MP Atima: We need more appointments in West Nile for voting NRM
BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI
February 4, 2023
Arua. The Arua Central Division MP in Arua City, Jackson Atima Lee Buti has called for more appointments for the people of West Nile following the support they gave the ruling NRM party during the 2021 general election.
According to Atima, the people of West Nile gave President Yoweri Museveni more votes in the last general elections compared to any other sub-region in Northern Uganda, an effort which he says has not been recognized when it comes to appointments in the various government offices.
Atima made the remarks during the belated Arua City NRM 37th Liberation Day celebration presided over by Grace Freedom Kwiyucwiny, the Minister of State for Northern Uganda at Arua Public primary school playground on Friday.
This is after the MP who also doubles as the NRM part regional Chief Whip for West Nile rallied the public to continue supporting the ruling NRM government given the numerous achievements President Yoweri Museveni has registered over the years in power including peace and stability, infrastructural development, community empowerment, promotion of democracy, improved health and education sectors among others.
“West Nile became a game changer in the recently concluded elections. West Nile gave a very big percentage of votes to His Excellency Museveni but we have been generalized that this has been votes from Northern Uganda. Let us call a spade a spade, the game changer for President Museveni was West Nile but West Nile has received a raw deal, this one I have to say it as a regional whip” Atima remarked.
“We sent 40 MPs to Parliament who are NRM, which region has sent 40 MPs to Parliament who are NRM? If you go to our local governments, almost all our LC5s and City Mayors are NRM, 98 per cent of the Councilors in this region are NRM, so what else should we do for this government?” Atima asked.
Atima wondered why West Nile should continue being given a raw deal yet the region gives the government enormous support during elections.
“You (Kwiyucwiny and others) were Ministers of State in the previous terms, we now expected you to be Cabinet Ministers. Minister of State should be left for us who are new. Yes, this message must reach His Excellency! Hon. Minister Grace Kwiyucwiny, Minister Everlyn Anite, Minister Obiga Kania, these should now be Cabinet Ministers. We also need to become Ministers, when shall we become Ministers. Out of the 40 MPs who are NRM, some of us should be appointed so that we can learn from you,” Atima stressed.
He said they are tired of having MPs from West Nile appointed Ministers of State without being elevated to the position of full Cabinet.
“I have kept quiet for long but now I’m tired! There are several positions in this government. We have our sons and daughters who are seriously qualified. We have Engineers, we have Doctors and Lawyers among others but when it comes to appointments Hon. Minister, West Nile is left behind, for example, Ambassadors were appointed but we got Hon. Nusura Tiperu as the only person. When you go to other regions you find over five to ten are Ambassadors, we have no permanent secretary from West Nile yet we have guys with brains here too,” Atima emphasized.
“But when shall we receive these things madam Guest of Honor? We just shout NRM Oyee, NRM Oyee, shall we continue just shouting like that? Even diehard NRMs are not recognized, when they now die that is when the NRM Secretariat comes with an envelope of shs1m. Shs1m for my burial after serving for many years shouting ‘NRM Oyee’, wearing this yellow shirt and you get abused for wearing this yellow shirt, the government should really think about us,” Atima appealed.
But in response, Kwiyucwiny said she doesn’t want to comment on what Hon. Atima has talked about, saying there is another forum to discuss those issues.
“I have heard and people have heard but we can’t discuss it here. I also saw mine coming, this little one you are seeing me standing for, I thanked God for it and I also thank the President because who am I to be a Minister to begin with? So, I want to thank God first for that and then we shall do other things through dialogue.” Kwiyucwiny said.
She, however, urged the people of West Nile to take advantage of the existing peace brought by the NRM government to create wealth for themselves by embracing the various government programs like EMYOOGA and the Parish Development Model (PDM) among others.
The leaders went ahead to endorse President Museveni as their NRM party’s sole Presidential candidate for the coming 2026 general elections.