What is your education background?
I studied from Nyaburiza Primary School and Ruhanga and Masheruka Secondary Schools. I went to Uganda Christian University (UCU) for Bachelors of Education and completed in 2004. I went to Norway for a Masters in Education Philosophy and studied PhD in Education Management at Kampala International University, Dar es Salaam from 2008.
What have you been doing after your studies?
I taught at Modern Secondary School in Mbarara after graduation. Two months later, I got a job with Compassion International in Ibanda. After four months, I got a scholarship to study a Masters degree in Norway. When I returned, I worked with Child Fund in Jinja as a volunteer. I worked with several education institutions in Tanzania, helping them in designing the curriculum. A few months back, I came back to Uganda to pursue my political ambitions.
Why have you joined politics?
I was a leader in my student days. I was the one who initiated the UCU Ankole Students Association. My joining politics is mainly about serving the people of Ruhaama, this one person who needs help, this community that needs a change. There is one philosopher who said “never die before you serve humanity.”
What do you want to change in Ruhaama and the country?
There are some issues that have been given less attention. Go to our hospitals nationwide, people are struggling. Some of the medical workers are telling you that the drugs they receive are not relevant to people’s illnesses. When you address the hospital part, any person’s health is addressed. At Mulago hospital, people are sleeping on the floor. Can the Ministry of Health seriously look at people’s lives? Look at government schools, they are dysfunctional. Our leaders don’t have children in these UPE and USE. Some schools don’t have toilets, some don’t even have shelter; pupils are just under the trees. These schools have been left for those who do not have any other choice. People are very poor. We need to focus on things that affect the person at the grassroots; economy, education and health.
What is your ideal Ruhaama?
A community where we have people who are free to vote in an election, where we have functional schools and health facilities. The ideal Ruhaama should have a good referral hospital and motorable roads. Ruhaama should be free of jiggers. You cannot tell me that you are an MP representing people with jiggers in this century.
Why are you standing as an Independent candidate?
Voters have been asking me that, and my response is: I am one person with an independent mind. I wouldn’t want to lean on any political party to bias my mind. I don’t want to be instructed that ‘for us as a party we have decided this’. What about the voter?
What is your take on removal of presidential age limit and extension of MPs’ term of office?
Voices of the masses should be respected if you are pro democracy. When you go to communities, people have given up, it’s like their country has been sold. Ordinary people have lost hope. The MPs said ‘yes’ yet the community where they come from said ‘no’. In our time at school, teachers would tell you that you are the next president, they would say: ‘I am teaching the next president, next MP.’ I don’t know whether teachers can now say the same to inspire pupils and students.
What do you say about President Museveni contesting after the end of his current term?
To me, he shouldn’t because we have Ugandans within the NRM and other parties who can lead this country. Let NRM front another leader, people in villages ask me whether there is no any other person who can lead this country. You saw what happened to [Robert] Mugabe. Should we wait for that when a person has to be carried to give a speech as if we don’t have other Ugandans to lead? Then what is the essence of teaching? What is the essence of having schools, what is the essence of having someone going to university?
Aren’t you worried and concerned that the President and First Lady, who are from Ruhaama do not support you?
Why should I be worried? I am not. Having their support would be a good thing and I ask them to support me. My focus is working for people. May be my worry would be if my life was in danger. The President will be campaigning for the NRM flag bearer, let him campaign for his candidate but let the voting be free and fair.
What challenges have you met so far?
People’s perception about politics. When they see a candidate, they see money. I blame that approach to politics on the government. I am running a money-free campaign, and wherever I go, I am telling people not to sell their vote. In some places, we were told that these people do not vote, they are voted for. People working in government can’t openly support a candidate who is not NRM, they fear losing their jobs.