ROGERS WADADA: Abed Bwanika ranting like a jilted lover towards Bobi Wine’s NUP

Mr. Roger Wadada Musaalo, a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician (PHOTO/Courtesy).

Mr. Rogers Wadada Musaalo, a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician (PHOTO/Courtesy).

On Saturday March 16, 2024, I travelled to Kakiri with a friend whose car radio is permanently tuned in to a Luganda-speaking local radio station.

That radio station usually hosts a political programme on Saturday morning and has gained a reputation for providing an avenue through which politicians discuss a range of issues. The programme is hosted by a well-informed vocal moderator who always puts his guests to their tenterhooks.

I must say there was something unprofessional in the way the radio station conducted its business of the day. Kyagulanyi and his National Unity Platform (NUP) were not represented and as such were condemned and unheard. During the show, the studio had only three guests out of which Pastor Honourable Dr Abed Bwanika, the President of the People’s Development Party and a Member of Parliament for Kimaanya Kabonera in Masaka was given preferential treatment at the expense of sanity and ethics.

It was Bwanika’s best day of his life in the studio as there was nobody invited to counter the allegations he made. The other guests in the studio were too academic and did not pay much attention to the slanderous statements uttered by Bwanika. No wonder the party is considering legal redress and I think Bwanika and the radio station should be sued jointly. How could they stage manage an unbalanced show and yet allow blatant attacks to go unabated?

Secondly, Bwanika was unusually given so much airtime as if he was addressing a press conference without the usual interjections from the moderator. One would be tempted to think the entire political programme had been framed for Bwanika to vent his anger and to insult NUP and its Principal. Whoever listened in to that morning show could tell the whole environment was tainted with bias. Usually, the moderator does not allow his guests to deviate from the subject of discussion but this time Bwanika was left to say whatever he wanted.

In his lengthy uninterrupted lecture (not a debate), Bwanika talked about a range of issues including a barrage of demeaning statement regarding the decision to fire Honourable Mathias Mpuuga and replacing him with Honorable Francis Zaake. He also questioned the credentials of the fire base crew that allegedly makes decision at the Central Executive Committee of the National Unity Platform and even made a stunning confession that NUP supports homosexuality. He forgot he is still a serving member of NUP.

The only interventions made by the moderator were disclaimers at the end of interval to create space for commercial interruption. It appears the disclaimers were made to protect the management from being dragged to the courts of law for providing a platform for defamation. I was short of concluding that the radio station had fallen out of favour with Kavule. Was the radio arm twisted to take sides or had been paid to sideline the National Unity Platform, Kyagulanyi and members of the progressive forces.

With this at the back of my mind, am yet to find out if the law permits a person to belong to more than one political formation. Section 3(2) of the Political Parties and Organisations Act, 2005 re-enforces the right for every citizen of Uganda to join a political party or organisation of his/her choice but the same sections seems to restrict that right to a political party and not parties meaning people like Bwanika are offending the law in belonging to two political party.

In all fairness, I was left wondering why Bwanika was speaking with a lot of bitterness against the National Unity Platform as though he does not own a political party; the People’s Development Party. I don’t understand how somebody can abandon his own party to seek a ticket of another party and then turn around to malign it and its leadership. We from other parts of Uganda were confident the Baganda were on the right path to consolidate their unity but in vain.

It is question after question. Did Bwanika have a mission to accomplish when he joined NUP or he was being strategic for purposes of cutting deals with the third estate?  Why did he attempt to blackmail NUP as being responsible for insulting Buganda and the Kabaka, why did he choose this time to spill secrets that NUP had serious links with homosexual organisations?

It appears (if at all it is true) that Abed Bwanika was aware of this homosexuality claim but that did not deter him from joining the outfit, participating in its formation, picking a flag to contest on that party’s ticket, contributing to the monthly funds to support a party working with a bunch of homosexual supporters in total disregard to the bible and his faith as a Christian. He even told the listeners that he is still a member of NUP despite being aware they support homosexuality. In saying what he said, Bwanika looked like a foolish man who cuts a branch he is standing or sitting forgetting that when it fall, it goes down with him.

