By David Lumu
LIRA Municipality MP Jimmy Akena has explained his close ties with President Yoweri Museveni, a move that has been often interpreted within political circles to mean that he is about to cross to the ruling NRM party.
Describing the political friendship with the President as pro-people oriented, Akena said the first time he met Museveni was back when people in Northern Uganda were returning from camps.
Akena, a son of former President Dr. Milton Obote in an interview with Urban TV Tuesday said he detected loopholes in the resettlement plan of ex-Internally Displaced People (IDPs), but when he knocked on the doors of officials in the Office of the Prime Minister, including the former Minister for Disaster Prof. Tarsis Kabywegyere, there was no answer.
“People were coming from the camps. I tried all angles but failed. I decided to write to the President and when he crosschecked, he found out that what I was telling him was the truth. So he responded positively and he said “thank you for the information,” he said, revealing that that is how his political ties with Museveni germinated.
Akena said that he has since learnt that if you are a politician, you can only get good and genuine advice from those against you.
Asked to explain further this philosophy in relation to his closeness to Museveni, Akena said that: “In my case, my interest (in working with Museveni) is for the best of the country and the citizens.”
Akena also clarified mixed reactions emanating from these ties, especially the view that he has one leg in UPC and the other in movement.
Akena said that the only reason why he has not crossed to NRM is because of ideology. “NRM has changed. Initially when it first came to power, they were extreme left. At the moment when you look at NRM; it is extreme right now. UPC has been left and center and that is the ideology I espouse. So to cross over a party that doesn’t share your vision and ideology doesn’t make sense."
In 2012 Museveni visited Mama Miria Obote, at her home in Kololo, move political interpreters described as the “new political reconciliation tone” of the President.
In 1981, Museveni went to the bush to fight the Obote regime.
Urban TV is carrying a series of interviews with opposition stalwarts to share opinion on the cabinet performance and the impending reshuffle.
Commenting on the subject, Akena advised Museveni to go for young people in his cabinet by weeding out the Obote generation politicians.
He suggested Bunyole County MP Emmanuel Dombo as a possible candidate for Museveni to pick.