Over the weekend, during a thanksgiving ceremony for Bugabula South Member of Parliament, and government critic Henry Maurice Kibalya, leaders of Busoga and in particular, Kamuli district, overwhelmingly endorsed Speaker Rebecca Kadaga as a sole candidate for the district woman seat.
In their resolution, the leaders hailing from; Kitayunjwa, Namwendwa, Bulopa, Butansi sub-counties decreed that Kadaga should stand as unopposed for the position she has held since 1989.
Also, a signatory to the endorsement includes; NRM women’s league, Youth league, Elders league and the PWD leagues of Kamuli District.
The resolution was signed by Kadaga on July 13, and she promised to serve the people of Kamuli district beyond 2021.
The words of Kadaga
While accepting the endorsement, Kadaga who is currently aged 63, said she was surprised with the vote of confidence, urging she would serve Kamuli to the best of her abilities past 2021.
“Over the weekend at the thanksgiving ceremony of Hon. Kibalya Henry Maurice at Bugabula South in Kamuli, I was gladly surprised with the vote of confidence the community gave me. I appreciate the gesture of the people of Kamuli and I give assurances of my service to you.”
Why plan was mooted
The plan to have Kadaga as the sole candidate in Kamuli has long been on the cards, with most leaders in the region fearing to upset the speaker who wields so much influence in the region.
Accordingly, Kadaga has the power to make or break anyone’s political career in Busoga. Many political hopefuls must first pay homage to her and ensure they are in good books for a chance at any seat.
Thus the plan to make her sole candidate was mooted following her stint with illness at the beginning of the year.
Nile Post understands that Kadaga’s illness opened a huge vacuum in Busoga, it paralyzed the region in that leaders came to understand that with Kadaga out of the picture, Busoga would be cast out like a dirty cloth.
Indeed, on return from sickness leave, Kadaga during a thanksgiving service in Kamuli Municipality questioned the Basoga what would have happened had she died.
“When I was in hospital, I was worried because when you look through the hierarchy of Uganda among the first 50 people, I am the only woman. Who would speak for my women? Who would speak for the Basoga and the people of Uganda?” Kadaga posed.
There is no doubt that Kadaga’s absence during illness affected several events in Busoga as most of them were put to halt, while it also for the very first time united Busoga as there were several meetings and events held to pray for Kadaga specifically.
For Kamuli district where there is heavy political bickering, leaders in the district set aside political differences and united for Kadaga’s sake. Her illness, therefore, provided a strange form of Unity for the Basoga and Kamuli in particular, hence was the driving factor in the sole candidature move.
How the plan was mooted?
So following Kadaga’s illness, a group of leaders led by MP Rehema Watongola, Prissy Muwanguzi, and a one Lukooki Magezi started a surprise campaign for sole candidature.
These urged leaders and voters to grant Kadaga a ‘stress-free environment to enable her to heal properly and concentrate on building Busoga’
The move was taken up and slowly endorsed in different regions.
Is it the first time?
This is not the first time that Kadaga is being given a green light to run alone. In 2016, Kadaga was allowed a lone run in the NRM primaries.
Following ging through unopposed in the primaries, Kadaga faced competition from four people in the national election but two fell out of the race leaving her with a one Deborah Mwesigwa and consequently marching to victory with over 60,000 votes range.
Mwesigwa dashed to court to petition Kadaga’s election, but she was pushed to withdraw the case silently.
Again in April 2016, Members of Parliament allied to Kadaga called for a sole candidature status for Kadaga in the Parliament speaker race. Kadaga faced stiff competition from Jacob Oulanya, but she went on lamenting how she was being cast aside because of being a Musoga and a woman.
Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko and Wakiso District woman MP Rose Mary Seninde came to Kadaga’s rescue, moving the Buganda caucus and other MPs to award Kadaga a sole candidature status.