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Will Rukungiri wrestle the presidency from Museveni in 2021?



As the clock slowly ticks away to the 2021 polls, the battle for the presidency is shaping up between Rukungiri and Kiruhura, with President Museveni set to be given a run for his money by two of his former trusted allies.

Even before nominations are opened up, six politicians from Rukungiri have already indicated that they will be challenging President Museveni for the country’s Number One office in next year’s presidential elections.
Lt. Gen.(rtd) Henry Tumukunde’s campaign is already up and running while Col. (rtd) Kizza Besigye is being courted by his party, the Forum for Democratic Change(FDC), to have a shot at the presidency for the fifth time.

Col. Besigye has been coy about his plans for 2021 but, as was the case in 2016, he is known to keep his cards close to his chest and spring a surprise against his political rivals.
Mr Charles Rwomushana, the former Director of Political Intelligence at State House, has also written to the Electoral Commission indicating that he intends to start consultations about running for the presidency.

Youthful politician Moses Byamugisha has also confirmed that he will be running for the presidency. Byamugisha came third in the 2017 race for the FDC presidency.
Mr Ambrose Kyomukama a Kanungu-based trader, and Ms Darlene Kamusiime, another Rukungiri politician, are also toying with the idea of running for the presidency, making up a list of six Rukungiri candidates for the presidency. These come up after the trial of Mr. John Patrick Amama Mbabazi who hails from Kanugungu which was formerly part of the greater Rukungiri contested against Museveni in 2016. Mr. Mbabazi was regarded as one of President Museveni’s inner handlers.

With Gen Tumukunde, Col Besigye, Rwomushana, Byamugisha, Kyomukama and Kamusiime, that means Rukungiri will be fronting four candidates against President Museveni in next year’s election.
Rukungiri is a crucial area in Uganda’s politics as its sons played a crucial role in the 1981-86 Bush War that brought this government to power.

Rukungiri businessmen financially supported the NRA rebels and some fighters have since admitted that the war would have been an uphill task without the logistical support of Rukungiri.
Businessman Garuga Musinguzi and others like John Nsheka, John Kyamatuuku, Salongo Nkumanya, Stephen Tukahirwa, Obadia Muheru, Stephen Banyenzaki and Charles Banya were the financial backers of the NRA war.
Suffice to note that on the night before the February 6th 1981 attack on Kabamba barracks, NRA rebels led by Mr Museveni met at Mathew Rukikaire’s house in Makindye, another critical contribution from the son of Rukungiri.

Rukungiri also contributed fierce fighters like the late Aronda Nyakairima,Col Kizza Besigye,Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi and Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.
As a member of the Nairobi-based NRA External Wing, Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was also very critical in mobilising resources to bolster the fighting forces.
However, most of those who contributed to the Bush War have since broken ranks with President Museveni, accusing him of betraying the ideals that inspired the war.

Col Besigye, Lt Gen Tumukunde, Mr Mbabazi, Mr Rukikaire and tycoon Garuga all do not look eye to eye with Gen Museveni and desperately want him out of the presidency.
In next year’s election, Mr Museveni will face the full wrath of the people of Rukungiri.
In the 2018 by-elections for the Rukungiri Woman MP, Mr Museveni got a sneak peek of what awaits him in 2021.
Mr Museveni was so desperate to win the election that he poured over Shs 2b into disparate groups in the district, as a sweetener for them to vote for the NRM candidate-Mrs Winnie Matsiko.
Mr Museveni and Mrs Matsiko were, however, humiliated as FDC’s Betty Muzanira polled 50,611 votes against Matsiko’s 46,379 votes.

That loss was particularly painful to Mr Museveni as he had camped in Rukungiri for days in a frantic attempt to humiliate Dr Besigye in his own backyard.
In next year’s elections, Mr Museveni will face the unfamiliar challenge of Lt Gen Tumukunde.
Lt Gen Tumukunde comes with the advantage of understanding the system inside out, having been the oil that run the NRM machinery in the 2016 elections.

