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THE KYANKWANZI STORY YOU WON’T FIND/GET ANYWHERE

By Mulengera Reporters 

As of Thursday midnight, the buses ferrying or returning newly elected NRM MPs from their 21 days induction retreat at Kyankwanzi were still crowding Kololo Airstrip as the legislators planned one final journey to their respective homes. They had been away for three weeks for the induction retreat during which many things happened which we maintain shouldn’t go unreported. Profiling those “behind the scenes” moments is what this weekend political feature of ours is going to be dedicated to in the following paragraphs.

COVID CHECKS

Perhaps because Gen Museveni, the chief convener of the retreat, is very phobic about the Coronavirus, the legislators were subjected to a number of procedures including being vaccinated which veiledly was made mandatory as only those who agreed to have their jab were allowed to stay. The organizers simply asserted that whoever wanted to stay must undergo all the procedures they had put in place. This implied that those who weren’t prepared to comply were free to find their way out of Kyankwanzi but because it was a God-sent opportunity many saw as their only chance to impress the man from Rwakitura and subsequently win his cabinet-related favors, nobody was ready for the risk.

Besides the mass vaccination, each of the MPs had to be tested for COVID19 at least thrice-the first time being a day to the beginning of the retreat. The condition to board the bus was that one had to produce their COVID test certificate.  Every week, there was mandatory testing and that is how one MP (whose identity can’t be revealed here) tested positive and was whisked back to Kampala for further management. Just imagine Gen Museveni was to be a reckless leader-many would have left Kyankwanzi COVID19-infected.

The movement within and out of Kyankwanzi was equally restricted implying that whoever opted to move out for even a minute had to stay away for the rest of the days. All this was meant to secure everyone against any COVID19-related vulnerability. Besides the newly elected MPs (slightly over 200 of them), you also had senior generals sneaking into Kyankwanzi to act out some assignments. These included Gen Kahinda Otafiire (also newly elected MP) who stayed for a god number of days never mind that his only official business was to chair one of the sessions. Gen Elly Tumwine was equally at Kyankwanzi for most of the time.

The President equally pitched camp at Kyankwanzi though access to him was severely restricted ostensibly to protect him against any COVID19-related exposure. Gen Museveni would participate in the paper presentations and the subsequent plenary discussions whenever he could. He would often interject making certain submissions to make a certain presenter’s submissions clearer. He also cheered and saluted those he felt had done powerful presentations including Deputy ISO DG Lt. Emmy Katabazi whose paper he commended as very good-focusing on things MPs should do or avoid to enhance personal security while keeping away from Ibrahim Abiriga-like deaths.

The Katabazi paper also made reference to claims that the cases of deliberate poisoning of political opponents were on the increase in Uganda. He implored MPs to be cautious on who they choose to be their PA, driver, cook, hair stylist etc. It was all about personal administration, he stressed as Gen Museveni nodded in approval. Gen Sam Kavuma, speaking on a topic titled “what exactly is the problem of Uganda,” was widely appreciated too for his very engaging approach.

If Gen Museveni wasn’t attending such discussions, he would be held up at his Kyankwanzi residence where he would be meeting delegations to coordinate other business required to keep the country running. In the night, the man from Rwakitura, who many new MPs struggled to impress while catching his eye by insisting to talk even when they didn’t have something very compelling to say, would meet regional groups from among the MPs at the retreat including the Kigezi delegation which was headed by Gen Jim Muhwezi on the account of being the most senior.

He would listen to the MPs share their area’s problems and what they considered to be the priority interventions he could make. Because they each wanted to impress him as knowledgeable and up to date, MPs would spend long time on the phone calling the CAO and other local district officials to acquaint themselves with basic facts such the number of villages and parishes in their constituency, the population demographics and other things. Many preferred to have the latest statistics to make their case very persuasive before the man from Rwakitura who would be calm and did a lot of listening.  

SPEAKER RACE

As expected the race for the next Speaker and Deputy Speaker dominated in a multiplicity of ways. MPs defied the ban on campaigning and would openly shout out names of those they support. Some of the MPs were reported to the President to have sneaked plenty of cash into the retreat and kept bribing fellow MPs to favor their preferred candidates. Some would regularly ring mobile money agents to send money which would be electronically given to those who offered to vote for their candidates.

