By Mulengera Reporters
In an interview with Buganda Kingdom’s BBS TV senior reporter Robert Mwanje, Rubaga Mayor Joyce Nabossa Sebugwawo has revealed how former FDC leader Gen Mugisha Muntu fought Bobi Wine’s bid to become Kyaddondo East MP late last last year. Sebugwawo says as soon as court nullified Apollo Kantinti’s election and it became clear there would be fresh polling, Mr. Wine drove to her Rubaga offices and introduced himself to her. “He said Mum I’m here to seek your endorsement to become the FDC flag bearer in this by-election because I’m the one on the ground to ensure the party doesn’t lose this seat,” Sebugwawo says in the BBS interview. Mr. Wine rightly went to her because she is the party vice president for Buganda region. Sebugwawo says she wasn’t alone. She was with Owek Sewava Serubiri, another FDC founder, who has since left to join Muntu’s new political formation. She says as Buganda region FDC boss, she subjected Kyagulanyi’s claims to her own inquiry and found it was the truth. “I called meetings and spoke with leaders of the party in Wakiso and they all confirmed that our man Kantinti wasn’t on the ground and would therefore be hard to market,” she says. Armed with all these findings, Owek Sebugwawo says she drove to Najjanankumbi and told Muntu who was the Party President that “this is an opportunity; our candidate isn’t doing well and we have this one who is on the ground.” Sebugwawo says this matter was discussed in three different meetings and Muntu firmly rejected Bobi Wine and told party members that “we can’t abandon Apollo Kantinti because he is the flag bearer we still have for five years.” It’s true there are other party heavyweights who bought into the Muntu position including Secretary General Nandala Mafabi as well as Ingrid Turinawe who is Secretary for mobilization. And indeed they all went out in full force to campaign for Kantinti while de-campaigning Mr. Wine. Ingrid even removed him from a whatsapp chat group for which she was administrator. Clearly all this shows the young man from Magere tried his best to work with FDC but his efforts weren’t reciprocated. This greatly hurt Kizza Besigye who subsequently told NTV that Mr. Wine was as good as his own party candidate and that he would “still be in business” even if Bobi is elected. Sebugwawo says she was so disappointed with Gen Muntu’s rigidity and failure to get her party buy into Bobi and she protested by staying away.
“Gen Muntu thrice maintained his no and I was so disappointed I boycotted that entire campaign period. I never stepped in Kyaddondo and I told them I was ready for anything but wasn’t prepared to go and decampaign somebody my research had revealed was the people’s favorite,” says Sebugwawo who has closely flocked with Dr. Besigye since 2001. She resignedly tells the interviewer: “I’m really shocked at people’s treachery and double standards. That Gentleman Muntu now loves Bobi Wine more than anyone else? This is something I really don’t understand. Maybe its me who doesn’t know politics of people changing goalposts from time to time.” During the Kyaddondo campaign trail, Mr. Wine always told voters that Dr. Besigye preferred him but his hands were tied fearing to antagonize a party position. Indeed Besigye had long seen Kantinti’s inadequacies including being involved in land wrangles with some of his own family members. At some point, when Kantinti was already MP, some of his family members had land disputes with him and when they failed to agree they went to Besigye and asked him to speak to Kantinti to begin reacting to them more equitably as family members. Having allowed to arbitrate, Besigye rang Kantinti but couldn’t get him for three months. The phone was on but Mr. Kantinti wasn’t picking. Neither was he calling back. Quite characteristic of him, Kantinti wasn’t picking Besigye’s calls. Besigye told the relatives “I have failed to get this man.” Weeks later, the Court of Appeal communicated the date for the ruling which nullified Kantinti’s election. It was on that day that Kantinti, who had been elusive for almost four months, drove to Besigye straight crying how Justice Stephen Kavuma is the one who had personally victimized him in favor of NRM’s Sitenda Sebalu. He begged Besigye to escort him to court to listen to the ruling on the appointed day. Besigye casually said “but I have been looking for you.” He nevertheless agreed to accompany Kantinti and they were joined by Nansana Municipality MP Nsereko Wakayima in court the day the ruling was read out. Having been approached by Mr. Wine, Besigye called a meeting at his home and tried to persuade Kantinti to step down for Bobi but the man refused. Kantinti had the backing of the party leadership at Najjanankumbi where Party President Muntu insisted Kantinti was still in his time as flag bearer until 2021. In the end, Besigye reluctantly went out and attended Kantinti’s rallies for fear of being accused of undermining Gen Muntu’s leadership at Najjanankumbi. In the end, as we all know, Mr. Wine triumphed and the rest is history. Sebugwawo is dismayed that people who resisted Bobi’s ascendancy to the MP Seat are now out desperately seeking to use him to achieve their personal ambitions. This revelation by Sebugwawo comes at a time Winnie Kiiza, the only FDC MP that has on record declared support for Muntu so far, is organizing to take Mr. Wine to Kasese to test his popularity and appeal in the Rwenzori sub region.