That explains why Mr Museveni panicked when Lt Gen Tumukunde declared that he would be running for the presidency and arrested him.
In Col Besigye, Mr Museveni will face a seasoned opposition politician whose national appeal is guaranteed.

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Making sense of a thick neck Museveni cabinet




President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni



A thick neck isn’t defined by a certain measurement. Rather, it’s measured in proportion to the rest of your body in terms of height, weight, and composition.

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Accordingly, the same description can be said of the latest cabinet reshuffle by President Yoweri Museveni.

The naming of former Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence operative and a one term Education Minister Maj. Jessica Alupo, Vice President and Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro district Woman Member of Parliament as Prime Minister perfectly suits the above description.

Politically both ladies are suitable for their positions but will they match the game of the day?  A quick look at Maj. Alupo, she has been politically struggling to make a return from political oblivion after she was beaten by Violet Akurut who defeated in 2016 Katakwi district Woman seat, Alupo, apart from her spying skills, she hasn’t gained much experience that comes with job of Vice President. Yes, she could be loyal to her party but in terms of real state craft, Alupo can’t match the likes of Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe. In picking Maj. Alupo, Museveni could have wanted to deflate Busoga politics by bringing in a Catholic and from Teso also in Eastern Region since the Teso overwhelming voted for him. Anyway, that said but what is the job of VP? And perhaps President Museveni wanted amuse the Iteso with presidency convoy that comes with VP status as described by Maj. John Kazoora in his book.

President Museveni talking to Akurut and Alupo at his campaign in Katakwi last year. (Picture by Godfrey Ojore /NV)

Enters Robinah Nabanja, the Kakumiro/ Kibaale iron lady, is a loyal servant of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) having started as a mobilizer, Resident District Commission to Member of Parliament, State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties and now Prime Minister.

Nabanja is assertive and a go-getter. She is a mobilizer but little is known about her in matters of boardroom politics. The Office of the Prime is the second highest department in government after presidency, it is vital and coordinates key ministries and government agencies and therefore, with Nabanja being named PM, will she be up to the task given that the office she is given needs someone of a critical thinker and a leader?

The PM is the leader of government business in parliament and is mandated to coordinate all government interests. The previous PMs that have served in the same position have proven that indeed one must be equal to the task as demonstrated by late Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and Ruhakana Rugunda. But it is never too late, let’s accord PM Nabanja her time.


Rebecca Kadaga as 1st Deputy PM and Busoga politics

Rebecca Kadaga

The former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has been nominated as 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs. She takes over the affairs of the East African region. The slot of 1st Deputy Minister has been unoccupied with Ministry of East Affairs being run separately. She is deputy to Nabanja. However, her appointment is surprising given that she is a former Speaker, could it be that it was her own downplaying of VP position that Museveni didn’t name her VP?

Still in Busoga, Museveni named former Gender State Minister Lukia Isanga Nakadama as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Without Portfolio, she replaces late Kirunda Kivejinja a fellow Muslim. She is from the greater Iganga district and has wide network of Muslim networks. Political experts believe that the reentry of Isanga to cabinet as 3rd Deputy Prime Minister was to balance the politics of day given that Kadaga who previously served as Speaker had been reduced to 1st Deputy PM and remains a popular figure in the region.

Busoga further saw the entry of NRM Secretary General Justine Lumumba as Minister of General Duties office of the Prime Minister, Mariam Dhoka Babalanda as Minister of Presidency replacing a fellow Musoga Esther Mbayo.

Lukia Isanga Nakadama


Sanctions/ ICC factor and historical factors


With reported Untied States travel and economic sanctions looming on heads of individuals that were listed by United States government, President Yoweri Museveni hasn’t taken a gamble with those threats. And that is why is so.

General Elly Tumwine the outgoing Secretary Minister is among the names that were listed as to have violated rights of Ugandans during the just concluded elections. Coupled with arrogance in which he exhibited himself to the public, it was prudent that Museveni had to send Tumwine home though he has gone back to his docket of Senior Presidential Advisor on Security.

Gen. Elly Tumwine, security Minister.