In one of the sessions, Gen Museveni revealed how his SFC security guys had intercepted large quantities of gumboots which were being sneaked into Kyankwanzi to promote the candidature of one of the female legislators seeking to become Deputy Speaker. The boots even had the MP’s photograph inscribed on them and Gen Museveni said this was unacceptable familiarity (kamanyiro). That didn’t stop MPs from often chanting out names of those they support.

Brandon Kintu (Kagoma North) known for his love for Kadaga to the extent that he attacked Jacob Oulanyah (who was at the retreat by virtue of being a CEC member) assuring him he would lose because he is simply unfit. Oulanyah, whose campaigners like David Kabanda, Isingiro Woman MP Clare Mugumya and others had already been silenced and shunned by MPs, protested about being disrespected and walked away.

GCW Ruth Nankabirwa, who badly wanted the President to attend that afternoon session to witness her submission, presented a paper about Parliamentary etiquette and in a bid to illustratively drive the point home said “you get the microphone and say Mr. Speaker Sir” and got booed by MPs who claimed this was a disguised attempt to amplify the Oulanyah candidature. “No it has to be Madam Speaker,” a group of newly elected MPs protested making the Oulanyah camp members feel deflated. There are also two generals who spent much of the time decampaigning Kadaga openly while amplifying Oulanyah.

“She is a very bad nasty woman who we must overcome this time round,” one General kept telling MPs he would be meeting in small groups. He told of how he was forced to refund money related to the use of government property simply because Kadaga used the platform of being Speaker to insist that he pays up.  Another General said she deserved to be defeated and evicted from office because she had been the invisible hand behind endless media reports linking him to land grabbing in Jinja and other parts of Busoga.

Kasule Lumumba, the Secretary General, was equally perceived as being hostile to Kadaga to the extent that some of her known protégés would openly tell MPs to treat her with respect and avoid annoying her if they wanted to stand high chances of being made Ministers or deployed to lucrative assignments once the 11th Parliament begins operating. One of the MPs, renowned for having great admiration for Lumumba, kept telling MPs that Kadaga remaining Speaker would spoil the SG’s chances of becoming Vice President. The MPs were told the SG was a potential VP because she hails from Eastern (like Specioza Kazibwe), is a Catholic and female.

The Lumumba perceived anti-Kadaga stance gained more momentum towards the end of the retreat as the MPs prepared to join the President to go tour the Ngoma farm. Truth is before setting off, Gen Museveni rang Kadaga seeking to know whether she was coming to be part of the tour so that they can wait for her. What she answered to the President remains unknown but we know so far is that she never showed up. This prompted MPs that are pro-her to begin claiming that she informed the President she was uncomfortable coming because a group of pro-Lumumba/Oulanyah MPs intended to humiliate her by claiming she resents Gen Museveni and wants to be President someday.

There was also a group of MPs, led by Zombo Woman MP Esther Afoyochan, who kept chanting Anita Amongi’s name as the best choice for Deputy Speakership. They did this on the buses as MPs travelled to Kyankwanzi and kept doing the same even while at Kyankwanzi. Majority MPs kept ignoring them claiming that Amongi’s campaign diminished Kadaga’s eligibility to remain Speaker since they are both women from the same region/Eastern. Some claimed Thormas Tayebwa or Oboth Oboth were the silent burners who are going to surprise everybody emerging as Kadaga’s deputy.

When it came to the sharing of the money, still the Speaker race-related intrigue played out. A group of State House aides, led by Afande Night Kwikiriza and a one Vincent, took charge of the exercise but leaders like Godfrey Kiwanda and others who are pro-Oulanyah sought to create the impression among some recipients that this was a handshake from Oulanyah, a thing which Afande Night had to swiftly clarity at the instigation of superiors like Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso.  The generous Isingiro Woman MP Clare Mugumya, who was propagating that claim, was immediately denounced and asked to stop it as the same risked portraying the H.E.at taking sides against Kadaga.

There was also plenty of sex during the three weeks’ retreat as can be expected. Some of the sexually-starved female MPs would approach male counterparts inviting them to their rooms to have some at night. “My brother I was shocked and I couldn’t believe this is the group we are joining and are going to closely relate with for the next 5 years. I was approached by a very beautiful female MP who pleaded with me to help have sex with her. She told me she was on heat and that three weeks was too much for her to return home and have some with her spouse,” one young legislator told Mulengera News.

