He might be a member of the ruling National Resistance Movement, but former Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya is warming up to the Uganda Young Democrats (UYD), after they promised to support him in 2016.
Speaking in Kampala last week, Bukenya said UYD would be rewarded if he became president. UYD is the youth wing of the Democratic Party. Bukenya has already declared he will run for president in 2016. That would most likely pit him against his party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni.
Last Tuesday, Bukenya met UYD members professing to be his supporters at Royal theatre, where he urged them to be g and avoid being distracted by money.
“Right now things are very tight and as you can see we are eating raw cassava but when we get that presidential chair, UYD will eat the fattest part of the chicken,” Bukenya said.
He added: “If you need change, then you are at the right place the change must be caused by the youth. Most of you are riding boda bodas [using] motorcycles you acquired after selling land. And when you carry two passengers, the motorcycles are taken away why support such a government?”
Bukenya used an analogy of crocodiles fleeing from the lake, and wondered how any human being can dare to swim in that lake. The ‘crocodiles’ were people such as himself, renegade General David Sejusa and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who have either fallen out or are disenchanted with the lake that is the NRM.
One of the proud achievements of the NRM government has been Universal Primary Education (UPE), which has more than tripled school enrolment since 1997. But even this did not escape Bukenya’s scrutiny.
“How can a project recruit four million pupils in [primary one] and only 400,000 reach P6? What happened to the 3.6 million?”
At the function, the former VP was introduced to a team of UYD leaders who promised to rally behind him come 2016 they included Angela Asere, the vice chairperson of UYD at Makerere University. Henry Lubowa, a member of the Social Democratic Party, vowed to mobilize support for Bukenya, and commended him for daring to take the bull by the horns.
“I thank you as the only No. 2 that has come out clearly to challenge him [Museveni] this has taken time because we did not have people with the right requirements as a people-centred leader, guide us and we change the government,” Lubowa said.
Bukenya said he was not trying to work with the opposition per se, but called for unity among all players in order to change the government. Speaking in Luganda, Bukenya said: “I don’t work with opposition and I will not work with capitalists, since all colours have holes. NRM has holes. Mbabazi has holes, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has three holes [Nandala Mafabi, Mugisha Muntu and Kizza Besigye] and so I failed to work with them.”
But he admitted that his presidential bid needed the support of other parties.
“I can’t do it alone if we form a coalition and leave colours alone, let’s not look at people’s weaknesses’. I have conquered the central and you need to go and conquer other parts of the country. This is not a Bukenya project but your project,” he said.
Mohammed Ziwa Kyambadde, SDP’s chairperson, said he was ready to work with Bukenya. He said there was no need for political parties right from LC-I, and urged parties to borrow a leaf from Kenya, where coalitions have worked together to defeat sitting governments.
Source : The Observer