By Charles Etukuri
FORMER Vice President and Busiro County Member of Parliament Gilbert Bukenya decision to campaign for an opposition candidate Brenda Nabukenya in the Luweero by election on Tuesday was deliberate bait aimed at resuscitating his failed political career Nyombi Thembo State Minister for Information Communication and Technology has said.
Thembo who is also the Kassanda County South MP cautioned the party against taking Bukenya to the disciplinary committee.
“That would be popularizing a man that has messed up himself politically already. In fact, his objective is to bait NRM into making him politically relevant again,” Nyombi said.
He however said that since others had been charged before and for purposes of consistency within the party and to show that nobody was above the party rules he should appear and defend himself.
The Minister without Portfolio in charge of political Mobilisation Richard Todwong described Bukenya’s action of campaigning for an opposition candidate instead of the NRM flag bearer as unfortunate, irregular, and wrong.
He also said that Bukenya breached the multiparty dispensation ground rules and also violated chapter three of the NRM Constitution which states the guidelines and conduct of party members.
“The NRM party disciplinary committee is going to summon him to explain why he did such a thing. The disciplinary action will depend on the decision of the committee, but I think he will face an expulsion for his action,” Todwong said.
Prof. Bukenya joined leader of opposition in Parliament, Wafula Ogutu and other opposition figures for the final rally for DP candidate Brenda Nabukenya on Tuesday. Photo by Fredrick Kiwanuka
But then in a rejoinder to his party, Bukenya indicated that he is not afraid of being expelled from the National Resistance Movement (NRM).
“The only person who can disown me is my mother Nabulo who died. I was not born NRM. If they expel me, I can join another political group,” the former VP said.
Asked why he supported a DP candidate in the Luweero campaigns against the NRM candidate, Bukenya said, “As long as my party continues with injustices like intimidation, I will fight it. We don’t want our country to be turned into a police state.”
Bukenya said he was greatly angered to see police firing bullets and teargas at Brenda Nabukenya’s supporters the day she was nominated.
“If a candidate is nominated, by law, she is free to move anywhere to talk to the voters. Even the last rally for Nabukenya, police disorganized it. These acts will not be accepted by us who want a civilized Uganda,” Bukenya elaborated.
He also castigated the MPs for their move to popularise Museveni’s sole presidential candidature.
“The ongoing exercise of promoting Museveni’s sole candidature is illegal. It is only the Central Executive Committee and National Executive Committees that have the constitutional powers to recommend candidates for electing in the national conference,” he explained.