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“With or without Bobi Wine, the struggle will continue,” says Muwanga Kivumbi

President Museveni’s persistent demand that the right to bail be revoked for suspects of capital offences has attracted fierce reaction from various people including the politicians.

President Museveni’s persistent demand that the right to bail be revoked for suspects of capital offences has attracted fierce reaction from various people including the politicians.

One of them is Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, the Member of Parliament for Butambala County. In an interview with The Nile Post Kivumbi disagreed with Museveni’s proposal and told us why he thinks the struggle to liberate Uganda is bigger than any individual including Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

Having taken over the leadership of Buganda Parliamentary, what strategies have you laid out to make it more vibrant in the region and the country at large?

The first was to unify the caucus and achieve unity. What makes us as Buganda caucus is not homogeneity of our political beliefs because we can disagree politically .We are not here because we ideologically take things the same..

In the past few months, we have been working hard to achieve that unity of purpose. We as the Buganda caucus enjoy this eminence of being in the centre of the city. We carry that moral reasonability on our shoulders to do things the MPs from other regions will not do. It is our duty to deepen or widen the democratic credentials of our country because once you shy away from that, anything that you will do will be lost.

When you were just elected the chairperson of the caucus, you said all MPs from Buganda sub region who will go against issues that concern the kingdom will be de-campaigned in their respective constituencies. Won’t that create more divisions among members?

I don’t need even to de-campaign them. They will not find space in the population. Ours in a well-articulated and informed population, they are going to consume this interview other than any other group. Our people are very active. In my humble view they follow politics like they drink breakfast, so they know who is for them and who is against them.

Before my personal involvement, they will be dealing with you but my enviable role now is to transcend my political beliefs that whether you are in an NRM but elected leader, we will work with you to strengthen you. As a chairmen of the caucus, I pledged to strengthen them and to work with them because when they are strong and effective, it’s the common man that benefits and that common man may not be mindful of the colour of your politics.

You have talked of unity but some NRM members of Parliament disagreed with your leadership right from the beginning and they promised to form a parallel caucus. How have you handled their grievances?

It is not there. Behind the scene we have resolved everything, and the parallel structure is not there. Have you ever heard about it? I think I am at ease with them. I have spoken to all of them. I told you the real work is not in the media, the real work is done by humbling yourself a little bit and bending a little more and I think I have achieved it.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced so far as your execute your duties?

The first challenged was to address the issue of unity that I have told you and how to achieve it. The other challenge we face is that some people fear to be seen that they are from central region. When I had just been elected as the chairperson of the caucus, someone called me and questioned me how can I become a tribal leader. What makes me national is that I belong to one of the tribes in Uganda. I come from a particular village in Uganda. I come from a particular sub county, district and from a particular region and that’s what makes me a Ugandan. What makes us who we are, is what who we are.

It is about the value you cherish, even when I speak about being the chairman of the region, I am talking about equity, and I have talked about entrenching democracy. Will democracy works for the people of Buganda only? If I convince my region to support the constitution and that side of governance arrangement, am I not national?

As the former shadow minister of Internal Affairs, what do you think the government can do to deal with insecurity not only in the greater Masaka but across the country?

Let me tell you when the government loses within a given territory, similar actions follow. In 2001, Dr. Kizza Besigye swept Kampala. You should ask Gen Elly Tumwine and Gen Tumukunde who were in charge of CMI then, there were bombs thrown all around Kampala. So every after round of elections there would be a cycle of murder and death. This is consistently scripted method of work more often than not because they {regime} rigged elections and they believe that people will stand up against them at a given time. They try to pre-empt by striking first and doing this callous things like arresting MPs Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya.

Secondly, they do this to intimidate the population so that they go to their side. They used that method in Luweero where they eliminated not only Uganda People Congress (UPC) supporters but also those that had refused to join them. They also use propaganda.

President Museveni has proposed the ban on bail for capital offences. What does it mean for Uganda as a country if this goes through?

All those are intended to intimidate the population, subdue it and kill the spirit of popular resistance. Popular resistance I don’t mean armed ones, a civic intellection, and a fear that one day people will wake up and realize that they have got to struggle for themselves.

The proposal rhymes well with their script and when a regime loses popularity, it loses every democratic credential.

It is the same thing when the colonialists were here, they imposed all those [bad] laws because they were occupiers and they were imposing themselves on the people.

Every regime that loses political legitimacy strengthens the stringent legal regime and that is all what dictatorial regimes do. It speaks volumes about the psychology of the leadership. They know now that they have lost it.

You were in Democratic Party for a long time. Why did you choose NUP among others parties?

I didn’t choose NUP. We started NUP, this is a struggle. At this stage what matters is the struggle for a dispensation which can ensure that democracy can shines. We are in the struggle, so those political things are for tomorrow when the political environment is right.

Some people claim that NUP will not survive for a long time without Bobi Wine. What do you think?

No one should carry himself or herself along that he or she is the Alpha and Omega of the struggle. We started the struggle before Bobi Wine when he was in his music and we were here with Hajji Nasser Ssebagala. So the struggle is alive. As long as you are an efficient contributor, as long you are the best player at that moment, you will take the penalty. It is not a one man thing.

Even if Bobi Wine abandons [the struggle], there will be another Bobi Wine, so that thinking is for the stupid people.

Should we expect you to challenge for the leadership of NUP at one point as you continue to purse your political career?

I can only challenge anybody who undermines the popular struggle for democracy. If you undermine it, I will challenge you. If the challenge is to lead a party, no, and that is why I speak in terms of movement that portrays the change agenda. The change of leadership has to be purposeful. What is worthwhile is to carry this struggle forward. Today we have Bobi Wine, the next time we will have a different person all together.

Lastly, should we expect you to contest again as the Member of Parliament for Butambala County come 2026 if all goes well?

If God gives me life, I am a believer and I am a Muslim. I believe in destiny and I also think leadership is determined by different circumstances.

Do I know what tomorrow holds? What if the people wish me to serve the country is another position, will I really say no? It is not about me, even when I was going to stand as an MP, it was a collective decision.


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