21 January 2013

Uganda: NRM Plots Kiwanda, Nambooze Ouster

Some members of Parliament of the ruling NRM are pushing for the ouster of Buganda Parliamentary Caucus Chairman Godfrey Kiwanda and his deputy Betty Nambooze of the Democratic Party.

The push for the removal of the two, who are considered weak and too opposition-leaning, was discussed at a meeting held on the sidelines of the retreat in Kyankwanzi. The meeting was reportedly convened by Kyamuswa MP Tim Lwanga Mutekanga and Ruth Nankabirwa (Kiboga Women) on Tuesday.

Some NRM-Buganda MPs accuse Kiwanda of being a weak leader, governed by his deputy Nambooze, a source in meeting told The Observer. This source also told The Observer: "The MPs accused Kiwanda of supporting DP's Mathias Nsubuga instead of NRM's Alintuma Nsambu in last year's Bukoto South by-election...." Kiwanda was also faulted for his "involvement in the petition to recall Parliament following the death of Cerinah Nebanda".

Kiwanda is alleged to be involved in the plan to restore presidential term limits. He is also said to be aligned with the opposition pro-Buganda MPs like Medard Sseggona, Mathias Mpuuga and Moses Kasibante.

Kiwanda replacements

The meeting proposed Tim Lwanga to replace Kiwanda as chairman, a position he once held. The meeting also suggested that a moderate opposition MP or an Independent should take over as vice chairperson. The meeting backed Kyankwanzi Woman MP Anna Maria Nankabirwa to become General Secretary replacing Benny Namugwanya (NRM, Mubende district).

However, Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo labeled the meeting a kangaroo court because the complainants had not been invited to plead their case.

Kiwanda, Nambooze speak out

Kiwanda, who is still in Kyankwanzi, admitted that the meeting took place but dismissed it as untenable. "As members of NRM-Buganda, we had a meeting and some issues including my support to [Mathias Nsubuga] Birekerawo were raised but they could not unseat me because I was not elected from Kyankwanzi," he said.

Nambooze was not surprised by the report, "All this shows that Museveni's move is to see that Buganda caucus acts under his armpits ... and to isolate people like Nambooze. That is why he can go and order CBS to send me away from their radio and he is now looking for any other avenues where I have a voice," she said.

Kiwanda and Nambooze have up to the end of 2014 before their term elapses.

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