Thanks to the freshest political nuptials between the DP supremo-turned ruling NRM Cabinet Minister, Norbert Mao, and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the hitherto so-called tightly guarded secrets, are finally being laid bare. We now know that Kaguta has been secretly seeing Mao for a longtime now, thanks to the new convert’s special whatevers, as per the big man himself.
Museveni is the one who actually excitedly helped to leak the infidelity that has been existing for a long time between him and Mao. Tellingly, Mao has since, not bothered at all to deny what his newfound political spouse told the world in respect to this issue of infidelity. So, the necessary inference which can be deduced from the revelation above, is that Kaguta knows too well what he is talking about.
Yet, Mao had before physically being walked down the aisle, kept violently denying how he was not running any affair with his now confirmed partner. The shy suitor was using his acidic tongue to sting whoever would state the obvious, which is, he was running a secret affair with the big man in town. Enough of the trending political nuptials. Let us now check out NUP’s iron lady, Betty Nambooze Mukisa Bakireke and see what she is up to.
Being the chaotic Mrs Bakireke she is, we suppose you are already betting on what the hell she is up to. As the headline suggests, Nambooze steps out to leak for the very first time, what she alleges was the shabby fashion in which DP Party elder, Dr Paulo Kawanga Ssemogerere joined Museveni’s initial government. What she states tends to imply that Ssemogerere was conscripted into the first NRA government against his wish and will!
Yet, what we knew before Nambooze now told us to the contrary, is that Ssemogerere joined the NRA government in a compromise deal along with leaders of several political parties. The deal would end up birthing a government of National Unity. That government was aptly baptized as the movement (omugendo) government. Most importantly, we have been made for decades now, to believe that the elder from Ssese, joined the deal consciously. As opposed to being dragged into it by anybody which Nambooze wishes us to construe now, that it was the case.
That deal, we were informed, had been painstakingly discussed and then adjudged vital. This position, since the deal was meant to bring together all the competiting political forces with a view to reconstruct the political road map which Uganda was going to take. Why are we beating around the bush, by the way? Let us tell to you what Nambooze states in respect to what we are reporting.
After he had made an easy meal of Dr Apollo Milton Obote Opeto, Museveni cooled off somewhere in Nabbingo near Buddo along Kampala, Masaka highway. The victorious NRA rebel guru wasn’t in Nabbingo to have a blast. Gory, no! He was apparently reflecting seriously about how he was going to run a government acceptable to the world and, that fresh from the jungles.
Whilst he was thus seriously toying with what to do next, Museveni’s memory suddenly threw up the name of a gentle giant in town. That giant was staying somewhere near Lubaga Cathedral. His name was Dr Paulo Kawanga Ssemogerere. Yes, you guessed right. He was the Democratic Party supremo of those days. Having examined and reexamined Kawanga, the rebel guru concluded that he had finally landed the bet.
Kawanga was a gentle giant. His democratic credentials were absolutely beyond question by anybody, anywhere. Kawanga had presumably won the 1980 presidential polls barring a grand ballot looting purportedly masteminded by the resultant victor, Dr Apollo Milton Obote Opeto. So, for all intents and purposes, Kawanga was sure to give the new rebel government in town a semblance of soberiety in the eyes and ears of anyone, anywhere.
Now, these words we are about to report, mark you, are the property of `Madam Teacher` Betty Nambooze, the spouse of Mr Henry Bakireke of Mukono, but currently indisposed and bedridden somewhere outside Uganda. Treat this as a notice of disclaimer all and sundry. Thank you. Writing from her hospital bed, Nambooze states that Ssemogerere had remained reluctant to joining Museveni’s government in 1986.
While Ssemogerere was remaining in that hesitant posture, Nambooze claims, Museveni ‘sponsored’ his kidnap. She suggests that the ‘captive’ was finally delivered in Nabbingo where the rebel guru was reportedly camping. Curiously, Nambooze doesn’t, albeit, write clearly about what happened after Ssemogerere had been delivered at Nabbingo.
But most importantly, Nambooze doesn’t paint for us the picture of how the future President actually forced Ssemogerere to join his government without his consent and approval. One can safely assert that Nambooze is just assuming that Ssemogerere was kidnapped, dragged to Museveni and then forced to join the government. We know, contrary to what Nambooze writes, that Ssemogerere was persuaded to join Museveni by some high ranking religious leader and some, equally high ranking traditional leader.
These ones had long before, assisted a great deal to sell the rebellion led by Museveni to their followers here and abroad. The religious leader is the one who provided the place at Nabbingo where the rebel guru camped. Those who know these things, know who the religious leader was, even if we don’t drop his names here.
The two influential leaders had harbored a long grudge against Obote and later the junta of Gen Okello Lutwa and Bazilio Okello. For this reason, they had decided to render each and every support possible to Museveni to use to dislodge Obote and the Okellos. They were of the indisputable view that Ssemogerere being an influential figure here and abroad, was a necessary, but mixing link in the incoming government.
