EXCLUSIVE: SECRETS WHY TOP M7 WOMEN ARE FEUDING
By Mulengera Reporters
Unless President Museveni intervenes to calm down things on good time, some silent revolting involving Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja and Minister Kasule Lumumba on one hand and Vice President Jessica Alupo on the other will one of these days culminate into an implosion into the public domain to the total embarrassment of the whole government and ruling NRM party.
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Reliable sources say that the trio is currently involved in some silent ego and supremacy battles, something that is gradually creating cracks among powerful women loyally serving the President both in the ruling NRM party and government. Mulengera News has established that, because she considers many powerful people to have fought her Katakwi Woman MP reelection in the past, Vice President Jessica Alupo still believes a lot of them are still out trying to get her as opposed to letting go.
For starters, Alupo lost her Katakwi Woman MP re-election race in 2016 at a time Kasule Lumumba had just assumed office to serve as the powerful ruling NRM Secretary General. Her supporters concluded that she lost to Vioket Akurut Adome because Lumumba didn’t use her clout as Secretary General to help her enough. Alupo was to endure five years of suffering and political loneliness in the political trenches of rural Katakwi as Akurut enjoyed groceries in Parliament. Her supporters kept claiming, without corroboration, that all this had resulted from the fact that Gen Kale Kayihura and Lumumba, key king makers of that 2016 election, hadn’t used their clout to help her retain her Woman MP Seat.
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Alupo used those 5 years to do farming in Katakwi besides strategizing to get back her seat. During the NRM primaries of 2020, she invested all her energy and got the flag after overcoming violent actions that were unleashed on her supporters some of whom even lost life. Akurut, who she had defeated with a huge margin, petitioned the party’s elections Tribunal which reversed Alupo‘s victory and declared Akurut the flag bearer.
The unrelenting Alupo stubbornly stayed in the race as an independent candidate and got back the Katakwi Woman MP slot as an independent prompting Gen Museveni to make her Vice President after the 2021 elections. Her supporters still blamed her loss of flag bearer ship to Akurut, through the Tribunal, on the fact that Lumumba, who was still powerfully serving as Secretary General, didn’t step forward vigorously enough to aid a fellow woman.
They are both Catholics and have always viewed each other with suspicion unable to precisely tell who of them Gen Museveni, renowned for having a unique liking for Catholics, would be elevating over the other at the next Cabinet reshuffle. So, when Alupo became Vice President, she suspected some of the Lumumba loyalists might be out to undermine her and reacted apprehensively within government and NRM party towards whoever she perceived or considered to be friendly to Lumumba.
Even in her own VP office, some staffers and political assistants have had to be purged on mere suspicion that they might be spying for Lumumba or at minimum friendly to her. It’s because of Lumumba that the likes of Lydia Wanyoto now consider themselves unwanted by people close to the VP’s inner circles. The supporters of VP Alupo, sources say, remain very apprehensive towards government and ruling party leaders who they perceive as being friendly to former SG and now Minister Lumumba.
The recent strengthening of friendship between Lumumba and Premier Robinah Nabanja has only made the VP even more uneasy towards the former. Lumumba currently is a leading cabinet level influence on the Prime Minister Robinah Nabanja who equally isn’t on very friendly terms with VP Alupo. The Alupo–Nabanja feud (as Mulengera News reported sometime back) partly relates to who should chair Cabinet meetings in the absence of the President.
Nabanja had demanded to be the one to chair simply because her predecessor Ruhakana Rugunda always chaired Cabinet meetings even when then Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi was around. Gen Museveni had to intervene to get Nabanja agree that Alupo is the one to chair in his absence because she is number 2, something that clearly places her to be over and above the Prime Minister.
Nabanja grumblingly agreed to let go but bad blood remained. Alupo went on to perform so well because in fact, many Ministers privately say they deliberate on many more things and make quicker progress on things when she is the one in the chair than even when the President is around to chair the thing himself.
But Alupo‘s resentment towards Nabanja has even grown more recently largely because of the lucrative and very empowering assignments the President has been preserving for the Prime Minister making the VP feel less important and less appreciated. When it comes to matters to do with political mobilization, Gen Museveni has been prioritizing Nabanja more than linguistic-limited or constrained Alupo.
When it came to the Kayunga LC5 by-election campaigns late last year, the President tasked Nabanja to take charge and not Alupo. Some initially thought Nabanja was preferred because of her ability to speak and understand Luganda which is the major language in Kayunga but the same observers were appalled just this week when it came to Omoro in Acholi-land where Gen Museveni still delegated Nabanja to travel there, camp and oversee the anticipated delivery of victory for the ruling NRM party.
Because she doesn’t speak fluent Luo, Nabanja‘s Omoro deployment couldn’t be accepted as merely because she was trusted to communicate better than Alupo while overseeing vote canvassing there. The other complicating factor for Alupo is the fact that Nabanja is seemingly working well with senior leaders and politicians from Teso whose political rise and well-being is perceived as threatening to her (VP’s) camp. These include key players like Mike Mukula, Peter Ogwang, Speaker Anita Among and others. Violet Akurut is already back in the trenches fighting to uproot Alupo once again in 2026 and she is perceived as benefiting or deriving some of her political mobilization strength from people connected in the Nabanja vast network.
Even among the President’s key handlers at State House, Nabanja seems to have more allies than Alupo who the President’s staffers see as too bossy and suspicious of almost everyone. Nabanja can naturally attract more support and loyalty from such fortune-hunters within the President’s inner circle employees because she has her own autonomy when it comes to accessing and directly controlling some vote/resources (which is the vast OPM vote) unlike Alupo who must dependent on the President for everything because the Vice Presidency doesn’t have its own autonomous vote.
Whereas the Nabanjas can make autonomous decisions on resources or even recruitment of staff (at least through projects), it’s totally a different case for the fatally constrained Alupo who has to depend on or go through the State House Comptroller to get many of her things done. She unfortunately hasn’t had very good rapport with the President’s key handlers at State House some of whom have gone as far as aiding disgruntled VP employees to have secretive audience with the President and report some of the mistreatment they have been enduring since the Katakwi Woman MP became VP. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).