This young innocent (yet to be married) legislator’s claim was corroborated by another deeply religious but elderly newly elected MP who said he was equally discomforted by female colleagues demanding to have sex with him. “I don’t think I’m going to enjoy my stay in Parliament if this is what happens in this place. I’m a deeply spiritual old man who can’t cheat on my wife but I was surprised by the permissiveness with which many of my colleagues would sneak into the rooms of female MPs and have sex throughout the night.” Whereas the males still reside in open dormitories, it’s different for female legislators who these days have private rooms allowing them enough privacy to call in male counterparts for a one night stand or more.

A female MP from Kigezi and another one from West Nile would openly seduce male colleagues during the day under the guise of campaigning for their respective Speaker candidates and that is how two male MPs clashed inside the room of one of the very seductive female MP from Greater Mukono.  The very beautiful young woman from Greater Mukono also repeatedly hosted a youthful CEC member whose sex promiscuity is legendary and well known. “I was just there helping her to understand certain party things and how she can get Mzee to support her with the court petition challenging her election,” the CEC member would casually explain each time members demanded to know what he was doing in the stunning MP’s room the previous night.

One of the MPs defended his sex promiscuity by asserting that “this is what NRM is all about-three things namely making money, malicing others and having plenty of sex.”

THE JANET SAGA

The other incident which we believe shouldn’t go unreported was the inadvertent humiliation the organizers subjected the First Lady Janet Museveni to one afternoon. That afternoon was meant for NCHE’s Dr. Aine to present for the education sector and being the line Minister, Janet naturally was interested and had to attend.

“But as soon as she arrived and walked into the tent hoping the NCHE paper was next, one of the organizers from Kyadondo rushed to the microphone and announced no Madam First Lady we can’t have this now because members are tired and we are going for lunch,” says a source. And renowned for her humility, Janet merely stood up, bowed and walked away.

Dr. Aine, it was communicated, would present her paper in the afternoon at exactly 2:30pm and that exactly is what happened but the First Lady Janet Museveni, renowned for prudent time management, didn’t come back. This angered many MPs who wondered why the H.E. can’t severely sanction the concerned Kyadondo official for subjecting the mother of the Ugandan nation to so much torment.

“She was here to discuss with us and we have now missed her input simply because those Kyadondo people think they are everything. We shall ensure they never disrespect Mama like that again. Let’s be sworn in first we shall revenge and they won’t like it,” said one of the female MPs who sources say is determined to do everything to catch the big man’s eye for cabinet inclusion.

For Lillian Aber, the Kitgum Woman MP, the Kyankwanzi retreat was an opportunity to show fellow new MPs that she wasn’t in a hurry to impress Gen Museveni for anything anymore. She kept assuring those who struggled for microphones to say things which didn’t even have to be said that she was way above such cheapness.

“Me I know Mzee knows me already and I don’t have to do anything here at Kyankwanzi to impress him. He has always supported me financially and that is why my bank account is smiling,” Aber would sarcastically brag to fellow female MPs before proceeding to use her smart phone to show them her bank account balance in hundreds of millions. Her showing off approach also irritated some MPs who have vowed to fight back teaching her some bitter lessons at an appropriate time.

One of the many things we know about Aber is that she used to be an FDC diehard at Makerere University where she read Arts in Arts degree and got to meet and work with Gen Museveni through ex-IGP Gen Kale Kayihura. She was VP for Ivan Bwowe who allowed her to always represent the guild (as a member of the governing council) each time Gen Museveni convened a Makerere-related meeting at State House or any of his other State Lodges.

Anna Adeke, as Guild President, was pivotal in propelling Aber’s political career while still at Makerere because she made her Minister of Information when she was actually a fresher in 1st year at the Faculty of Arts. The two babes were very good friends and shared a liking for Besigye’s FDC party which Lillian Aber abandoned the moment she started going to State House and closely dealing with Gen Kayihura.

Her departure was also preceded by a fight for the FDC ticket for the guildship race which went to a one Andrew Munjinya prompting the naturally very ambitious Lillian Aber to stand as an FDC-leaning independent. They both lost to DP’s Ivan Bwowe who made Aber VP. She was a resident of CCE Hall near the Main Gate/Law School and MISR. She went on to win to become the UNSA and NYC leader, a platform she used to deepen her political relationship with Gen Museveni’s State House. She initially was very close to eventual PPS Molly Kamukama who always generously supported her youth politics. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

Senior NRM party and government leaders strategize during the just ended Kyankwanzi retreat

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