By Our Reporters

In a rare manifestation of defiance, a group of Bukedea NRM leaders have rejected the President’s proposal to preserve unity by ensuring the incumbent woman MP Anita Among and LC5 Chairman Moses Olemukan return to office unopposed in 2021. As reported in our previous story, the President on Thursday 27th December met and directed Bukedea NRM leaders to reconcile and stop fighting Bukedea MP Amongi. The understanding was that Museveni would prevail upon (Amongi’s supporter) ex-LC5 Chairman William Otukei (now Soroti RDC) not to contest against Olemukan in 2021 so that the two district leaders return unopposed (see details in our earlier story titled “2021 UPDATES: M7 BEGS BUKEDEA TO RETURN MP AMONGI UNOPPOSED AS RWAKITURA MEETING DETAILS LEAK”). During the Rwakitura event, people hugged thinking they had buried hatchet and a grateful Museveni urged them to return to Bukedea and preach reconciliation. However, a group led by NRM District publicity secretary Arafat Oyo has since been out mobilizing support to fail the Rwakitura consensus. Just yesterday Sunday, Oyo was hosted on Signal fm in nearby Mbale and spent much of his time explaining why the Rwakitura resolution can’t work. He said Museveni doesn’t legally have any power to impose leaders on Bukedea residents meaning his advice will be defied. He said whereas Anita Amongi may return unopposed as per the President’s wish, the same won’t be applicable to the LC5 Chairman Olemukan who RDC Otukei is determined to oust in 2021. Oyo’s utterances on the radio have since created the possibility for renewed political conflicts in Bukedea with a significant section of NRM leaders backing him. This has prompted Olemukan camp members to threaten to renew hostilities against the woman MP of the district. But some have dismissed Oyo as a low profiled cadre whose views shouldn’t excite anyone to defy the President. State House sources say, beyond just saving Anita Amongi and Olemukan, Museveni is intervening because Bukedea holds a special place in his political calculus regarding Teso sub region. Why? It’s the one district where his support has always been strongest to the extent that even when the rest of Teso was blue with Besigye’s key sending all NRM candidates to early retirement, Bukedea is the only area where Museveni always looked for his startup political capital into Teso. “That is why he doesn’t want anyone to mess up that district with unending intrigue,” said a knowledgeable source. Oyo and company maintain that much as he is President, Museveni can’t stop anyone from standing meaning Otukei will be a candidate in 2021. Those critical of Oyo have dismissed him as a trouble causer who always likes thriving and profiting in chaos resulting from the district leaders not being united. The outspoken full time NRM mobilizer has previously operated in Abim and Kumi before being lured by Mukula to operate in Soroti district whereafter he fluked and found his way in the politics of Bukedea. Lawrence Akoda, a son to the old woman who was among those killed in the 2016 political violence in the district, has taken to social media warning Bukedea residents against falling for Oyo’s antics. He says Oyo can be very cunning and likes raising people’s expectations when in actual sense won’t help take anybody anywhere. He details how Oyo duped him and other siblings into thinking he would help them bring their mother’s killers to justice which turned out untrue. That he used to tell them how he was very close and had met Museveni and security Minister Henry Tumukunde and got them agree to help out. Akoda says all this turned out was false. Some are sick and tired of the Bukedea intrigue which religious leaders and elders (led by former area MP Jackson Osire) had previously tried and failed to halt. There are fears that if the Rwakitura gains are reversed, things will become complicated even for Museveni’s Bukedea vote come 2021. The feuding could also cost William Otukei the Soroti RDC position which he recently got as a way to appease him so that he leaves the LC5 seat. For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755.

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