Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire has criticized the NRM leadership for alienating its members who speak the truth, while embracing praise-singers instead.
Outspoken Maj Gen Otafiire used the last funeral rites of Sam Mwagalwa, father of Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, to criticize NRM for gagging divergent views within the party. The function was held at Kangave village in Luweero district on Saturday.
“Why does NRM hate people who speak the truth? It is better to keep people that will say the truth than a praise-singer who only says what the president wants to hear,” Otafiire said amid ululations.
The Ruhinda county MP made direct reference to the April 2013 expulsion of Ssekikubo, Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) and Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central) from NRM. Niwagaba and Tinkasiimire were in Otafiire’s audience that also included Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi who appeared rather uncomfortable with his cabinet colleague’s controversial utterances.
“A true friend is one who will openly tell you about where you are going wrong it is the reason why I have always stood by [rebel MPs] because they speak the truth, and no one will take me away from the truth,” Otafiire said.
After expelling them, the ruling party had sought to oust them from parliament but a combination of Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s intervention and a court decision helped them keep their seats. But Otafiire told his audience in Luweero, that as far as he was concerned, the MPs were still members of NRM.
“After the party decided to expel them, they went to the High court to challenge the decision of the NRM disciplinary committee that meant that all processes to get them out had to stop until the court has pronounced itself on the matter,” Otafiire said.
“They are, therefore, still full members of NRM, and everything that was done was in vain until the courts decide otherwise,” Otafiire said, adding: “The issues they were talking about are the same issues the party is grappling with currently. Why didn’t we listen and heed their voices? It is because we hate the truth in preference of praise-singers.”
Otafiire said he had no better place to make the remarks than in Kangave village because it is his “political home.”
He revealed that in 1982, in the hills overlooking Ssekikubo’s ancestral home, there was a base for a unit of the National Resistance Army (NRA).
“I look at this place as my political home this is where I was born politically, and my ideas were moulded from here,” Otafiire said.
Bashed five months ago for skipping Mwagalwa’s funeral (See: Museveni bashed at Ssekikubo father buria), Museveni, who was attending NRM’s CEC meeting on the same day, sent a message through Ssekandi, describing Mwagalwa as a long- time friend and freedom fighter.
“I wish to celebrate and honour the life of the late Mwagalwa who made a selfless contribution to the liberation struggle,” Museveni said.
Mwagalwa died from a blood clot on June 30, 2014. He was 109 years old and is survived by 35 children, including an eight-year-old son, a number of wives and grandchildren.
Source : The Observer