IRONY AS M7 SAVES NGANDA FROM TUMWEBAZE PHYSICAL ATTACK INSIDE STATE HOUSE
By Mulengera Reporters
FDC Spokesman Ibrahim Semujju Nganda, who is also opposition chief whip in Parliament where he represents Kiira Municipality, vividly recalls the incident like it occurred yesterday. It was some few years ago when Nganda and other panelists of the Capital Gang program drove to Entebbe State House to have President Museveni participate in their Saturday show. Capital radio management badly wanted Gen Museveni to participate in the show and they even accepted his condition that they travel to Entebbe and broadcast the thing from there since he was too busy and had been postponing his appearance in their Kamwokya studios.
The very eloquent Nganda, who remains a very avid critic of Gen Museveni, reluctantly agreed to go with others like Ofwono Opondo, Lydia Wanyoto, Abdul Katuntu, Beti Kamya and moderator Oscar Semweya Musoke. He knew this would make him misunderstood in case any of the opposition colleagues were to bump into him arriving or exiting State House but he nevertheless agreed to go because he saw this as an opportunity to tell off dictator Museveni (as he calls him) to his face: that you have mismanaged the country and its time to go home.
Indeed, the cantankerous man from Kyazanga in Lwengo district kept his word and kept asking provocative questions while making submissions aimed at belittling Gen Museveni and possibly make him annoyed and subsequently fail to debate properly as this was a live radio talk show debate. Nganda, who is well informed about the Museveni’s NRM excesses having been a political journalist for long, uttered many uncharitable things aimed at angering Gen Museveni but the thick-skinned man from Rwakitura remained composed amidst the Nganda provocations.
Gen Museveni had naturally been accompanied by a group of influential assistants and aides including the equally eloquent Frank Tumwebaze who was then Minister of Information & National Guidance. Hours into the debate, Nganda provocatively raised stuff that Tumwebaze considered to be amounting to crossing the red line. Those who know Gen Museveni well say the man is very protective of his family. You make any criticism targeted at his wife or children, you will taste his wrath. He will unleash all his might unto you. Yet Nganda insisted debating in that direction. He accused Museveni of practicing worse nepotism than even his predecessors Idi Amin and Obote who many Ugandans consider to have been crude in their leadership style.
“This has never happened in Uganda; you are the President, your wife is a Minister and MP; your son commands the army [SFC], your brother Saleh is everywhere and your daughter is head of household affairs in State House. Literally there is nothing you haven’t done to manifest nepotism as President,” Nganda asserted. Before he could carry on saying more, Tumwebaze who sat next to him looked angry that anyone could humiliate his boss [Gen Museveni] like that. As the rest of the gangsters pensively looked on, Tumwebaze grabbed Nganda by the collar and forcefully removed the microphone from him. This how Nganda recalls what happened next: “Museveni is actually the one who calmed down his Minister Tumwebaze and said please, let him finish his point.”
Nganda says the anger with which Tumwebaze physically attacked him during that State House Capital Gang show is indicative of the fact that it’s simply not possible for the scientific elections (mostly conductable on radio and TV) Simon Byabakama’s EC is suggesting to work in Uganda and you have anything near to being free and fair elections. “How do you expect such a Musevenist minister like my friend Frank Tumwebaze to allow somebody from FDC or even People Power to appear on his radio in Kamwenge to decampaign the NRM and his boss Museveni as part of the scientific elections the EC is insisting on?” Nganda wonders. “The bitter truth is that ultra Musevenists like Tumwebaze own over 90% of the radios upcountry and it’s simply not practable that the opposition will be able to use the same radio platforms to freely conduct their campaigning even if they have paid the required money.”
On the same day of the Tumwebaze confrontation, Nganda was also confronted by then Minister Daudi Migereko who arrived at State House as the gangsters departed. “He believed I had come to meet Mr. Museveni and defect to the NRM. He took me on the sides and said Hon Semujju my younger brother welcome to the winning party and I’m really happy and very excited about your decision. We shall make sure you don’t regret your decision,” recalls Nganda who on an earlier occasion had assaulted the elderly Museveni advisor Mzee Robert Sebunya who found him at Capital radio premises in Kamwokya and told him he was here to take him to Gen Museveni to discuss and resolve Buganda’s Federo issues. “I told him I’m a nobody to resolve such a very big governance issue in my individual capacity as Semujju,” Nganda recalls the Kamwokya confrontation with Mzee Robert Sebunya who has continued serving as Gen Museveni’s senior advisor on Buganda Affairs.
For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).