The bible commands the likes of Bwanika in the book of 2Corinthians 6:14-16 to desist from being unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship do righteousness and iniquity have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what portion does a believer have with an unbeliever? What agreement does a temple of God have with idols, for I hear Christians are a temple of the living God?

If Abed Bwanika wants us to believe he is a good Christian, why hasn’t he considered resigning his position as Member of Parliament for the sake of his faith? He must have been aware that the National Unity Platform vehicle which brought him to Parliament is full of homosexual supporters but he is not quitting. What is his intention in sticking with NUP is it because the law ties him to the outfit until the last year of the term of office?

The callers of the day were not shy to remind Bwanika that he had failed to win anything under his own party and therefore have no moral authority to point a finger at NUP, a party that propelled him to Parliament. His anger was a continuation of a barrage of attacks saying NUP was in the intensive care unit, a specialized section of a medical facility where critically ill patients are monitored. Few, especially in Uganda walk out of this unit alive.

Throughout his ranting, Bwanika portrayed himself as disgruntled and frustrated man whose expectations had been trimmed to the chagrin of a pay master. Why am I referring to a pay master? It is on record that in the year 2006, Abed Bwanika who had participated in that year’s Presidential election shocked the nation when he swore an affidavit opposing Besigye’s petition saying Museveni’s election was free and fair. Deep inside his heart, Bwanika was aware Besigye had been cheated but he went ahead to swear an affidavit in the name of God.

It is therefore difficult to side with Bwanika on issues of playing double standards. Am yet to find out who paid him to soil the party the way he did uncontrollably. In so doing he inadvertently portrayed himself as a power hungry leader who wanted to use NUP to build his own power base or to appease a pay master. Even the attacks against Lubongoya were not called for given the prevailing circumstances.

He labored to tell the listeners how the powers of NUP were only limited to appointing a commissioner of parliament but with no power to disappoint. These are facts that even the lowest ranking member of the society is aware of. There was no need for him to emphasis the issue as NUP simply wanted to push Mpuuga to take a personal decision to resign without being coerced since he is now a darling of the speaker and the NRM party.

I don’t think Mpuuga would want to insist on representing a party that has fallen out of favour with him or he will want to hold on to the Commissionership to deflate NUP. Principled as he is, Mathias Mpuuga may consider throwing in the towel for the sake of harmony. If this happens, I don’t see the speaker allowing Zaake to assume the position of a parliamentary commissioner using the Supreme Court appeal that may never see light of day.

That aside, Bwanika must be scheming for something from government. He reminds me of a man who used to criticize Museveni and his NRM party on radio and television. Little did we know he wanted to be seen, I think his name was Basajja Mivule.  He went mute as soon as he was given a bribe and since then, he only appears in public to abuse Bobi Wine. That is why I say Bwanika’s bitterness is not in vain. He is acting like the proverbial woman who asked King Solomon to cut a disputed baby into two but wisdom prevailed.

In this movie, Ugandans are watching the demeanor of some NUP leaders and listening very carefully just like King Solomon did in the book of 1 Kings 3:16-28 and will soon tell you who is the rightful mother to the baby. The jilted mother will soon realise that deception has limits. The public is alert and will soon show you which leaders have been playing hide and seek and visiting some powerful people in the nights to destroy the opposition. My only fear is that Buddu and Mawokota could have slipped away with the help of powerful insiders who on the face of it appear to be faithful members of the National Unity Platform.

Finally, there is a leader in this country who behaves like the devil, for he never gives anything for free. If he pays you to execute a mission and you fail, be ready to be shamed. If you succeed, he gives you money or a placement. Soon, there will be a cabinet reshuffle where some of the opposition mercenaries are going to be rewarded handsomely. At is at this point that we shall know who has been a Judas Iscariot of our generation. When you accept to work with people who share the same blood as Semei Kakungulu, be sure to face they can be left alone in the cold.

Having overturned the strength of the party elsewhere, I have a feeling that the breakaway group will soon reignite a new political party of start a new one before going ahead to destroy NUP in Kyagwe, Busiro and Bulemezi. The enemy of the opposition is not NRM, it is not Museveni, it is the opposition itself. Now that many of the NUP MPs have gone bare knuckles, we can only hope against hope that they survive this turbulence as the only opposition party.

Wadada Rogers is a commentator on political, legal and social issues. Wadroger @yahoo.ca

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