting causing prolonged laughter. He said the next interaction related to the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the 10th Parliament in May 2016. “We had Rt Hon Kadaga and Hon Jacob Oulanyah and then this stubborn boy called Nsereko. As we analyzed with my team, people said but Nsereko is becoming a big threat to Jacob Oulanyah for Deputy Speaker,” he reminisced. “We realized Nsereko was gaining ground because of Hon Anita Amongi. I called her and I said I remember when you greeted me in Bukedea. I asked her why are you fighting our good people? You are a good person why do you support a bad person like Nsereko? You know he was NRM but that boy is very stubborn and sometimes very confused and ideologically disoriented. I told honorable Amongi you are a good person I want to work with you. She wasn’t convinced. She said ‘Mzee let me finish my Nsereko project and we shall talk after.’ She stayed away from us and in the end Nsereko got more than 100 MPs voting for him and we realized this was the work of Hon Amongi. I continued engaging until she accepted to work with us and I said she is a good mobilizer who will help us with Teso to neutralize people like Alice Alaso.” Amongi was in the meeting and reportedly kept quiet throughout as Museveni did all the talking. He carried on: “I later heard Akol wanted her arrested because of the old lady who died in the campaigns.” Museveni turned to his audience saying “please don’t join Akol to fight this lady because she is our good mobilizer.” He explained how Alice Alaso and David Pulkol fermented a lot of confusion against the NRM in Teso and Karamoja sub regions because of the ineptness of NRM leaders and MPs from there. He was grateful to God he finally has Amongi whose mobilization credentials can easily match those of any opposition foes to the NRM. “That is why I want you my people to work with her as opposed to fighting her because Hon Akol now has something to do in Arusha.” Museveni warned against divisions and intrigue saying there is no way Ankole would have transformed and developed if leaders hadn’t embraced his advice to unite. He said he wished the same for Teso and other regions but was let down by leaders’ failure to unite.
RETURN HER UNOPPOSED;
Sources say Museveni went as far as begging them to ensure Amongi returns unopposed for the 11thParliament. He said whereas it’s democratic and okay for people to compete, he would be grateful if Amongi is unopposed to save her time to concentrate on ensuring opposition is totally wiped out elsewhere in Teso. After making his plea, Museveni asked them to ask whatever they want him to do for them to reconcile with Amongi. Sources at the meeting say, because many NRM chairpersons were meeting the H.E. that closely for the first time, they became too timid to say anything after listening to his political sermon. Bukedea NRM Chairman Isaac Epiro then read a memorandum which he started by enumerating leaders fighting Amongi. He said unlike those other leaders, he had long realized Amongi’s transformation agenda and embraced her. Councilor Mike Okwir, who represented LC5 Chairman Moses Olemukan (an arch Amongi hater) offered to speak. He admitted the intrigue and gave reasons why leaders have been fighting Amongi. He said in his case, he fought Amongi in 2016 elections, even when they had previously worked together, because it was his duty to defend his NRM party big lady Rose Akol. On behalf of the group, he asked Mzee to buy for them a tractor. Saying that was a very easy thing, Museveni said “ooh that one Hon Anita Amongi will bring for you” as he implored them to return unopposed. Overwhelmed by the tractor offer, delegation members said they can’t defy his request. Okwir said they would do as Museveni asked them to on condition that Amongi also warms up to his boss the LC5 Chairman. It emerged the ex-LC5 Chairman William Otukei was already counting on the Amongi clout to bounce back replacing Olemukan in 2021. Museveni, who said he had already worked on Mr. Otukei by making him Soroti RDC, promised to ensure no Otukei candidature materializes in 2021. “Please go and do what we have agreed and preach reconciliation everywhere. That one leave it to me. I will ensure he [Otukei] doesn’t stand against him,” Museveni reportedly said as the meeting came ended. The consensus at the meeting was that once things discussed with the President are carried through, sorting out Merab Amongi and Keti Akello (aka Yellow Girl) who have been warming up to challenge Anita Amongi will be much easier.For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.