Tuesday June 10 2014

Leaders divided over Museveni endorsement


KANUNGU- Some leaders in Kanungu have distanced themselves from the stand presented by their colleagues who met President Museveni on behalf of the district at his home in Rwakitura last week.

They are not comfortable that the group which had gone to represent Kanungu people ended up pledging to support Mr Museveni’s presidential bid in 2016 yet in the district this position has never been taken.

On June 3, about 60 people from Kanungu met Mr Museveni. They were mobilised and led by Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi and LC5 chairperson Josephine Kasya.

The delegation ostensibly went to Kiruhura to discuss unfulfilled pledges by the President which they say dates back in the early days of NRM government in the 1980s.

The delegation consisted of the RDC, LC5 councillors and LC3 chairpersons, opinion leaders and religious leaders. However some councilors, including the district speaker, Mr Charles Beshetsya, the chairperson social services Committee, Mr Frank Byaruhanga, and Mr James Kaberuka of Kanungu Town Council declined to attend the meeting, saying they were ambushed and the meeting had no tangible results.

The pledges they wanted to remind the President of include tarmacking of Rukungiri-Ishasha-Kanungu road, stabilising power supply in the district for smooth operation of the factories and construction of Buhooma-Nteko-Kisoro road.

“We could not go because we realised they wanted to do politics out of the meeting. We were called on short notice. We realised it was not only the MPs, LC5 chairperson and heads of district council committees that were going to meet the Presidents as we had arranged but almost everyone, including campaign agents and all sorts of mobilisers,” Mr Byaruhanga said on Sunday.
He added: “This means the agenda was not only to talk to the President about the pledges, it was more than that as it has turned out. Besides we had already given our petition (reminder for unfulfilled pledges) to the RDC who said he gave it to Minister for the Presidency. The LC5 chairperson had met the President about the same. There was no need to go back because we have met him several times.”

Mr Kaberuka said the district leadership has never endorsed Mr Museveni’s sole candidature as MP Baryomunsi was quoted saying in the press after the meeting.

He said the MP and those who met Mr Museveni misrepresented people of Kanungu.
“Dr Baryomunsi said they expressed full support to Museveni in 2016, but that is misrepresenting people on whose behalf they meet the President. That’s not a resolution of leaders of Kanungu. They should have concentrated on issues in the petition. Other people began asking for vehicles and favours to be appointed RDCs,” said Mr Kaberuka.

Dr Baryomunsi was quoted in the press (June 5, New Vision) saying: “Rugyeyo Sub-county chairperson Elias Kanyonza while giving a vote of thanks told the President that ‘we will be fully behind your candidature in 2016.’ We all expressed approval in chorus.” Mr Kaberuka said although the President told the delegation that “Funds for the main Kanungu –Rukungiri road have been provided by the African Development Bank and arrangements for its reconstruction underway,” that is no guarantee that the road would be worked on because he has said the same for over a decade now.

President Museveni is expected to visit Kanungu this month among others, to assess progress of government funded development projects such as tea, coffee and infrastructure.