ROBINAH NABBANJA DARES SEMUJU NGANDA: ATLEAST RESPECT ME FOR NOT BEING A CORRUPT POLITICIAN
By Isaac Wandubile
In a Friday evening interview with Mulengera News, the Prime Minister-designate Robinah Nabanja claimed that opposition FDC publicist Semujju Nganda is such a low-profiled politician who is simply unfit to bad mouth her while questioning her suitability for the new assignment.
“I have been many things relating to public office and Hon Semujju Nganda can only imitate my political path but can never equal it. I have been a Ugandan representative in the ACP-EU Parliamentary forum where the opposition too is represented but I have never seen him there. I have been a leader of the Ugandan delegation in many international forums and I have never seen him form part of the opposition representation. I have seen Hon Muwanga Kivumbi more frequently and he is my witness I have always been a good leader of delegation. Why doesn’t the opposition delegate Hon Semujju for such assignments if he is indeed so high profile as he claims?”
Nabanja says even during her tour of duty under ACP-EU, she never saw Semujju and instead it was Winnie Kiiza at some point and Yokasi Bihande on another. “I have mentored many more people and cadres who are now MPs than Hon Semujju Nganda will ever mentor at that level. I clearly don’t understand what he has against me because I was a member of the Parliamentary Commission where he used to sit with us sometimes upon being delegated by the LoP and he never expressed any discomfort about my conduct of public duties at that level,” Nabanja asserted.
Nabanja refers to a number of Parliamentary Commission Directors she closely interacted with while chairing the Commission’s committee on audit besides serving on that of HR to illustrate the extent to which her track record of being a high-performing person can be publicly verified. “They can tell you if I was ever found wanting for the time I served as Parliamentary Commissioner. And how can anyone say Nabanja can never get any job through competitive processes when I became treasurer for NRM caucus after such a very rigorous process? I competed with colleagues and was vetted and passed by CEC which is the topmost organ in the NRM. I recently offered to compete for Deputy Speakership. How then do you say I can only get things on a sliver plate? That can only be envy [ennugu] or lack of knowing.”
While enumerating those who rise to political prominence (now ministers and MPs) she has aided over the years, Nabanja also reflected on what she owns (two posh hotels in Kakumiro, a radio station/Kakumiro Community radio, a modern farm with over 800 Frisian cows, commercial buildings in Kampala and other upcountry townships). She then asserted all these have been accumulated through very transparent means and the same can be verified or even corroborated through inspection of her frequent declarations to the IGG as required under the Leadership Code Act.
“At least let my colleague Semujju and others castigating me appreciate the fact that I have never been involved in any political scandals in all these public offices I have been holding. I’m very clean on that and maybe they are against my appointment because I’m a woman. I would like to remind all those despising me simply because of my community-centered leadership approach of prioritizing the ordinary people at the grass root that flexibility of the chain is its strength and let them not mistake my flexibility and down to earth character for weakness,” said Nabanja before proceeding to accuse her detractors of dishonesty.
“My brother Bobi Wine wanted to become President after less than one term as MP and some of these people where behind him. How come the same people are saying somebody of Nabanja’s education qualifications and public service experience isn’t fit to be Prime Minister? Isn’t that what we call playing double standards?”
The new Prime Minister says she is Godly and a fast learner who adapts very quickly. “And in any case I’m going to succeed as Prime Minister because I’m already surrounded by the very best. This means being surrounded by colleagues who are way more senior than me in age and experience is actually a strength and not a weakness. My role is largely that of coordination and with such a great team I don’t see myself failing to deliver.”
She says her track record when it comes to acting transparently and in the broader public interest is out there and can be inspected by anyone who genuinely wants to understand her credentials for the job. She also implores Semujju Nganda to reflect on his own political career and what colleagues think about him in the broader opposition. “If you are such a great leader, how do you stand for Speakership and get only 15 votes yet you have been chief whip for 5 years? Isn’t that proof that your brand of leadership is different from what this country needs at this point in time? Why should all your colleagues in the opposition be wrong and it’s only you who is right? Anyway he is my colleague and fellow MP who I wouldn’t want to waste too much time on now that I’m the Prime Minister with a countrywide mandate.”
Specifically speaking to Semujju Nganda’s claims, Nabanja said: “How do you dishonestly demean a colleague like that? Mbu I can’t even be CEO for a garbage collection company. Really? Does he know that I run a number of very successful companies and all this is because of the good management systems I put in place? Everything goes on smoothly even when I’m away. I take 8 months while I’m away and everything goes on smoothly.” That one of her long term employees (Pascal Mbabazi) in one of her companies is now an MP having been elected Buwekula County MP in the recent elections.
Nabanja also enumerated the formal and well-incorporated businesses she has been running for more than a decade and none of them has collapsed (Uganda is one country where businesses barely live to their 1st birthday anniversary largely because of poor corporate governance practices). Her radio, she asserts, is one of the very best-ran in Bunyoro sub region just like is the case for her commercial farm and two hotel resorts. She implores Hon Semujju Nganda to act more fairly by at least permitting her time to fail as opposed to judging her prematurely as unfit for the Prime Minister role. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).