HOW M7 REWARDED HIS ONC KYAMBOGO TEAM MEMBERS
By Mulengera Reporters
At every election, Gen Museveni empowers a certain group of people or an office to crucially deliver his reelection-related errands. Whereas in 1996 it was a group of veteran media propagandists led by Mzee John Nagenda, in 2001 it was largely Maj. Roland Kakooza Mutale’s Kalangala Action Plan closely supplemented over by Henry Tumukunde and Brig Noble Mayombo who has the head for Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.
And for 2006, it was the Uganda Police Force newly appointed IGP Gen Kale Kayihura who was to spearhead the consecutive reelection of Gen Museveni in 2011 and 2016 before falling by the way side the following year 2017. In 2021, Gen Museveni empowered what came to be known as Office of NRM National Chairman (ONC) based in Kyambogo near Face Technology.
Headed by Babirye Milly Babalanda, the Kyambogo-based ONC office was empowered to deploy soft power tactics to deliver Gen Museveni through what was largely presented as a scientific election.
Under Gen Museveni’s direct supervision, the Kyambogo office undertook the cautious assignment of creating a structure of countrywide coordinators (largely volunteers) who were charged with delivering the candidate’s reelection message besides constituting vote protection squads that ensured no one messed up with the H.E.’s vote.
The ONC also identified influential but disgruntled party cadres whose rehabilitation Gen Museveni was prompted to prioritize immediately. The same office also ensured the logistical support and facilitation of the ruling party candidates at lower levels.
Despite being naturally envied by many senior NRM officials and cadres, Babalanda soldiered on and even coordinated several defections from the opposition through the campaigning period. These included some of the musicians and artistes who were lured to denounce Bobi Wine and thereby amplifying Gen Museveni’s reelection message. The same office also collected Intel, through espionage activities, which enabled the H.E. to make key interventions aimed at harnessing and accelerating service delivery. The ONC coordinators also liaised with security agencies to ensure that any reported intimidation and planned violence against H.E. YK Museveni’s supporters was promptly mitigated against in any part of the country.
The ONC coordinators also spearheaded the crowds that burst out celebrating the NRM big man’s reelection the moment the EC, using their Kyambogo tally center, proclaimed the final results showing the man from Rwakitura had resoundingly been reelected. The celebrations and jubilant Boba-Boda processions helped in ensuring that Gen Museveni’s reelection didn’t seem like a funeral.
It was always believed that Gen Museveni was eternally grateful for the excellent mobilization and coordination prowess the down-to-earth Milly Doka Babalanda had exhibited. And indeed when time to exhibit or demonstrate that came, Gen Museveni acted very conspicuously.
And we are saying this basing on the new cabinet list that was proclaimed last night. A quick scrutiny of the list indicates that not less than 10 cadres directly and indirectly affiliated to ONC made it on the list. The most prominent posting was that of Babalanda herself who the big man chose to become his new Minister for Presidency replacing Esther Mbayo (Luuka Woman MP). It’s one of the most lucrative cabinet positions in Museveni’s Uganda and many senior cadres routinely drove to Gulu trying to lobby Gen Salim Saleh to weigh in and have Gen Museveni deploy them there.
Ideally it’s the Ministry that supervises the entire Presidency, the anti-Corruption Desk comprising of the IGG etc and the entire State House bureaucracy too. It has previously been held by Frank Tumwebaze who has always been a very powerful actor at Museveni’s palace. The Ministry of Kampala and other dockets like that of Security fall thereunder. And whoever occupies it is assured of having unfetted access to the big man from Rwakitura besides being assigned to follow up sensitive assignments and Presidential directives.
Besides being in charge of all public functions and medal-giving procedures, the same office also oversees the recruitment of administrative cadre staff for the entire civil or public service. These are cadres whose recruitment isn’t purely a function of the Public Service Commission whose bosses must closely work with Hajji Yunnus Kakande, the Secretary Office of the President, to fill any vacant positions.
The Presidency docket is equally involved in promotion decisions of the same public service administrative cadre staff. We are talking things or positions like Under Secretaries, Principal Administrative Secretary and all the others in the different Ministries. The RCDs Secretariat too falls under this same Ministry implying additional clout for the very humble but loyal Milly Doka Babalanda who hails from Kamuli district from the same native Sub County as Rebecca Kadaga’s who partly mentored her along with Kirunda Kivejinja.
The head public service and cabinet secretary John Mitala directly falls thereunder just like the entire Cabinet Secretariat. This ideally puts Babalanda in a very good position to even co-influence agenda for cabinet business besides being the natural MC at all public functions just like Mbayo has been. The ONC structure also initiated the defection of FDC founder and financier money bags Joyce Nabbosa Sebugwawo who was initially first delivered to Gen Museveni by Babalanda herself who the President likes for being able to always conceal information relating to such very clandestine engagements.
Yet Babalanda isn’t the only ONC person who featured on the latest Cabinet list. Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, a business lady, health worker and former councilor based in Mengo Kisenyi/also resident of Kitebi in Rubaga Division, has always been part of the ONC as coordinator for greater Kampala. She is an experienced NRM cadre and mobilizer who would be grumbling for being unutilized until Babalanda spotted and assigned her some work.
Other ONC protégés on that cabinet list include Buikwe Woman MP Diana Mutasingwa Nankunda (now State Minister Office of the President). Fred Bwino Kyagulaga, the President’s nominee designated for the docket of State Minister for Agriculture, has equally had his pioneering roots in ONC.
The Office of National Chairman was first created in the late 2014 as part of Gen Museveni’s efforts to counter Amama Mbabazi’s hostile political activities that were being spearheaded by a formidable political movement called NRM Poor Youths.
Molly Kamukama, who eventually became PPS and Minister, was the pioneer political assistant through whom Gen Museveni operated that ONC which originally was situated atop Mbuya Hill in Nakawa Division. Having deputized Kamukama, Babalanda took charge when the former became PPS mid-2016. Under Babalanda, the ONC has been commended for being very loyal and respectful of key party senior cadres especially members of CEC whose Moses Kigongo has worked with Kyambogo so well to the extent that its him who partly recommended the likes of Minsa Kabanda to Babalanda for deployment. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).