Dr. Crispus Kiyonga was dropped from cabinet after NRM's dismal showing in Kasese
The NRM party historicals in Kasese district have resolved to petition President Yoweri Museveni for dropping Dr. Crispus Kiyonga from his new cabinet.
During an emergency meeting held at Triple B Printers in Kasese town and chaired by Barnabas Bamusede Bwambale a day after President Museveni released the list, the NRM veteran cadres in the district expressed fear that dropping Kiyonga out of Cabinet may leave the party in limbo.
“We are grateful to President Museveni for the support he has always given to the people in Kasese but dropping Dr. Kiyonga out of the Cabinet has left us as orphans” Bamusede a former Kasese district LC 5 Chairperson said.
The cadres in the meeting that ended in the late in the night said that although the district posted poor results for the NRM party in the recently concluded general elections, Kiyonga should not have been dropped from cabinet.
Many observed that Kiyonga is still the pillar of the NRM party in Kasese district and to sustain the support of the people for the party, his contribution must not be underrated.
Kiyonga was the only MP representing Busongora County in Kasese district on the UPM ticket in the 1980 parliament. But he went into exile in Nairobi Kenya where he joined his NRM/NRA colleagues to fight against the Obote 2 regime.
At the climax of the liberation war in 1985, Kiyonga together with Col. Tom Butime, Paul Kagame now the President of Rwanda, Major General Kahinda Otafiire and Dr. Kiiza Besigye among others, was at the helm of mobilizing the people of Rwenzori region to give total support to the NRM/NRA.
The cadres in the meeting also observed that Kiyonga has been one of the few key NRM cabinet ministers and cadres who have not been implicated in any corruption sagas in the country.
Several people said Kasese was likely not to reap for the next five years while the district has no voice in cabinet.
Eric Mathu Muhasa, the Chairperson LC 3 for Mahango sub-county said FDC will be credited for grooming a good politician in Christopher Kibanzanga who has been appointed State Minister in his first attempt to work with NRM.
But he also said President Museveni does not value the NRM mandate in the district by dropping Kiyonga without replacing him with another cadre from Kasese.
Johnson Kamalha the NRM publicity secretary for Kasese said the party fraternity and the entire population in the district will miss the services of Kiyonga because everyone considered him as the pillar of the party.
“I cannot blame the President for deciding to drop Dr. Kiyonga after the opposition swept the key political positions but it’s regrettable that the lobbying power at the cabinet level will become history” Kamalha added.
Kiyonga served in President Museveni’s cabinet for over 30 years after spending 5 years in the bush.
He served in the following ministries; Cooperatives (1986), Finance (1986-1992), Internal Affairs (1994-1996), Health (1996-2001) Minister Without Portfolio (2001-2006) and Defense Minister from 2006 until he was dropped.