The ruling NRM party secretary general has asked the people of Ntungamo District to woo back into the NRM fold former army commander and current FDC president, Maj Gen (rtd) Mugisha Muntu, saying he is a sober politician and capable of succeeding President Museveni.
Ms Justine Lumumba, who represented First Lady Janet Museveni at a belated Women’s Day celebrations for Ntungamo District at Rwenanura Primary School playground in Rweikiniro Sub-county, said: “Gen Muntu comes from this district, from Kitunga, I even know the village where he comes from, he is a sober man but he is walking with wrong company. Talk to him as his brothers that he comes back, if there are any grievances or anything that angered him, we can resolve it.”
“He is someone who can bring back the presidency here; he is such a good player in a bad team,” she added.
Ms Lumumba said with both President Museveni and the First lady having been born in Ntungamo District, and with Gen Muntu in the fold, there would be no opposition at all in the district.
Ms Lumumba becomes the second ruling NRM party big wig to hint on sweet-talking Gen Muntu to return to the fold.
In March, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hilary Onek, was quoted to have said: “Gen Muntu is one of those I respect and admire a lot; he was a very able army commander. We are still persuading him to come back to NRM… He is a very respectable person – I like him. I like his character and he is a nice guy, I even told him.”
But Maj Gen Muntu was quick to laugh off the minister’s remarks and purported gesture from his former party, saying he did not take Mr Onek seriously.
Ms Lumumba, who donned her traditional yellow kitenge dress, arrived in Ntungamo District aboard a police helicopter and landed at the nearby Rweikiniro Sub-county playground with four police bodyguards accompanied by former Kakuuto County and East Africa Legislative Assembly MP, Mr Mathias Kasamba.
She said she was offered a helicopter ride because she had made NRM triumph in the recent Kamuli Municipality parliamentary by-election. Ms Lumumba warned residents against entertaining the Opposition, especially the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), which she said is losing ground in other parts of the country.
“Why should you entertain FDC here yet for us in Kamuli [District] and Busoga [sub-region] where it started, are chasing it out completely. We’re chasing away every FDC, they are now filled with anger,” She said.
But Gen Muntu has in the past said he started opposing the NRM government from Ntungamo, his home district in 1996, when there were challenges in the management of the district following a contested election between then district council chairperson
John Wycliffe Karazarwe and Mr John Buriku. He had then accused President Museveni of opting to mediate instead of enforcing strict electoral procedures.
Gen Muntu has always insisted he will liberate Ntungamo from NRM misrule.
Speaking on women’s emancipation, Ms Lumumba said many women in political and other civic offices were becoming hostile to their husbands and pushing to head the households. She warned them against such ambitions and urged them to know their bounds in family settings.
The celebration was organised by the Ntungamo District Woman MP, Ms Beatrice Rwakimari, in conjunction with the district local council.