By Mulengera Reporters
Abdul Noor Kyamundu, the youthful Publicity Secretary for JEEMA, has disclosed how his party originated the idea that metamorphosed into the People Power Movement. In an interview with this news website, Kyamundu said it was during the Bugiri election campaigns that a squad of JEEMA officials marketed to Bobi Wine the idea of coming up with a platform christened People Power that would welcome all opposition actors regardless of party affiliation. “I see people claiming to be members of the top organs of People Power Movement and I wonder if they know what they are talking about. The whole thing started with us in JEEMA. It was in Bugiri and we agreed with Hon Bobi Wine to use the one pointed finger as the symbol for People Power. Coincidentally that same symbol for People Power happens to be the JEEMA symbol too but what matters here most is not JEEMA but using the People Power platform to mobilize Ugandans and end the Museveni tyranny,” Kyamundu said in a veiled response to DP’s Moses Bigirwa who was quoted in our earlier story as saying he sits in top most organ of People Power meetings where Kyamundu isn’t privileged to sit. Bigirwa, a DP firebrand from Buyende in Busoga, had downplayed the weight of Sarah Babirye (the JEEMA Bugweri candidate) by saying that there is a lot that Kyamundu doesn’t know in People Power because “these are high level meetings where he doesn’t sit.” The two youngsters are fronting rival candidates in Bugweri and they each claim that Bobi has endorsed their respective candidates. Kyamundu’s JEEMA has fronted city lawyer Sarah Babirye and Bigirwa’s DP group are backing Mercy Walukamba who the Kyamundus say can’t be trusted because she is NRM. In a recent interview, Walukamba told this news website she had parted with NRM because of intrigue and the rampant rigging of party primaries. Kyamundu explained why the JEEMA caravan has frequently been driving to Bugweri even before the EC releases the election road map for the new district. “We were in Bugweri over the weekend to clarify the confusion Bigirwa and his candidate Walukamba are creating in the constituency. We had gone to emphasize to our supporters that the People Power candidate who even Bobi is backing in Sarah Babirye and not Walukamba who is NRM because she hasn’t denounced the party. She even paid the Shs2m for Tanga’s nomination and I’m sure she will be on the NRM ballot paper for primaries. We had to go to Bugweri to reenergize our people and ask them to ensure Walukamba stops using the People Power symbol in her mobilization which incidentally doubles as the JEEMA symbol that belongs to Sarah Babirye,” Kyamundu said.
ABOUT PEOPLE POWER;
Kyamundu said as the architects of People Power, they (JEEMA leaders) know much more than wannabe DPs like Bigirwa who he said are just trying to use Bobi Wine for quick material gains. “I will tell you we have actually rebranded Bobi and you can take it from me there are guys you will never see near him again in public. We realized some of them were just here to take photos and use them to confuse people like Walukamba that I’m close to Bobi; I’m the one he consults on these things.’ That’s why a decision was taken to rebrand everything and there is a lot you will see and notice about Bobi in the coming days for you to understand the rebranding I’m talking about,” he said. “I have seen my brother [Bigirwa] talking about the meeting of the big people in People Power which took place at Centenary Park. I’m surprised he twists facts; how can he say that was a meeting to discuss Walukamba candidature in Bugweri? It was a meeting to discuss Arua and that’s where we decided to back Wadri as People Power and the JEEMA candidate was withdrawn. This is what happened; Bigirwa strategically came with Walukamba to Centenary Park and they took photos with Bobi. These are the photos they used to say People Power and Bobi have endorsed Walukamba for Bugweri which is totally untrue. Originally Bigirwa had duped many people in People Power about Walukamba including his fellow DPs like Sam Lubega Mukaku. He even wanted to get the DP ticket for that lady but the SG Siranda of DP refused saying to get the DP ticket you must have been in the party for 5 years and they refused to dilute their flag as DP. Siranda maintains that they can’t dilute DP norms because of excitement of somebody who says I have left NRM…But later on my boss Asuman Basalirwa spoke to those DP people the Mukakus and others. He told them ‘look guys you can’t decide Bugweri without involving me because it’s a neighbor of Bugiri.’ The Mukakus had been there and they explained they had gone to Bugiri to assess the ground and they were sorry Bigirwa misled them. I can tell you Bigirwa is now stuck and Walukamba is his personal candidate and not even for DP. He is alone in this and the day Walukamba demands for answers, Bigirwa will face it alone.” Kyamundu maintained that in People Power most of the decisions are consulted upon between Asuman Basalirwa and Bobi Wine-adding that the two remain unanimous that the joint platform candidate for Bugweri is Sarah Babirye. “She isn’t taking this because she is JEEMA just. No. It’s because that’s the understanding between us the architects of People Power and Hon Bobi Wine. We are trying to market and popularize the same position to colleagues in other partner parties.” He advised that Walukamba should be careful because “even the leaders of the main stream DP don’t understand Bigirwa; today he is with Sejusa and tomorrow jumps on Kirumira.” He said “such a person can’t be trusted to represent the DP position when even his SG Dr. Siranda doesn’t understand him that much.” He advised Walukamba to stick to her clock symbol and leave the JEEMA symbol (which doubles as PP’s) alone. Kyamundu maintained that it’s wrong for Bigirwa to portray himself as the PP coordinator for Eastern region “because in People Power we don’t designate leadership roles and that’s deliberate.” He said even Fred Nyanzi (Bobi’s brother) who recently wrote a letter to the President (M7) calling himself the national coordinator of People Power had to be rebuked and warned never to do it again. “Nyanzi is the elder brother to Hon Bobi Wine but he ordered him to stop it and never to do such a thing again. But he remains a pillar in People Power but not the national coordinator he was calling himself,” Kyamundu said. “In fact Nyanzi’s role is indicative of what People Power is. It’s a grouping of change-seeking actors from different parties because Nyanzi is NRM but very active in People Power. So clearly it’s not about parties but commitment to the struggle.” Nyanzi originally belonged to DP but acrimoniously left and joined NRM where he even aspired for leadership positions in the Kampala Central chapter. Kyamundu says a group of senior politicians, who were uncomfortable working with something whose architects are from JEEMA “which they despise as a small party,” tried to steal the show by calling the thing “the Red Ribbon Movement” but this didn’t stick because Bobi associated with People Power more. Kyamundu repeatedly said: “Bigirwa and his personal candidate Mercy Walukamba will posture but the People Power candidate for whom Bobi will campaign remains Sarah Babirye and she will win however much the NRM uses Walukamba to bring confusion and split the People Power vote in Bugweri.” Kyamundu added that to ensure there is clear indication that Sarah Babirye is the joint opposition candidate (and therefore the People Power flag bearer), the JEEMA leadership is out talking to DP, Abed Bwanika’s PDP, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali’s PPP and Mike Mabikke’s SDP to ensure they don’t field candidates. “That is how the Mercy Walukamba saga is going to be sorted out and the real Bigirwa will then be known and exposed to the world with his candidate,” says Kyamundu. Besides Walukamba and Babirye, the other politicians eyeing the Bugweri MP Seat include Racheal Magoola and Shamim Nalugoola. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.