Councilors shun move to endorse Museveni for 2026 presidential bid

Minister of the presidency, Ms Milly Balabanda (C) and Bushenyi district leaders during the commissioning of the newly constructed Office of the president building at Bushenyi district headquarters on November 4, 2022 where some leaders endorsed President Museveni's 2026 candidature. 

What you need to know:

  • Last week as the district celebrated World Food Day, another cross section of Bushenyi residents led by Igara East MP, Mr Micheal Mawanda endorsed President Museveni's son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba as their 2026 presidential aspirant.

Bushenyi district headquarters was on Friday a scene of drama as a cross section of district councilors declined the invitation by the district chairperson Mr Jafari Basajabalaba to endorse President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as National Resistance Movement (NRM) aspirant for 2026 election.
The councilors said they were hijacked into something they had not yet conceived and agreed upon and that it’s not yet time for elections.

This was at a function to commission the newly constructed Office of the president building at the district headquarters, where the Minister of Presidency, Ms Milly Babalanda was the chief guest.
While welcoming the Minister and speaking to the gathering, mostly NRM supporters, Mr Basajabalaba said it was a good opportunity for them to express their love and push for President Museveni's 2026 bid.

"We love President Museveni from the bottom of our hearts. I therefore, invite my councilors and all those that love him (Museveni) to step forward and we perform this ceremony. We want to use this opportunity to endorse him as our presidential candidate for 2026-2031," said Mr Basajabalaba 
The councilors present, however, did not step forward saying the chairperson hijacked them.
Mr Ronald Atubangira Rwabutwagu, the Secretary and Minister of finance and administration said he had not been briefed about the meeting.

"What the chairman did was not agreed upon by the district council. It was not our position as council. So, it was wrong for him to hijack us into a project we had not agreed to be part of," Mr Rwabutwagu said.
Ms Jennifer Natwijuka, the Lady councilor representing Central division, Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality said the district chairperson did not pass his plans through proper channels before inviting them.
"I have reservations on whether President Museveni should contest come 2026. But, the chairperson should have sold us his proposal instead of embarrassing us," she told this publication on Friday.
Mr Edward Mpabwa, the Secretary for health, education and social services said they had been invited for the commissioning ceremony, not endorsing President Museveni as 2026 candidate. 
However, the Bushenyi District Woman MP, Ms Annette Katusiime Mugisha said it was right to show support for President Museveni, 78, because the district leadership is NRM dominated.
"The whole district leadership is NRM apart from one councilor who is my neighbor. I will engage him on how to join. So, we love President Museveni," Mrs Mugisha noted.

Last week as the district celebrated World Food Day, another cross section of Bushenyi residents led by Igara East MP, Mr Micheal Mawanda endorsed President Museveni's son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba as their 2026 presidential aspirant.

READ: I’ll become Uganda’s president to repay my mother- Muhoozi
Speaking to this publication at the sidelines of the function, Mr Odo Tayebwa, the former Bushenyi Ishaka Municipality Member of Parliament rubbished the move saying agitators of the bid were psychopaths.

 "I have seen a lot of people in recent months endorsing President Museveni and his son on the other hand is celebrating birthdays. All these are circus because Ugandans know what they want. The people doing this are psychopaths. When you start popularizing two people from the same family, I don't see any value apart from confusing Ugandans," Mr Tayebwa charged.
Without veering off into the drama of the day, the Secretary, Office of the President, Hajji Yunus Kakande said they had constructed 27 blocks (Office of the President) across the country in districts including Buhweju Rubirizi, Butaleja,  Bushenyi, Amuru, among others, adding that they were facing challenges in some districts where land acquisition is still being frustrated.

"We have problems in other areas, especially in Amuru and Butaleja where the district leadership never supported us, but I am happy to report that we were able to finish the this project in Bushenyi in only eight months because of team work from the district leaders," he said.

Ms Babalanda called for cooperation among leaders and the population to enable smooth running of services.
"When you see RDCs and RCCs implementing the policies of government aggressively and probably oppressing you in one way or another, you don't fight them, but work with them and change your style of management," said Ms Babalanda.
Adding: "Everybody wants to keep his or her job including the President, but how will you do that when you are not performing to the expectations."

She further castigated civil servants over increasing corruption in government offices, arguing that embezzlement of public funds is a curse.
"It is a curse to embezzle public money because the people of Uganda gave us a five-year term and it will be hard to go back to them asking for another term when people are poor," she stressed