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By Isaac Wandubile

Tempers flared during the NBS TV’s Tuesday “Barometer” program after Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze put gloves off and went to war with Minister Haruna Kasolo and controversial Kasambya County MP David Kabanda. Discussion was about the government’s imprudent action on NGOs and the performance of the current opposition leadership in Parliament.

Haruna Kasolo referenced on the quality of opposition challenge Dr. Kizza Besigye offered during his hey days compelling Gen Museveni into giving several policy concessions including scrapping graduated tax, maintaining cost sharing in public hospitals and increasing the number of government sponsored students at Makerere and other public Universities.

It’s also true that Dr. Besigye’s well researched and articulated criticisms of the regime from as early as 2001 accelerated the return to multi-partism and pushed Gen Museveni into withdrawing Ugandan troops from DR Congo (Dr. KB made all these key campaign issues & his thing was about substance and devoid of the komanyoko politics that is common today). In comparison, Kasolo demanded for examples of policy concessions the Kyagulanyi political momentum had pushed Gen Museveni into and moderator Blasio Zambali, intelligent as he considers himself to be, couldn’t mention any.

David Kabanda then jumped in implying that the day’s debate themes were too complex for a politician like Betty Nambooze. The Kasambya MP asserted that Nambooze is used to making criticisms of others and now was the time for her to account on behalf of her NUP party which currently holds the official opposition leadership both in Parliament and Local Councils. Renowned for taking no prisoners, the very rubble-rousing NRM legislator submitted that majority of the leaders comprising the current minority leadership in Parliament are too comfortable they would even mourn more than him (NRM man) if Museveni was to lose power today or tomorrow.

“They are already wearing the engule [crown]. Someone is LoP, has a convoy and is now a very important person and others like Nambooze here are very comfortable chairing committees like COSASE, PAC, government assurances and others. This has made them complacent and they aren’t in the struggle for regime change anymore. Museveni is very clever and has given constituencies for people like Abed Bwanika to get elected in Parliament and eat instead of wasting time fighting him in the cold,” Kabanda submitted.

Nambooze & David Kabanda trying to reach out to each other.

Kabanda went on to claim that politicians like Nambooze are so comfortable they don’t even desire to see a numerically larger opposition in Parliament “because that can increase numbers on their side and therefore the competition for those committee positions from which they earn a lot.” Kabanda asserted that the current opposition lacks the quality that NRM has in plenty “which is the reason why a man like JB Nambeshe, who has just exited NRM, is now chief whip for the opposition and even Patrick Nsamba who has just joined them is now a big person in their ranks and almost became LoP.”

David Kabanda’s very provocative submission naturally rubbed Nambooze the wrong way and, like she always does without the moderator being able to rein her in, the Mukono Municipality legislator started shouting back in a bid to characteristically intimidate the Kasambya legislator into silence. Not one to go down without a fight, Kabanda fought back while accusing Nambooze of coming to the NBS show after getting intoxicated which what he described as “strange substances.”

Asserting this was a red line Kabanda couldn’t cross and walk away with it, Nambooze rose from her seat and walked around while asking “do I seem like I’m drunk?” Kabanda carried on insisting many leaders these days take certain substances under the guise of taking tea. This made Nambooze so angry and she started claiming the standards of the Barometer show were beginning to go down but Kabanda shot back insisting she is the one who trivialized the show when she started branding fellow panelists as “useful idiots.”

Kabanda asserted it’s the usage of such language by supposedly senior leaders like Nambooze that was trivializing the show more than anything else. That the NRM debaters have always exhibited quality except that Zambali, the moderator, never allows them adequate time to develop their thoughts and its actually the reason Charles Rwomushana (another very informative and insightful panelist whose views are always suffocated) always calls him a biased moderator.

 Kasolo was to infuriate Nambooze even more when he referenced on his visit to the Katikkiro Peter Mayiga earlier in the day. Nambooze castigated the former Kyotera County MP by calling on him not to feel bad the day the Katikkiro sees gaps in the Emyoga program and begins raising a red flag. “I know you have never wished the Katikkiro well. And it’s the reason you haven’t been active in Mengo things since Mayiga took that office. You hate him because he stood in your way to use Mengo as a platform to propagate divisive politics between Kabaka’s people,” Kasolo said, a thing that made Nambooze angrier.

Indeed, she showed her anger as guests exited and kept referring to Joseph Sabiiti’s Frontline program while prophesying doom on Barometer too. She talked in a manner that created an impression that the day she gets adequately fed up and stops participating, Barometer will become a shadow of its former self. Nambooze, who is entitled to earning Shs400,000 being a Barometer panelist every Tuesday, insisted the acrimonious departure of Miria Matembe was the reason the Frontline was no longer the very premier political show it used to be. Kabanda insisted it’s her approach and character of not allowing others to develop their thoughts that actually trivializes the Barometer program and not the invitation of NRM panelists or guests to the same.


Even beyond the Barometer studio debate, Nambooze carried on protesting the manner in which Kasolo and Kabanda deflated her. She went as far as giving her views on what she thinks are the circumstances under which the other NBS political program called “Frontline” declined and “became a shadow of its former self.”

And this is how she expressed herself while expressing fears that the same fate awaits Barometer: “Character assassination is what Ofwono did to Matembe….Matembe left and the show is steadily becoming a shadow of its former self. And it’s all mockery to call the discussion on NBS on Thursday a Frontline. In fact that show should be baptized PEACE- TALKS. On my side Teri Kuzikiza.”

She also uttered the following in the same Facebook rant: “Someone asked me why I get annoyed when the useful idiots wages a propaganda war against me….And I told him that, it’s because I’m not acting.,…I don’t run a script…I’m not acting…..My reaction only defines one thing….that I debate and say things from my heart…..and I react like any normal person would act. And my reaction is what I’m…..I’m teal and can’t smile when lies a said against me, against us…with a straight face….I would be abnormal to smile and stay quiet as the men who sold their souls to the junta…..after failing at debate moves to attack my character….this is a war against a dictator……We are removing a dictator (In Bobi’s voice) and the battles can’t be any easier. Such desperate junta- propagandists think that the audience is gullible.”

She added: “They employ reverse Psychology….. previously they would abuse Besigye while praising Kyagulanyi….now they attack Kyagulanyi as they praise Besigye….I saw it coming … unfortunately then most of our young activists got trapped and joined them to destroy Dr. Besigye…I stood firm and refused to serve our enemies…..They know that Dr. Besigye plus Kyagulanyi =The overthrow of Dictatorship. One minute Kabanda is telling you of how the NGOs fund opposition….the next minute he is saying that all the opposition leaders are infact part of the junta and their work is to stage acted out politics of connivance. This is an insult to our intelligence….If we are Museveni’s proxies why is he so offended when “Human rights NGOs fund us….which fool can move out to expose his spy?”

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