The former vice president stepped away from the limelight after he was defeated by Dennis Ssozi Galabuzi in the Busiro North parliamentary race
Former vice president Prof Gilbert Bukenya has said he is not a politician anymore and that has friends from all political parties and they never discuss politics at all.
Bukenya added that he does not belong to any political party and is now a farmer enjoying his retirement.
“I have got friends from the opposition and the NRM and I have to put it clear that I do not belong to any political party. I am now carrying out income generating activities for my family and enjoying retirement from politics”, he said.
Bukenya made the remarks during the launch preparations of Heal The Planet, a non-profit convention that will take place on 29th October with the sole aim of bringing a political future to Uganda and realising harmony and peace for humanity in the whole world.
The convention will host President Yoweri Museveni and Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto as keynote speakers.
Bukenya further advised Ugandans to live in harmony, saying the major cause of conflicts in society is the lack of respect for other’s fundamental human rights.
“Religious conflict is another big challenge which should be addressed immediately through creative dialogue among the various political leaders thus guaranteeing all Ugandans and the world at large national unity,” he added.
Heal the Planet president, Ernest Benjamin Kivumbi, said peace cannot be achieved when the various political leaders do not come together to find a lasting solution.
“It is peace that impacts positively on all socio-economic issues in any place or country, which is why we have a collective responsibility to address all threats to peace”, he said.
Bukenya stepped away from the limelight after he was defeated by Dennis Ssozi Galabuzi in the Busiro North parliamentary race during in the 2016 general elections. Before that, he contested for the position of NRM secretary general finishing a distant third in the race.
The parliamentary election came just months after Bukenya returned to the NRM after previously quitting the ruling party to join the ill-fated The Democratic Alliance (TDA).
TDA was comprised of seven political parties and two pressure groups. The parties were Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Conservative Party (CP), Justice Forum (Jeema) and Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA).
Former premier Minister Amama Mbabazi’s Go Forward Pro-Change and Bukenya’s Pressure for National Unity (PNU) were the two pressure groups in the alliance.
TDA collapsed after failing to agree on fielding a single candidate for the 2016 general elections and soon after, Bukenya returned to the NRM fold.
To mark his return, Bukenya threw a party for hundreds of his supporters to indulge in merry making at his Katoomi Kingdom Hotel where people stood in long queues for free food and drink.
“I left TDA because none of the members there was willing to answer my questions. I had gone to TDA to look for wisdom. Unfortunately, I did not find any as most of the members had selfish interests,” he said.
Bukenya was appointed vice president in May 2003 to replace Uganda’s first female vice president Specioza Wandera Kazibwe, and served until May 2011 when he was replaced by former Speaker of Parliament, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi.
He caused a stir in 2005 when he claimed that “mafia” in government were plotting his downfall.