By Mulengera Reporters
The Secretary General of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) Fred Ebil-Ebil has admitted that his failure to win the race to become one of the 9 Ugandan representatives at the Arusha-based EALA regional Assembly has angered many Congressmen and women who considered it fait accompli or a done deal.
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In a Friday morning interview with Mulengera News, Ebil-Ebil said: “A lot of them are angry and feel betrayed but as their Secretary General I have been calming them down because our relationship with President Museveni is beyond this EALA position. There are many other things on which we relate with NRM and that won’t change merely because of this EALA setback.”
The former Kole MP, whose defeat left many shocked (got only 139 votes), explained that the disaster he encountered doesn’t amount to betrayal by NRM at all as many social media users have been portraying it. This is how he made his case: “There is no way anyone can blame President Museveni or the NRM for what happened because this was an individual and not a party matter. I did my best and presented my good manifesto which MPs cheered as you saw but the outcome was different by the time the last vote was counted. I’m not bitter and I’m not blaming anyone. MPs made their choices and that can’t change. I’m only wishing well those who went through. Let them go and work for our country and the region at large. Let them address barriers to trade and things like that so that we win together.”
The UPC Secretary General also insisted that there is no way his defeat or rejection at the Thursday EALA elections is going to ever complicate the political relationship between Jimmy Akena’s UPC and Gen YK Museveni’s NRM.
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“The anger is among our ordinary supporters and some leaders but it’s our duty as the top level leadership to explain and make them see and appreciate the larger picture and that’s what we are already doing so that we all remain focused on the goal of working together with government to transform our country,” asserted Ebil-Ebil who was home resting following the Thursday election debacle which saw him unexpectedly lose and his DP counterpart Gerald Siranda narrowly winning.
Instead the NRM MPs, who Gen Museveni had categorically instructed to ensure that the UPC and DP candidates go through, instead went for fellow ruling party members Veronica Kadogo (383 votes) and Jacqueline Amongin (338) who officially stood as independents. So in the end, having shamelessly excluded and locked out the leading opposition party NUP and FDC which has significant numbers in number 3, Uganda will be represented by legislators belonging to two parties namely NRM and its partner DP.
This is the case because apart from Siranda who is officially DP, the other 8 are all NRM. You have Speaker Anita Among’s Bukedea rival Rose Akol Akullo (422 votes), George Stephen Odongo (403), Denis Namara (415), James Kakooza (405), Mary Mugyenyi (367) and Paul Musamali Mwasa (401) officially NRM-sponsored.
And the other two so-called independents are actually NRM 3.1.1 and only strategically stood as independents simply because Gen Museveni decreed that the 6 incumbents must bounce back to finish their second term as has been the practice since EALA began in 2001.
This is why it’s indeed true that NRM has ended up taking 8 out of the 9 EALA positions, leaving opposition with only Gerald Siranda whose opposition credentials are disputed by even fellow leaders in DP. Ebil-Ebil says all that is okay as long as those who were elected go to Arusha and do a good job for Uganda as opposed to being self-serving. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org).