Sam Kutesa He is another former Minister whose name has been soiled with bad scandals and publicity for a long time. Kutesa has maintained that he has been a target by his colleagues and detractors because of his closeness to the first family but that hasn’t helped as his name keep on coming in many alleged international scandals. However, sources say Kutesa had opted to retire from mainstream politics and this could be explained why he never contested for his parliamentary seat.

Sam Kutesa

Ruhakana Rugunda popularly known as Ndugu, is the outgoing PM who has finished his five years as Prime Minister smoothly. He leaves the show a clean as he came. He has been appointed as Special Envoy for Special Duties Office of the President. With Rugunda, Kutesa and Tumwine out, this leaves Museveni with only two historical in government and these are Major Generals Kahinda Otafiire incoming Internal Affairs Minister and Jim Muhwezi, Security Minister.

Former Prime Minister Dr Rugunda.


Entry of Gen. David Muhoozi the outgoing Chief of Defence Forces has been appointed new State Minister of Internal Affair, he replaces Obiga Kania who has been moved to Lands. Muhoozi’s appointment has received warm welcome among his peers who see him as clean and young man who is likely to being new energies with new strategies in government that is mostly dominated by the old guards.

Gen David Muhoozi

Muhoozi distinguished himself a strict observant of the law and that can explain why his name has never surfaced among those that violated human rights as alleged by US.


Kiryowa Kiwanuka also known as KK is another smart chap that comes in as Attorney General. He has previously played behind scenes in major legal battles regarding President Museveni and government.

Kiryowa Kiwanuka

So, the thick neck cabinet which has been named will be associated with power and strength. it is large enough but nothing much will be gotten out of it as described by the two individuals above (Vice President and Prime Minister).







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NUP endorses Nalukwago Judith as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant




Nalukwago Judith

The National Unity Platform (NUP) has endorsed Judith Nalukwago as Makerere University Guild Presidential aspirant.

Nalukwago was endorsed shortly after the young Makerere strike machine; Obed Obedgiu Derrick opted out of the race. Obed announced that he will not be offering himself as a candidate in the highly anticipated Mak guild elections as the new election roadmap is yet to be released.

“Salutations to you friends, I shan’t offer myself as a candidate in the forthcoming elections as was the case earlier. Thanks to all and sundry for the unwavering support,” Obed wrote on Facebook.

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Although Obed had won the flag bearer primaries early before the closure of the University due to the Covid-19 pandemic break-up, he has decided to give way to the fellow people power member Judith Nalukwago to aspire and promises undying support for her.

In a series of posts on her social media handles, Nalukwago announced that she will be running for the position of Guild President. She says that the seat of the Vice Guild President offered her an opportunity to assert her beliefs and push more for affordable education and education reforms.

“The Vice Guild Presidency presented to me a great opportunity to assert those beliefs and push more for affordable education and address systematic injustice against students in general and women in particular. This struggle is always a work in progress,” Nalukwago said.

She added, “The task before us is an uphill one, but the power of our resolve will be the steam that gets our train moving. In the coming days, I will share broadly about this noble aspiration and what I have in plan for us all.”

Makerere University might get a female guild president after seven years. Anne Adeke Ebaju is the Youth Female Representative in Parliament.

The University now has four candidates in the race; Tumusiime Joseph (independent), Ogutti Aaron (independent), Muhwezi Maczxxon (NRM) and the only lady Judith Nalukwago (NUP). However the competition is between the NRM flag bearer and the NUP aspirant as they wait for the date of 30th March to decide the new elect Guild President.

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FDC’s Ibrahim Ssemujju Declares Bid for Speakership




Kira Municipality Member of Parliament and opposition Forum for Democratic Change – FDC spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has declared his bid to challenge incumbent Rebecca Kadaga in the race for Speaker of parliament.

Ssemujju, a vocal opposition strongman made his bid public on Tuesday March 9th while appearing on local television, NBS.

Ssemujju becomes the third person gunning for position after reports about deputy speaker Jacob Oulanya also planning to challenge his boss Kadaga.

This story is still being updated.



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