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By Mulengera Reporters

Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo, who has deputized Gen Museveni for an eternity as chairman for the ruling NRM party, has finally gotten out of his political sabbatical and started aggressive campaigning by unveiling Presidential Media Manager Faruk Kirunda as the national coordinator for his campaigns. Kirunda is deputized by Hajjat Faridah Kiboowa who is also the chairperson of National Women Council where she replaced Rosemary Najjemba Muyinda, wife to Bukoto South MP Hajji Muyanja Mbabali of Lwengo. Koboowa also heads the women mobilization sub committee in the Kigongo taskforce. There will also be other sub committees including the one coordinating the 24 MPs (each heading a zonal structure) which Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho has volunteered to chair to ensure Capt Francis Babu doesn’t get chance to politically humiliate the very humble Hajji from Butambala.

Kigongo, who has vowed to floor Capt. Francis Babu and young man Kefa Mafumo, has directed his campaigners to strictly ensure nobody elects him because of money. He has made it clear: “I won’t be paying anyone to vote for me.” The man from Bulo Butambala, who decades ago married off Olive Kigongo who had previously been Babu’s wife, says this campaigning period must be used to deepen the NRM party ideology among especially the young cadres as opposed to turning it into cash bonanza like some of his fellow senior leaders have been doing.

The Kigongo campaign strategists have this afternoon met and zoned the country into 24 campaigning zones with each manned by a coordination team headed by an incumbent MP, one youth and woman league leader. Kigongo has spent much of Monday afternoon speaking to many of these willing coordinators of his to whom he has emphasized the message against commercialization of politics in this country. “The danger with commercialization is that those currently giving out money to buy votes could in future be tempted to divert the party’s donations in order to recover what they are investing right now,” Kigongo told one of the senior cadres as he implored him to become one of his zonal coordinators.

All this is happening at a time after one of the candidates campaigning for Eastern region vice chairpersonship resorted to spending Shs300,000 on each delegate. Another contender for another CEC position has been spending Shs150,000 per delegate with Buganda/Central region contender Moses Karangwa paying up to Shs500,000 per delegate. His rival Godfrey Kiwanda is equally spending to ensure he succeeds in replacing Abdul Nadduli. Kigongo says such commercialization runs counter to the founding principles on which he, Museveni and others founded the NRM.

In justifying his decision to lead the Kigongo campaign taskforce, youthful Faruk Kirunda told reporters earlier today that: “We are rallying the entire country to stick to Hajji Kigongo because of his track record. He has always led by example and he is wholly sold to promoting party ideology as opposed to commercialization of politics which is unsustainable. He has all the institutional memory of the party because he is one of the three pillars on which NRM was anchored for so long. It’s him, President Museveni and Bidandi Ssali who left as you know.”

Kirunda added that Kigongo has always been down to earth, loyal and disciplined the very reason why he has never spoken anywhere in the media uttering things that demonize the ruling NRM party like some of his opponents have been doing each time they get dissatisfied with an issue. “He has been loyal while mentoring many and he has the perfect profiling that we need as NRM and we must jealously protect as the ruling party as we prepare for the political transition that will become inevitable someday. His record speaks for itself; he has mentored many and will still have to mentor many of the young people who have massively been joining NRM and eventually its leadership ranks. He was Speaker of Parliament [then NRC] at a time we had no caucus yet members were always very cohesive and intrigue was at its lowest. We need to retain him to nurture our new leaders to understand how was he able to achieve so much at a time legislators were earning less than Shs1m per month yet they worked with extreme devotion to the party and country.”

Faruk Kirunda says many think they have started late but “the truth is we have been overwhelmed by the response and phone calls from across the country with everybody saying if its Hajji Kigongo; that very disciplined cadre from Butambala, we are ready to do voluntary mobilization to ensure he remains 1st Vice Chairman for NRM.” Kirunda says being a man who despises material things, Kigongo is determined to win reelection without giving any body money and hopes this will inspire other fellow senior leaders to realize it’s possible to win without commercializing politics. Kirunda says many of the cadres who have been calling have testified about the Kigongo they know. “Many of them are saying they need somebody very calm, composed and experienced to continue deputizing Mzee because the 1st Vice Chairman is the one to chairs CEC meetings whenever the National Chairman is away and you don’t want to have somebody very combative and explosive in such a very sensitive position,” Kirunda says in apparent reference to Capt. Francis Babu who is renowned for his combative leadership approach.

Gen Museveni has always shielded Kigongo against competition and many are wondering why he hasn’t yet shielded him this time round. In the past, Mohammed Nsereko tried to run against Kigongo and Gen Museveni cajoled him out of the race. And subsequently ex-Butambala County MP Kaddunabi Lubega tried in 2010 to run against Kigongo but Gen Museveni gave him the job of becoming the pioneer CEO for Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) as a concession for him to leave the seat for Kigongo.

This time round its Bugisu-hailing NRM youth Kefa Mafumo and Capt. Francis Babu, a man many consider to be too complicated for Gen Museveni to even bother talking him out. Kirunda says whatever happens, they as Kigongo reelection taskforce members are determined to make sure the old man bounces back with landslide victory. “That is the least we can do to reciprocate the loyalty and distinguished service Hajji Kigongo has offered to both NRM and Uganda,” says Kirunda a renowned mobilizer from Busoga.

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