FORMER VICE President Gilbert Bukenya is wondering what has lately been happening to his former boss President Yoweri Museveni. We can reveal that, while meeting MPs who last week went to his Kakiri-Lwantama home to secure his signature to recall the House, Bukenya told them : “I swear this is not the Museveni I knew.” The MPs were led by Kyaddondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
Bukenya willingly gave them his signature after which he engaged them in a long conversation reflecting on Uganda’s political future which he said was very uncertain because of the “unpredictable way our friend [Museveni] is conducting himself these days.” Sources have revealed that during the conversation with the MPs, Bukenya furiously blasted Museveni for his recent angry outbursts at a press conference during which he indirectly referred to MPs as “idiots and fools” simply because they expressed reservations with contents of the police findings claiming their colleague Cerinah Nebanda died of alcohol and cocaine overdose.
Sources quoted Bukenya as wondering whether Museveni expected MPs to reciprocate his utterances by according any respect to him. “I’m surprised our friend has forgotten so fast what is in the constitution. I’m surprised he doesn’t realise the extent to which using such bad language on us MPs, who are people’s representatives, can jeopardize constitutional order in this country,” sources quoted Bukenya as saying.
Bukenya also told the MPs he wanted that special session because it can be used to remind Museveni about provisions of the constitution which make it mandatory for him to respect parliament as an important arm of government. “That special session can be used to interpret for him the rules and privileges of parliament which show that nobody should use such disparaging language on MPs,” sources quoted Bukenya as saying.
He added that in his view Museveni is either too busy these days to acquaint himself with such basic provisions of the law or is simply too angry to respect constitutional order any more. “How can you publicly vow to raid parliament and arrest MPs? How can you say parliament isn’t American embassy? Are the two even comparable in the first place? I was surprised that our friend [he likes calling Museveni “munaffe” which in Luganda means our friend] has forgotten the immunity and privileges we have as MPs in that House and that is why he says police can raid parliamentary buildings and arrest MPs from there.
It’s really sad and that is why I have no problem giving my signature to recall the House so that we re-assert our authority as the legislature. I have no doubt we are now under siege by an individual: not even by the entire executive which is why we must fight back using that special session,” sources quoted the cracking Mahogany as vowing with unprecedented determination written all over his face.
Bukenya’s Woes With M7
Since losing his VP job and subsequently being humiliated in the Anti- Corruption Court, Bukenya has been a fierce critic of his former boss. One time he justified his consistent absence from NRM caucus meetings in State House saying they had degenerated into mere tea parties where any serious substance is rarely discussed. Sources say Bukenya is these days always in his country home at Lwantama, if not at his small bar in Kakiri town, from where he discusses politics with villagers mostly from his Busiro North constituency. Besides that, he often meets Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, former DP boss PK Ssemogerere or even the Kabaka himself to lament about what he says is the declining quality of political leadership in this country.
Sources close to him say in Wakiso district, where NRM is increasingly getting weakened and annihilated compared to the dominant presence it had five years ago, Bukenya is mostly fraternizing with opposition leaders like Matia Lwanga Bwanika, the Wakiso LCV Chairman who in 2011 humiliatingly defeated Bukenya’s archrival Ian Kyeyune. Bukenya is among those senior NRM cadres who fault President Museveni for being in the habit of using and dumping colleagues under very humiliating circumstances.
He feels he was used and dumped and he is on record warning his successor Edward Ssekandi to be careful saying there are many mafia groups in NRM that will be out to frustrate and bring him down. Whenever he comes to parliament, which we must state he rarely attends these days, Bukenya easily cuts the demeanor of a man who has fallen on hard times. He no longer has a driver: he chauffeurs himself and likes parking at National Theatre where the parking assistants often harass him for non payment of parking fees.
He was recently heard grumbling to colleagues that: “Why should these young girls be harassing me like that as if they don’t know that I was one time a vice president in this country? Why is only me all the time being harassed over these small parking charges?” He feels someone is using these parking assistants to harass, humiliate and even demystify him politically ahead of 2016.