Reconcile Namuganza, Busoga MPs, residents tell Museveni

Wednesday September 16 2020
home08pix

Namutumba Woman MP Mariam Naigaga (centre) and Bukono County MP Persis Namuganza (2nd right) arrive at Basoga Nsadhu Memory Technical Institute in Namutumba District on August 20 for the NRM central executive elections. It was the first time the duo were appearing in public together in five years. PHOTO | RONALD SEEBE

By Ronald Seebe

Residents of Namutumba District want President Museveni to spearhead peace talks between Lands State minister, Ms Persis Namuganza, and Busoga Members of Parliament (MPs); Mariam Naigaga and Mr Paul Akamba.
Ms Namuganza is  also the Bukono County MP, while Ms Naigaga  is  Namutumba Women MP with Mr Akamba representing  Busiki County.
Residents claim the bickering among the three politicians has stifled service delivery in the district, including a presidential pledge to construct an irrigation plant at Ivukula, on the border of Namutumba and Kibuku.
“The legislators have not joined hands to follow up on the pledge and their bickering is failing government programmes and fostering underdevelopment,” Mr Richard Mwanja, a resident of Kibaale Town Council, said on Monday.
“On several occasions, I have seen Ms Namuganza and Ms Naigaga hurling insults at each other, with one referring to the other as unfit to hold the office of an MP,” he added.
Earlier, the Namutumba Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Amos Ssempala, conceded that he had failed to reconcile the rival camps.
“There is a need for the President to give guidance and look into this matter because the two camps will never reconcile. I personally tried to reconcile them but they wanted to fight in that meeting,” Mr Ssempala said.
In an August 20 interview, ahead of the National Resistance Movement party central executive elections, Mr Akamba claimed that Ms Namuganza had done nothing for the people of Namutumba during her four-year tenure as minister. 
“The few services in Namutumba are as a result of my and Ms Naigaga’s efforts. Her contribution in the district as a minister is not seen, besides fighting us,” he said.
Mr Akamba alleged that Ms Namuganza is fighting them because of their supporting Kyabazinga Gabula Nadiope IV and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.
“She started fighting us when we welcomed the Speaker to Namutumba for the enthronement of the Nkono Royal chief George Mutyaba,” he said.
But Ms Naigaga, shortly after welcoming Ms Namuganza to Basoga Nsadhu Memory Technical Institute in Namutumba District for the same election, said she had no problem with the minister.
“As legislators, we need to work together for the development of our district. We are not fighting her but she is fighting us; moving with Speaker Kadaga is not a crime,” she said.
In 2018, Ms Namuganza alleged that Ms Naigaga was ‘hurt’ because she was not appointed minister. 
“Where is it written that a Woman MP should be minister? She is hurt because I am a minister. I did not appoint myself, it is the President who appointed me. I have no problem with Mr Akamba and Ms Naigaga but they are the ones fighting me,” Ms Namuganza then said.

Genesis of feud
The bickering between the two female politicians is said to have started during the 2015 NRM party primaries where Ms Namuganza supported former Namutumba Woman MP, Ms Florence Mutyabule, who eventually lost to Ms Naigaga in the 2016 general election. This prompted President Museveni in 2016, as a chief guest during the thanksgiving ceremony for Ms Naigaga at Kisiki College in Namutumba Town Council, to ask Ms Namuganza and Ms Naigaga to reconcile.
“I do not know,  what is wrong between Ms Namuganza and Ms Naigaga?” Mr Museveni then asked the crowd, before pledging two tractors for Bukono and Busiki constituencies.
Before Mr Museveni left the platform, he urged the two legislators to work together for development of the district.
However, since then, the legislators’ bickering has intensified and took a a turn for the worst in 2018 when Ms Naigaga and Mr Akamba escorted Speaker Kadaga to Bukono (Ms Namuganza’s constituency) for the enthronement of the Chief of Nkono, Mr George Mutyaba.
The three legislators’ animosity was again openly brought to the fore last month during the NRM national vice chairperson (Female) elections in which Ms Naigaga and Mr Akamba campaigned for Speaker Kadaga.
In retaliation, during the recently concluded NRM party parliamentary primaries, Ms Namuganza ordered the people of Bukono to vote for Ms Betty Nakisita who lost to Ms Naigaga, just as she (Ms Naigaga) and Mr Akamba had supported Mr Emma Maganda Katoko, who also lost to Ms Namuganza.
Mr Matayo Mwase, a resident from Kivule Village, Nawaikona Sub-county, said since Ms Namuganza is accountable to President Museveni, he should investigate the genesis of their bickering.
“Minister Namuganza keeps saying that President Museveni is the only person she respects; so let the President tell her to ceasefire with not only legislators from Namutumba but from Busoga Sub-region,” he said.

What others say
Mr Denis Wako from Kamudoke Village, Ivukula Sub-county, said religious and cultural leaders tried to resolve the legislators’ bickering but failed. 
“Ms Namuganza, Ms Naigaga and Mr Akamba’s bickering is  both political and cultural,” he said.
Ms Betty Nakirya, a resident of Kangulumo Zone ‘A’ Village in Namutumba Town Council, urged President Museveni to orient the legislators on how to conduct themselves.

Claim
In an August 20 interview, a head of the National Resistance Movement party central executive elections, Mr Akamba claimed Ms Namuganza had done nothing for the people of Namutumba during the four-year tenure as minister. 
“The few services in Namutumba are as a result of my and Ms Naigaga’s efforts. Her contribution in the district as a minister is not seen, besides fighting us,” he said.
Mr Akamba alleged that Ms Namuganza is fighting them because of their supporting Kyabazinga Gabula Nadiope IV and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.

Advertisement