Consequently, the two people spoke to, yes, an hesitant Ssemogerere, and finally convinced him to join the government of national unity. Ssemogerere could have been fetched from his home to go to Nabbingo, or even elsewhere to discuss these things with Museveni, but he wasn’t certainly kidnapped, as our sister Nambooze wants us to believe. But why and for what is the bedridden Nambooze taking time off to tell what she is telling the world and now, moreover, of all times?
Fortunately, Nambooze is in the mood of answering this question. The tough woman explains that she is doing this because of the propaganda on social media which equates Mao’s marriage to Museveni to what Ssemogerere did in 1986. She states without backing it up with any evidence, that the same is the work of Mao and Museveni. That their intention is to ‘dupe’ the young people that the two now historic events are identical.
The time is now ripe for us to divulge where Nambooze’s assertions are to be found. Just in case one wants to check them out. They appear in the opinions section of the Observer newspaper website dated July 27,2022. The piece carries the title: `The pumpkin was harvested, cooked and eaten.` Though it’s a philosophical headline, it simply refers to Mao’s supposed sell-out to Sevo. Nambooze uses the pumpkin figuratively. She seeks to imply that whereas Mao claims to be green on the surface (the official color of DP), he is ideally yellow inside (the official color of NRM).
Going by back to the alleged propagandists, Nambooze says they started their thing, by retrieving old pictures from the State owned media houses. What about it?
Ssemogerere is captured in these photos with colleagues whilst swearing in to serve Museveni’s maiden governments. And so? The same would later, as per Nambooze, be splashed all over the social media to try to draw a similarity between what happened in 1986 and what Mao has just recently done in respect to joining Museveni’s government.
Even without mentioning it, what Nambooze is trying to indicate is that the people behind the social media campaign are out to show that it is Ssemogerere himself who authored a nice piece of gospel in respect of how to sell out to the ruling NRM Party. So, those people argue, Mao having chanced upon the gospel, he read it, enjoyed it and that the same ended up inspiring him to follow suit and do what the elder did in 1986.
By the way, come to think of it, don’t they say that the mother bird teaches the young bird to poop in the nest!Anyway, don’t tell that to the lawyer in Nambooze. She lectures that whereas what Ssemogerere did in 1986 and what Mao did justly recently, appears to the simple mind to be identical, the two are distantly apart.
She shares that such scenarios as this one being exploited by the propagandists in the case of Mao and Ssemogerere, emerge quite often. She points out, however, that if the same ends up before the learned judges, they would resolve the conundrum by marking out the difference between the two scenarios, but which had before then, appeared to the simple mind, to be non-existent.
But Nambooze, again writes as if she is turning away from her other previous story about Ssemogerere’s kidnap and conscription into Museveni’s government. She states that the Senior citizen joined Museveni’s government in broad day light and pursuant to the Ten-Point Program. She shares that the same blueprint had been ratified by Parliament. She further submits that Ssemogerere joined Museveni under the auspices of a legally and properly formed unitary government.
She contends that such arrangement was vital in order for the competing forces to join the minds for purposes of ushering in a road map which the country was going to take going forward. She notes that following Museveni’s games to endlessly conscript the political parties under the monolithic movement dispensation, Ssemogerere quickly opted out. The DP elder didn’t stop at that, Nambooze contends, but went to courts of law and the judges ordered a return to political pluralism. She then contrasts the situation during the time Ssemogerere joined Museveni in 1986 and when Mao recently joined the President.
She notes that whereas Ssemogerere joined Museveni under the dictates of a unitary government, Mao is going there long after the death of the movement monolithic system and after the resumption, moreover, of the multiparty political dispensation. She then opines that the purpose why Mao is joining Museveni at this point in time, is to aid the President deepen the dynasty which he is purportedly building.
The woman from Mukono, submits that the death of Jacob Oulanyah left Kaguta with no frontline soldier within Acholiland to use in the grand scheme of putting together the dynasty. She lectures the death of Oulanyah to be the cause of the “the pumpkin’s harvest, cooking and eating.” Making fun of Mao as the royal peg in the grand scheme of things, Nambooze drags in the person of the First Son, Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba. She accuses the powerful Land Forces Commander of going around ‘posturing’ as the crown prince for his dad.
Both interestingly and intriguing, none of the actors being mentioned by Nambooze for whatever reason, has stepped out wayet to say something. Ssemogerere, for instance, hasn’t been heard or read anywhere either confirming or denying if at all he has ever been kidnapped and made to join Museveni at anyone time between 1986 and 1994. Neither has Museveni nor his PR handlers or even admirers, have responded to the grave assertions which Nambooze peddles. What should be assumed in the circumstances? That what Nambooze writes is the truth? That the people she writes about are ignoring what she writes for the trash it is? Or what?
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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