It is interesting that the medi
a reports and commentary have either deliberately or unknowingly steered clear of Janat Mukwaya’s reputation in Mukono South. They have instead, in typical fashion, chosen to applaud her on an involuntary decision to quit – which by the way us lot in Mukono South already new about. Not because Mukwaya told us BUT because the writing was written on the wall.
Seeking re-election in the face of an imminent loss would not only have resulted in disaster for this veteran minister and former bush fighter but also a telling commentary on the friable state of the Museveni government – a gigantic edifice of repression, corruption, ineptitude and malfunction.
People here are so fed up, like no other in this country, of their MP. Mukwaya’s reputation in this, my home constituency, had fallen like a sack of hammers that there was no way back if she dared seek re-election. A look at the previous two elections would certainly tell you why. In the election before the last, she had her nose rubbed in mud by Wasswa Kanakulya, only the latter to be stripped of the seat as his academic qualifications were later found not to fit the bill; a misfortune that meant Mukwaya was in to share the spoils. We all know how she was vehemently wrestled in the most recent election.
This woman, I respect for her services to constituency and country, had no other option than to quit politics to avoid getting battered in 2011 and no amount of her trademark intimidation and all sorts of election malpractices would have stopped the people of Mukono South to unleash punishment. Oh yes! Mukwaya – like Museveni – is incapable of winning a free and fair election. Particularly the last two elections have been marred in Mukwaya engineered intimidation/threats (and some times, low key violence), and coercion of voters or her opponents.
Most of these things have gone unreported by the mainstream media BUT the are all too common here. Her departure brings a sense of relief BUT it is not the end of coercion here.
Now there is talk of NRM fronting, in 2011, Mrs Sekiziyivu, a woman without any known close ties with Mukono South, although she occupies the district’s women’s seat and lives in Mukono North – migrated here from Kiboga where she was Woman MP, (1992-1996). NRM peer, Bakaluba Mukasa, the man who was at the heart of rigging in the disputed Mukono North election rambles on; may also have a last ditch effort here, in Mukono South, as Nambooze makes Mukono North a no-go zone not for him in 2011. That is not to say we do not have home-grown talent here who may throw their hat in the ring.
I am not so sure whether there are any NRM votes left here. Mr Museveni was here recently and the locals largely snubbed his visit; and it easy to see why most of them stayed away. There is genuine and ever-growing resentment in this resilient corner of arguably the most dynamic district in the country. The president’s continued cajoling of support out of voters here (on promises – which we have heard before in previous campaigns – of the laying of Mukono-Katosi road) has so far fallen on deaf ears. What they did painfully note though was his belittling remark, during his ‘Bonna Bagagawale’ promotional tour, that he didn’t understand “why people ask for power and tarmac roads when they have no incomes”…adding that “you first buy the shoes you will use to walk on the tarmac”. The roads here – all loosely surfaced – are despicably potholed, dusty, largely impassable and accident hotspots in most parts of the year.
Whatever happens, anyway, the sun will shine on a Mukono South election 2011 without Mukwaya.
THE PEOPLE HAVE OVERCOME!
Kalule Mbowa is a native of resident of Mukono South – Lived and schooled here and will probably die here.