By Solome Nakaweesi (The Great African Housewife)
5th June 2024

Warning: It’s a Long Post and One that Will Make You Rock in Your Chairs and Wanna Beat Me 🤪

On June 4th, 2024, social media was awash with a letter penned by Hon. Veronica Nanyondo withdrawing her signature on allegations that she didn’t consent to the and that her signature ✍🏽 used for the censur motion was for another meeting held in the Office of the Leader of Opposition. As a political analyst, activist and Pan-African Feminist I opine that major societal changes aren’t brought about by powerful people, actually its people perceived to be insignificant or powerless or dismissed who are the ones that have historically engineered societal shifts and revolutions – Nanyondo is a little known Woman MP that ‘inherited the MP seat” from her late sister Late Hon. Susan Namaganda (the then Bukomansimbi Woman MP who perished in a car accident in January 2021 – RIP). Nanyondo comes from a small poor district in Greater Masaka – Bukomansimbi whose actions may have potential to create a rapture and revolution within not only in NUP and but also parliament and how this feature Motion for former LOP and Commissioners may roll out . This letter surfaces many questions about the impeachment motives process and ethical conduct if the allegations that people attended a meeting in Office of LOP and signatures for that meeting are being used for the impeachment. as well as disrupt NUP political configuration ahead of the 2026 elections.

We all know post-colonial Africa inherited many not-so good- battle-fronts that were used by the colonial machinery to effectively divide and rule the colonies. From the British, we inherited some of these and in this scenario 5 major ones will play out (i). Social class (rural-urban divide) (ii). Religion (iii). Ethnicity & Tribe (iv). Fear of the Potential Power of Womens Bodies and their Sexuality and; (v). Intolerance to Alternate & Divergent Views. When these are mixed we await a protracted struggle – so for the ordinary souls buy your pop-corn and await a drama series, social media addicts load your data bundles charge those phones and get engaged, the fearful people will just forward to their next WhatsApp group and political analysts prepare to pen your alternate views on this.

So, let’s get going…

In my view, this is a fight between 2 NUP factions and a 3rd faction that is fence-sitting or are even utterly confused: Faction 1: People who believe that they own and founded NUP, have been there longer, deepest in the trenches e.g: Bobi Wine, LOP Hon. Ssenyonyi, Zaake, etc. Faction 2: People who came in later esp. those that came in from The DP Block, Ssubi Group, former NRM or FDC or independents that were looking for a platform to stand and win an election. Faction 3: The non-Baganda in NUP. These ones all came in later so they either sit on the fence or ally with Faction 2 above cos they believe Faction 1 operates like a Deep State whose decisions are taken by an Inner Circle and is rather exclusive of others. With such a deeply divided political party, an issue like a censorship motion will be a huge battleground – like the Battle of Stalingrad. It will be the Waterloo that finally bursts and raptures the party ahead of the 2026 elections.

My view is that, Party President Bobi Wine and LOP Hon. Ssenyonyi have an uphill task to uproot Party Vice President Hon. Mpuuga without being seen as playing the NRM Museveni game, jumping into the bandwagon of NRM ranks that are concerned about the power, abuse & excesses of Rt. Hon. Anita Speaker of Parliament and want to prepare for the next level of leadership. Their battle also is situated in a context and baggage we inherited from the colonialists.

I opine that many factors favor Mpuuga and disadvantage the NUP Leadership in this scenario:

✅ Hon. Mpuuga has been in parliament longer than LOP Ssenyonyi and many of the NUP MPs who are making their first debut to the August House and would of course like to come back cos like we all know Parliament benefits those that come for more than 2 terms. Mpuuga and his camp of course know how it works as well as how to avert an impeachment / censorship. They and other old timers have all learnt from previous censorship processes in Ugandan Parliament – 1998 Hon. Jim Muhwezi, 1999 Hon. Sam Kuteesa and Hon., Mathew Rukikaire, 2008 Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi, Late Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, Late Hon. John Nasasira, Late Hon. Joash Mayanja Nkangi and of recent Hon. Zaake and Hon. Namuganza. In Uganda’s Parliament you don’t waste precious time & energy in the media (and social media) or in seeking public opinion because in reality they no longer matter. Instead you seek the blessing and support of your political godparents, your regional caucuses in parliament, do your work with individual MPs behind the scenes as well as shake the ground on which these MPs sit (constituencies, religion, ethnicity/tribe/regions, families, allegiances, spouses and intimate partners). This is exactly what the Mpuuga faction is doing while the Bobi Wine and LOP Ssenyonyi faction is busy rallying support from the court of public opinion – radios, social media, TV, etc. You will note this is what Hon. Namuganza did last week by threatening to rally constituencies against MPs who don’t append signatures to the censure motion and it yielded some fruit.

✅ Hon. Mpuuga is a godfather, political kingmaker, feared and respected by many opposition MPs in Buganda esp. Greater Masaka even those that don’t agree with him or those that hate him. Some owe him their allegiance and in politics like we all know you must know your godparent. Others esp the ones in their late 40s and 50s feel that if they allow this to happen the younger turks will eject them from their seats. Also, many MPs attest to the fact that during his tenure as LOP, Mpuuga supported them and would always pitch in their Constituencies for fundraisers, weddings, events etc even going to the small ones or most remote constituencies. Which in their view, LOP Ssenyonyi is failing to do and is often seen in the support of Faction 1 MPs only or Bobi Wine relatives or in constituencies in Kampala, Wakiso and urban areas. It doesn’t help that Ssenyonyi is an MP representing Nakawa in Kampala that is an urban constituency so ‘the villagers feel alienated”. This therefore plays in the rural-urban divide that we inherited from the colonial mechanization.

