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Betty Nambooze torn between Besigye and Mao

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th November 2010 03:00 AM

IN politics the environment can change like weather. Some weeks ago, Democratic Party members in Mukono threatened to throw out their legislator Betty Nambooze for hobnobbing with the FDC president, Kizza Besigye.

IN politics the environment can change like weather. Some weeks ago, Democratic Party members in Mukono threatened to throw out their legislator Betty Nambooze for hobnobbing with the FDC president, Kizza Besigye.

By John Semakula

IN politics the environment can change like weather. Some weeks ago, Democratic Party members in Mukono threatened to throw out their legislator Betty Nambooze for hobnobbing with the FDC president, Kizza Besigye.

A couple of days later, Nambooze reconciled with DP president Nobert Mao. They hugged and she promised to show more solidarity with the mainstream DP leadership. A few more days later, Nambooze was at Besigye’s rally in Masaka, while Mao campaigned in eastern Uganda.

Understandably, Nambooze is in a dilemma. As a member of DP, she is under obligation to support Mao. On the other hand, she is one of the key pillars of the pro-Mengo pressure group Suubi 2011, which made a deal with Besigye.

More to that, Besigye partly sponsored her medical treatment in South Africa. A few months later, Besigye made a significant financial contribution in campaigns for the by-election that took Nambooze to Parliament. Nambooze’s team members disclosed that they received more financial support from Besigye than DP. He also persuaded the FDC aspirant to step down.

Now both Mao and Besigye want her support and she cannot divide herself into two. She has chosen to campaign for Besigye. To date Nambooze has been identifying with Besigye more than any of the other leaders in the main stream DP. Several DP leaders have attempted to lure Nambooze back to rally behind Mao but in vain. Some believe she has to pay Besigye back before she returns to DP.

Before she won the MP slot, Nambooze was the DP spokesperson. By the time Nambooze contested in the Mukono North by-elections, DP had developed cracks, resulting from the the delegate’s conference.

She was one of the DP supporters who didn’t attend the conference and disagreed with its outcome. Two factions emerged after the conference in Mbale. One faction supported Mao, while the other one fronted Samuel Lubega. Nambooze was part of those who were opposed to Mao. Besigye took advantage of the split to woo some DP members like Nambooze and Erias Lukwago.

DP members in Mukono want to front another DP candidate to contest against her for the Mukono Municipality parliamentary seat. They feel she has betrayed them, especially since she has been the district party chairperson.

Therefore, Nambooze could find herself without a political base in the 2011 elections.

Last month, DP members in Mukono held a meeting at the Ssaza grounds to discuss Nambooze’s fate. She did not attend but sent emissaries.

The former DP boss, John Ssebana Kizito, who was Nambooze’s mentor, attended the meeting, which resolved that another candidate be fronted for Mukono Municipality. Ssebana brought Nambooze to the political limelight and was behind her appointment as the party’s spokesperson in his reign. They were close friends until recently. Ssebana supports Mao’s faction.

During the meeting, two men expressed interest for Nambooze’s seat and applied for it. Among them was Ntulume Kyeswa, 30, a real estate dealer. The other contender is Godfrey Matovu.

Nambooze refused to apply, which many interpreted as disrespect of Mao’s leadership. If she doesn’t reconsider her position, she will have to contest as an independent.

The outcomes of last month’s meeting have not left her the same. Since it ended, Nambooze has been attempting to balance her affair with both Mao and Besigye.

Meanwhile NRM’s Beatrice Yiga the former LC3 boss for Goma sub-county and Lillian Nakaweesi are laying ground for the the seat. This could give Nambooze a hard time.

With a split opposition vote, Iga stands high chances. Nambooze, on the other hand, could gain from her strong attachment to Buganda Kingdom.

She has always portrayed herself as Kabaka’s staunch supporter, which may win her votes from the king’s loyalists.

Betty Nambooze torn between Besigye and Mao

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