I Agree with Semujju Nganda, Political Parties in Uganda Have their “Owners”!


A couple of Saturdays ago, Kyadondo East MP and Capital Gang panelist, Hon Ibrahim Semujju Nganda stated that one of the reasons he did not support the current FDC President Gen. Mugisha Muntu was because the noble ex-Army Commander hailed from the same region as the then outgoing President Dr. Kiiza Besigye. He stated something to the effect that transiting power from Rukingiri to Ntungamo (the home districts of Besigye and Muntu respectively)—neighbouring districts in Western Uganda was inappropriate since it risked branding the largest opposition  party as a political vehicle for Westerners—a view that will ultimately hurt its fortunes in other regions of the country where it ironically enjoys majority support.


Semujju Nganda makes his point on the Capital Gang

I must admit from the onset that I am a big fan of Semujju. I have read almost all the articles he has written. I look forward to his views on the Capital Gang–a weekly radio talk show on 91.3 Capital FM. At first, I was a little disturbed with his arguments on my favourite Saturday morning show. I found it so basic and pedestrian!

However, after a fortnight of reflection and observation of the developments in most parties, I now agree with the opposition legislator. Here are some examples from Uganda’s oldest parties that support Semujju’s point;

The dissatisfaction with the Protestant dominance in the colonial and post-colonial Uganda political scene largely inspired some Catholics, especially from Buganda to form the Democratic Party (DP) in October 1954. In other words, the DP was essentially organized to redress the discrimination of Catholics. Currently under the leadership of a non-Muganda President, the party is deeply divided in (tribal) factions.

As for the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Dr. Apolo Milton Obote, its Protestant founding President who is described as the “the culture hero, the prophet” of the Party hails from Lango sub-region. With his cultic following at home, it naturally follows that the Party is popular in Northern Uganda and outside it, to the Protestants! Actually, most if not all its MPs hail from Lango sub-region and they are very influential in the running of the party affairs.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) was founded by President Museveni with most of his childhood friends—majority from Western Uganda. It is these “historicals” who wield the most power in the party. The party also enjoys overwhelming support in Western Uganda. Museveni is a father-figure of sorts in the party.

JEEMA was founded by a Muganda Moslem and Education Consultant Muhamad Kibirige Mayanja who has since handed over to Asuman Basalirwa.

So with DP’s Nobert Mao being shunned by majority Buganda politicians; UPC shifting power from Dr. Obote to Mrs. Obote to Dr. Otunnu and now soon to Jimmy Akena (Obotes’ son); NRM permanently fielding its founding “best player” Y.K. Museveni as a sole candidate and JEEMA handing party leadership to a person of the same tribe and religion as its founder, I agree with Hon Semujju, that each political party in Uganda has its “owners” whose interests must be respected at all times.

It is a fact every political party member/leader should be alive to because if they disregard or undermine the interests of those “owners”, then their membership or hold on the party will be at a huge risk!


5 thoughts on “I Agree with Semujju Nganda, Political Parties in Uganda Have their “Owners”!

  1. Whereas you may be having the facts right my brother the biggest question before us is Why? To me this Politics of considering individuals and their places of origin can never take us any where. It is all about raising to the standard.

    • Sandy, of course it is very wrong but from the look of things, it appears many people are not ready for the real institutional changes that make parties stronger than its “owners”– real or imagined!

      • Truly Iduwat, Am one person who has respect for the famous Kasokoso legislator and have hopes that he would be the one championing true ideological building. He should be working hard to ensure that people indeed concentrate on issues but not where does he or she come from. It is unfortu7nate that the organisation he belongs to has just launched a fully fledged document highlighting their areas of interest but he gets such valuable airtime and instead of telling the country of how best the FDC will salvage the country he goes into triviolities nomatter how much they matter to him. We must graduate from the politics of asking Museven or any other leader ” How many RDCs shall your government appoint from my Tribe…to matter of real and practical measures to combat and reduce the Motality Rate, unemployment…etc….

  2. Besides all that, I may not be an authority to speak for other Parties but for the sake of the FDC, it is a democratic Party where the Majority takes it all. Mindful of the fact that people have emotions, but my brother we must equally know that the devil is in the details. A man of Semujjus’ stature to come up with such a lame excuse it is embarrassing. We chose the hard path we must walk it to the end.

  3. “Between 1962 and 1966 the political crisis of Uganda was characterised by two related problems – sectarianism and socio-economic underdevelopment. Uganda, and most other countries in black Africa, are still pre-industrial societies and they must be handled as such. Societies at this stage of development tend to have vertical polarisations based mainly on tribe and ethnicity” (Museveni 1997; Sowing the Mustard Seed, page 190). In essence, there has been no change in Uganda 53 years later. President Museveni has been at the helm for 24 of the 53 years of no change. In fact the ‘big-man’ crisis is getting worse in Uganda https://nowaraga.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-crisis-of-big-man-leadership-in-uganda/

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