Bobi finds shelter in Obote driver’s umbrella

Thursday July 23 2020

People Power movement principal Robert

People Power movement principal Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, alias Bobi Wine (left), and former National Unity Platform (NUP) president general Moses Nkonge Kibalama (centre), a former Milton Obote driver, are joined by other members to unveil NUP, the new political party wing of People Power, on July 22, 2020 in Kamwokya, Kampala. People Power merged with NUP ahead of the 2021 polls. The party’s symbol is an umbrella. PHOTO /MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI.  

By DERRICK WANDERA

Mr Moses Nkonge Kibalama, 58, ceded National Unity Platform (NUP) leadership to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, aka Bobi Wine, the leader of People Power, a pressure group.
But who is Mr Kibalama, the man behind the formation of NUP party?
Mr Kibalama served as Obote’s escort and driver. How he metamorphosed from a driver to a bodyguard to the most powerful man at the time is a long story.
However, after years of rumination, he decided to join activism to oppose the government that had waged a Bush war against his boss in the 1980s.
“I wanted to continue with politics and that is why I registered a political party in 2004 called National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP). I have been doing my work and that is why my party might have been silent for now,” he says.
But because the name was too long, Mr Kibalama says the party leadership sat on July 14, last year and resolved to change the name to NUP.
Mr Kibalama says the party he has handed over to Bobi Wine in the interest of the struggle for change has 25, 000 registered members but has struggled to find office space and taking the party forward.

Hailed
“I know Bobi Wine is one of the leaders that proclaims the values that we as a party stand for. He is the leader of the new era and I trust that he can change the government,” Mr Kibalama said.
Bobi Wine was restive without a political home, something analysts say had put him in an tight situation ahead of the 2021 General Election.
But in the NUP umbrella, they say, he has found the shelter he needed to circumnavigate the political waves in the run up the 2021 elections.
Mr Kibalama graduated with Business Administration from Makerere University after which he went ahead to study a diploma in VIP protection and escort duties, arms detection and disarmament techniques at Derbyshire constabulary UK in the Midlands between 1983 and 1985.

Born of Buwambo Village, Wakiso District, Mr Kibalama says he attended Martyrs High Senior Secondary School Lubaga for his Uganda Certificate of Education and Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education.
Mr Kibalama was part of the logistics management team during the Bududa landslide between March 2010 and August 2010. He speaks Swahili, Lumasaba, Runyankore, Rukiga, Luganda and Acholi. Mr Kyagulanyi lauded Mr Kibalama for being supportive to the cause and receiving the People Power merger with grace.