Nabbanja intervenes in Kayunga wrangles

Wednesday September 15 2021
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The Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, is transported on a boda boda at Kawongo Landing Site in Kayunga District last week. PHOTO/FRED MUZAALE

By Fred Muzaale

The Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, has summoned the Kayunga District leadership in an attempt to reconcile them and end their political wrangles that have persisted for 15 years.

This comes after supporters of Ms Idah Nantaba, the district Woman MP, and her political rival, Mr Moses Karangwa, the district NRM chairperson, clashed before Ms Nabbanja during a visit to the area last week.

The Prime Minister also toured flood-hit areas in Galilaaya Sub-county.

While Ms Nabbanja addressed NRM leaders in the district, Ms Nantaba kept verbal exchanges with a group loyal to Mr Karangwa.

“The people seated behind you are not leaders and are not supposed to be in this meeting,” Ms Nantaba told the Prime Minister.

Ms Nantaba’s utterances prompted Ms Nabbanja to cut short her speech as Mr Karangwa’s group led by Ms Prossy Naava, a councillor at Kayunga Town Council, shot back at Ms Nantaba.

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“You are a thief, you stole relief food items meant for people displaced by floods,” Ms Naava claimed.

Ms Nabbanja asked the warring parties to keep quiet.

“You leaders in this district, whenever you have visitors, you should put aside your differences and show unity, but I am shocked at what I have seen here,” she said.

“I am inviting all leaders in this district to my office on Friday so that I try to reconcile the warring parties .These wrangles have greatly affected the support NRM used to enjoy in this district. I am going to meet all the logistics and transport expenses,” Ms Nabbanja said.

President Museveni in 2013 tried to reconcile Ms Nantaba and Mr Karangwa but failed.

The President, who invited Ms Nantaba and Mr Karangwa with their close allies to State House Entebbe was disappointed when Ms Nantaba failed to show up at the meeting.

Ms Nantaba, the former ICT State Minister, and Mr Karangwa were close friends. Mr Karangwa in 2011 was among the sponsors of Ms Nantaba’s maiden campaigns.

However, after Ms Nantaba won the district Woman MP Race, their relationship became sour with her accusing Mr Karangwa of being a land grabber.

Ms Nantaba also has differences with Mr Joel Kayiira, the acting district chairperson, and Mr Amos Lugoloobi, the Ntenjeru North MP, who is also her (Nantaba) elder brother, all sub-county chairpersons and district staff.

Ms Nantaba and Mr Karangwa’s differences worsened in the last elections when the latter fronted his daughter ,Ms Jacklyn Birungi, to contest against the former. 

Ms Nantaba accuses all district leaders of being thieves.

At Kawongo Landing Site, where Ms Nabbanja met flood victims, Mr Kayiira accused Ms Nantaba of sending him abusive messages.

“Ms Nantaba has been texting me abusive messages but I have forgiven her,” Mr Kayiira said.

This prompted Ms Nabbanja to ask both Mr Kayiira and Ms Nantaba to shake hands as a sign of reconciliation but Ms Nantaba declined.

“I don’t want these wrangles because they are affecting service delivery and the development of this district,” Ms Nabbanja said.

When contacted, Mr Karangwa said he was ready to reconcile with Ms Nantaba, who did not answer our calls although her close political allies said she was not ready to reconcile with ‘land grabbers’.

Land wrangles

Kayunga has been the scene of intense land wrangles for years. In 2009, a landlord was burnt to death by people who accused him of attempting to displace them from their land. Amidst the chaos, police deployed there to contain the violence.

But it did not abate. About a year ago, at least 20 landlords said they were fleeing Kayunga after tenants threatened to attack them.

This came after a landlord in Busaabira and Kyamugongo villages, Mr Paul Mutabaazi, effected a court order and demolished houses of nine tenants with the help of police officers, rendering them homeless.

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