MAYIGA IMPLORES KYAGULANYI: GO MAKE BUGANDA QUESTION A 2021 KEY CAMPAIGN ISSUE
By Isaac Wandubile
For the first time since he commenced his opposition politics against Gen Museveni in 2017, Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu today Wednesday got the opportunity to be officially received at Mengo, the seat of Buganda Kingdom. Having spent hours from his Kamwokya NUP headquarters, through teargas and police interceptions, Kyagulanyi was here to officially inform Katikkiro Peter Mayiga of his desire to become the 10th President of Uganda. Accompanied by a powerful delegation of NUP officials, Kyagulanyi used the occasion to officially seek for the Kingdom’s endorsement, a plea to which Mayiga only made veiled responses.
Saying he has previously hosted political delegations from NRM (and anticipates many more from other political formations seeking to popularize themselves ahead of 2021 elections), Mayiga commended Kyagulanyi for being very respectful towards his Kabaka, Kingdom and culture. Speaking in parables, perhaps to avoid breaching rules that prohibit leaders of his caliber from partisan politics, Mayiga also cautioned Kyagulanyi’s youthful supporters to prioritize self-preservation and be cautious as they struggle against injustices of their day. He asked the youth to reflect on the difference between heroism and political martyrdom. He implied that heroes live longer than martyrs and they are able to live long enough to chronicle their memoirs and experiences on the battle field or front line. It was such a veiled message that created multiple understanding and impressions. Some perceived it as an encouragement for them to heroically press on against Gen Museveni and yet others construed it to imply that “please go slow on Gen Museveni and his NRM.”
Being the very sophisticated leader he is, Mayiga avoided openly endorsing anyone but implored voters to elect only those who are firm and clearly supportive of Buganda Kingdom’s key demands (aka Ensonga Ssemasonga ettano). He specifically urged Kyagulanyi to use the political momentum and publicity he currently enjoys in the country and on the campaign trail to make “Buganda’s 5 aspirational objectives” a key campaign issue. The very eloquent Katikkiro implied the more these are debated the better because such will lead to a deepened understand of what these demands are so that more advocacy is built and sustained around them. To the voters, Mayiga said/implied: keenly look at all the contestants for Presidency and other positions and elect only those who exhibit adequate understanding and support for Buganda’s well articulated aspirations. Referencing on the Lord Mayoral race which has attracted 5 candidates, and all of them Baganda, Mayiga implied that it would be an act of unjustifiable discrimination for him to tell voters elect so and so at the expense of the others. In the end, many understood him to be saying “may the best win” in respect of the Buganda question criterion whose ingredients he had articulated prior.
As opposed to overtly condemning the police for the brutality that saw them teargas the gathering at Mugulu Mityana which included the Mbogo clan head and Masaka Catholic Bishop Emeritus JB Kaggwa (as Kyagulanyi had requested in his speech), Mayiga issued blanket condemnation against all manner of violence that has been witnessed so far in the run up to the general elections. Perhaps not to discomfort the police and military leadership who had met him earlier in the day to corroborate their apology over the Mugulu fracas, Mayiga implied that police violence or brutality was as abominable as those who use Facebook to insult others simply because they have expressed a divergent view. He equated all these vices to one who commits murder and other abominable acts or conduct. Without directly apologizing over the very personal attacks his supporters like Turkey-based Fred Lumbuye have been directing at the Katikkiro (using social media), Kyagulanyi had earlier on called on his supporters and generally fellow youths to refrain from using Facebook to demean and insult other people.
Beyond just the Buganda question, Mayiga tipped the NUP delegation to ensure their campaign manifesto (as a party) is comprehensive enough to make appropriate commitments on how they intend to improve service delivery and champion reforms in areas like education, health, job creation, poverty eradication, social justice, water and sanitation programs. He implied there is no better way to win over potential voters.
Kyagulanyi implored Mayiga to speak out more frequently while appreciating him for generally being outspoken each time police violates human rights of Ugandan citizens. Kyagulanyi also sought to incite Mayiga more by referencing on his right hand Francis Zzake (who sat near the Katikkiro) by saying the Mityana MP can’t afford wearing proper shoes anymore because of the torture wounds police has been inflicting upon him each time they get an opportunity to do so. The NUP Principal also referred to his “Bikwase Kyagulanyi” song to illustrate the need for Buganda Kingdom to officially register all their grievances with Gen Museveni to him so that he tackles them immediately after becoming Uganda’s 10th President. He also claimed millions of potential voters from West Nile, Ankole, Busoga, Rwenzori and other parts of the country have already endorsed him and are demanding that Buganda Kingdom/Mengo validates their decision by doing the same. He implied he was the best and must become Buganda’s natural candidate because he belongs to the Mbogo clan whose leader was the target of the last weekend teargas at Mugulu Mityana.
Kyagulanyi, whose candidature Mengo’s culture Minister Kyewalabye Male who was the MC during the media ceremony in Bulange gardens seemed to endorse in a multiplicity of ways, also confessed to being the man who caused trouble for the Mbogo clan head and other dignitaries in Mityana. He told Mayiga he was apologetic all the teargas was provoked by the discomfort the local police leadership developed on hearing he was to be in attendance. Kyagulanyi, who kept the Katikkiro waiting since 2pm as he had to overcome several police blockades, also appropriately introduced fellow NUP leaders and those vying for electoral positions in Kampala (Nabillah Nagayi, Shamim Malende, Joel Senyonyi, Aloysius Mukasa, Fred Nyanzi, Kazibwe Bashir, Emmanuel Serunjogi Oweddembe etc).
In his capacity as the day’s MC, Kyewalabye Male observed there was nothing inappropriate about a Muganda warrior going to the palace to brief his king about his upcoming battles and political expeditions. Riding on this remark by the MC, a clearly replenished Kyagulanyi demanded to be publicly blessed by the Katikkiro as he prepares to officially commence his countrywide political campaigns against Gen Museveni. On this he must have been a bit disappointed because Mayiga appropriately pointed out that his office as Katikkiro was open to hosting all manner of political leaders and delegations regardless of age, tribe and ethnicity or even religion. But all in all, it was politically a very good day for the man from Magere being officially hosted and recognized by Mengo in such a very conspicuous way moreover on the day the Kibalama court win came through. He must have retired to bed a very enthused man as he prepares for many other political battles ahead. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).