✅ Politics is about numbers! Greater Masaka has the biggest single united sub-regional constituency bloc within Buganda Parliamentary Caucus = 9 Districts and 1 City as well as the 4 surrounding districts (Butambala, Gomba, Mityana and Mpigi). This means he has almost 40 MPs on his side just from Grater Masaka area. And when you add MPs from other areas of Buganda who feel that NUP Faction 1 is justifying getting themselves evolve politically and take full charge of NUP. This therefore implies that even within Buganda Caucus (where his friend and Mentee Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi is Chairperson), Mpuuga has an upper hand. Let not forget that Buganda Caucus is the anchor and bedrock of NUP MPs in Parliament.

✅ Both Bobi Wine and Mpuuga are Catholics and chances are high that within the Catholic Church ranks, they would pick Mpuuga & his wife over Bobi Wine and Barbie because Mpuuga has served the church longer and his allegiance to the church is demonstratable. For some Catholics they believe that Mpuuga’s intentions aren’t not only for political mileage and using the Catholic Church to quench the historical thirst that Catholics in Uganda have of one day having a Catholic as Uganda’s President. This, now explains why of late Barbie has been seen to actively participate in women’s events in the Catholic Church or even the Magere First Couple making sure diligently attend Rubaga Cathedral and be active within Catholic Church organising in Uganda – they need the full blessings of the Church!

✅ Buganda Kingdom is also not a spectator in this. If it comes to push and shove on any given day, Buganda Kingdom will abandon Bobi and stick with Mpuuga due to many factors. Mpuuga is a former Lukiiko Member and Minister in Buganda Kingdom who has actively been part of Mengo as a Former Minister, Buganda Lukiiko, Ekimeeza, Kayunga Riots, Ttofaali, etc. Let’s also not forget that the Katikkiro comes on from Greater Masaka area. On the other hand, Bobi has had a hot-cold relationship with the Mengo establishment – Busabala beach land issues, allegations that most of the Buganda Kingdom abusers online (on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and other social media platforms) that attack the Kabaka, Nnabagereka, Katikkiro and Buganda at large are alleged to be Bobi Wine supporters that; he has failed to reign in and is from Gomba. The politics of Buganda are that there are some Counties Masaza that are perceived more powerful and importations than others – you can’t compare Shazam Buddu and Ssaza Gomba.

✅ My analysis now brings in the fear and aversion of the African women’s bodies sexuality that we inherited from the colonialists. We can’t hide away from the reality of the fact that Africa is deeply ethnic and the ethnicity card if often pulled out along with the sexuality card. Some conservatists in Buganda feel that the young politicians (Bobi, Senyonyi, Zake, etc) “haven’t married right by not marrying Baganda women or pure Baganda’. Behind the scenes there is a growing ambivalence about young Baganda politicians and business elites who are marrying non-Baganda women esp women from Western Uganda. These suspicious Baganda believe this is an ethnic warfare and a move aimed at neutralizing these Baganda Boys through marriage, sex and sexuality and exploring the fact that Baganda fear and deeply reset their inlaws. While in their view Mpuuga is married to Maria a Muganda woman so they are sure the offspring are Baganda “kkete kkete” but also that means 2 Buganda clans lobbying for him (Mpuuga clan and wife’s clan). Bobi is married to Barbie a non-Muganda woman from Ntungamo so the offspring are mixed and also Bobi has only his clan to lobby for him cos his wife doesn’t have a Buganda clan. This plays into the ethnic, regional and leadership tensions prevalent in contemporary Uganda between Western Uganda and other parts of Uganda. I wouldn’t want to sound ethnic I have personally suffered with being disowned in Uganda where given my skin color, light skin complexion, body size and shape I am not perfected as a “Muganda kkete kkete”. I have often been asked to explain myself whether I am a True Muganda or not. My children have also not been saved the wrath. And I have experiences where when fellow Baganda are deeply upset with me they disown me telling how I am from Western Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and even as far as South Africa! So as we were colonised through bribing together various ethnic groupings to crate nation states, the push back we got is getting deeply ethnic and make it our business to be sure about the children someone sires and their lineage cos it defines an impotent societal function – defining the process or inheritance.
✅ With decades of so much corruption, impunity and abuse of office that has been normalised in Uganda, some people will tolerate and even support Mpuuga. Because of the rot in the country in as far as corruption is concerned by Hon. Mpuuga being given 500M, yet billions have been stolen in government institutions and Parliament too they wouldn’t join the Bobi Wine and LOP side as they believe that this is a form of witch hunt targeting Mpuuga. And also there have been allegations of appropriation of NUP Party resources to the Bobi Wine Family and friends which allegations haven’t effectively been responses to by Bobi Wine and LOP Hon. Ssenyonyi.

Those deeply tickled, let’s get talking…. Please share your alternative views on this and speculation how this censorship will roll out. The violent ones, come and beat me, I am at home cooking Matooke for my HusBae. The online violent ones, load your data and start the firing those missiles…. I am ready for the debate and dialogue.

By Solome Nakaweesi
The Great African Housewife
5th June 2024