Namuganza: I am a princess and member of the royal family of Nkono chiefdom [in Busoga Kingdom].
In 2012, when I had just been appointed deputy RDC of Luwero District, my father [late Christopher Mutyaba], the Chief of Nkono and acting Kyabazinga at the time took me to the chambers of the Speaker of Rebecca Kadaga and introduced me to her. He stated that “this is my daughter who has just been appointed deputy RDC and I’m requesting you never to fight her because she is beloved daughter and I have a lot of expectation in her future.”
Obote: Hon Members, I wish to reiterate this; that this is a commie of Parliament. Let us have decorum towards each other. There will be an opportunity for everybody to respond if there is any particular part of this statement that you find laughable. ... kindly allow the minister to present her statement so that we can proceed.
Namuganza: Thank you Mr Chair for your guidance. In 2014, after a long illness for which I was using my meagre resources to treat my father, he passed on. Being at his death bed afforded me an opportunity and privilege to know a number of things from him. As such I’m profoundly knowledgeable about the royal issues in Bukono Chiefdom in particular and Busoga in general.
Namuganza: Hon Chair, the late chief of Bukono [Mr Mutyaba] informed me in the presence of my other siblings and a host of other family members that his preferred heir is his last born ... Emmanuel Kalyoowa. In matters of law, a confession of a dying person once collaborated becomes factual.
None the less, the succession issue became controversial owing to the fact that the late Chief Nkono was survived by many children from several mothers.
The succession contestations attracted the intervention of the wider royal family of Bukono ... thereby proposing that a neutral person other than the children of the late Christopher Mutyaba should become the Chief of Bukono.
The succession issue made it cumbersome to organise and hold the last funeral rights and installation of the heir as dictated by culture.
Two successive attempts geared at arriving at an amicable successor ended violently; in fact, it took the intervention of police to save lives as protagonists had turned up with crude weapons.
At this point, President Museveni intervened and advised that since it was election season the succession matter should be stayed and handled at a later appropriate time.
Interjection (Agaba Abas): I am referring to the guidance you gave at the beginning that the witness would touch on pertinent issues in her document, but reading word by word may drag the committee.
Namuganza: But these are very important issues.
Enter political season
Committee (Chorus :) She is proceeding very well, we are comfortable.
Obote: I am conscious of the time we were given to handle this matter and the fact that the committee has its specific areas of interest that it wants to draw deeper into. At this point, I will allow the witness to allow reading the statement but request that... you could skip, I cannot tell you where but I leave it to your discretion.
Namuganza: Thank you Chair for your guidance. I was informing this committee that I contested in the primaries of 2015 for the NRM flag for Bukono County. The Right Honourable Rebecca Kadaga never supported my candidature. Indeed, it was widely perceived by the electorate that my main challenger was a front of Kadaga. The primaries were held five times and produced shambolic results, courtesy of external influence; there was a lot of violence that resulted in serious injuries suffered by the constituents.
In fact, President Museveni was infuriated by the interferences of Kadaga in Bukono politics and called for a mediation meeting which sat at State lodge in Jinja on December 24, 2015. Ms Kadaga contrived to forestall the election of a formidable member of parliament in Bukono.
Whereas I lost the NRM flag, owing to the chaos and violence, I had landslide victory in the general election conducted in February, scooping a directly elected seat.
Installation of Nkono chief
When this issue of Bukono chief heated up, President Museveni called me on February 27, 2018, and asked me to go back to Bukono and deliver his message to the family members of Nkono, the other members of the royal family of Bukono and the entire population of Bukono.
The President’s message was that they should hold on, not go and install the Bukono Chief because he was going to intervene very soon.
In her bid to buttress Prince Gabula Nadiope, Ms Kadaga mooted a scheme of dethroning legitimate chiefs and replacing them with illegitimate ones who would then be sycophants of Prince Gabula.
In this endeavor, he uses wrong elements in the so-called Busoga Parliamentary Caucus where she is a self-appointed chairperson.
Indeed, the illegally constituted Royal Council, tampered with the Constitution of Busoga Chiefdoms which stated that the Kyabazinga will serve a term of five years. Instead, this clause of five years was amended to provide for a life Kyabazinga, thereby disfranchising the other ten chiefs and denying them the opportunity to ever become Kyabazinga.
In fact, the supervising ministry of Gender Labour and social Development has declined to ratify and gazette the illegal amendments. The issues regarding the tenure of office of the Kyabazinga are pending in Jinja High Court.
In a rather disturbing display of ego and unbridled supremacy, the Speaker flew to Bukono in a military helicopter which landed unexpectedly at Nkono Primary school, effectively disrupting the school programme and thereafter held a function at Nkono Memorial SS, which was closed. The Speaker infringed on the inalienable rights to education of the pupils and students as provided in the Universal declaration of Human Rights.
(Quotes Nelson Mandela on education)
This was a direct attack on my constituents by the Speaker. As if this was not bad enough, the Speaker went to my family and also my constituency without my knowledge and used derogatory and abusive words against me and also insulted the people of Bukono.
She uttered statements that threatened my life. In fact, she said she had opened up a war against me, let me hope that my appearance before this committee is not part of the war she promised.
Obote: I can assure you that this is a duly constituted committee of Parliament that is only answerable to Parliament and not any individual. Therefore, you are before this committee as part of the proceedings that were issued by order of Parliament under Rule 172 of our Rules of Procedure.
Namuganza: Honourable Chair and colleagues, as my family was marshalling consensus and compromise in regard to the delicate matter of identification of the heir and the Nkono in a manner also most similar to how Cardinals convene in a chapel in the Vatican to elect the Pope; and drawing from this metaphor, the Speaker was completely out of order to act like a Sheik [Muslim cleric] coming to declare a Pope in the Vatican.
To compound the mischief, the Speaker in her communication was oblivious of the fact that she was in Bukono and refereed to it as Busiki [another Chiefdom] thereby insulting the people of Bukono. She said, “ezira asobola kundobera kwidha Busiki,” literally meaning that “no one can stop me from coming to Busiki.” The Bakono looked on in utter shock.
As if to abuse the sanctity of the culture of Bukono Cheifdom, the Speaker swore in the so-called ministers who hail from outside Bukono Chiefdom and who are my known political enemies.
The actions of the Speaker have created a great rift within my family to the extent that family members do not see eye-to-eye. The rift has extended to the entire constituency and the Busoga region at large.
Her actions have triggered violence in a region engulfed in chronic poverty. Honourable chair, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in its State of Poverty Report (released Tuesday) which clearly indicates that Busoga is the poorest region in Uganda, accounting for a half of all persons living below the poverty line. This is very embarrassing and shameful.
Outburst, response, media captions
Consequent to the illegal installation of Bukono Chief, I visited my constituency to commission a water scheme where I wondered why a whole Speaker of Parliament would disregard and break protocol and commit a despicable act not only in my family but also my constituency.
While addressing the people of Bukono, the Speaker declared war on me and in turn some members in the so-called Busoga Parliamentary Caucus also declared war on me and she approved all these.
I stated that “why doesn’t the Speaker declare war on the poverty that has ravaged the region for decades; I further stated that the Speaker would have rather expended her time and energies on revamping the youths livelihood programme where Kamuli District had been put as number one on the list of shame.” This meant that the Speaker had failed to monitor and supervise a critical government programme meant to build the livelihood of young people in Kamuli.
[Quotes Mahatma Ghandi on poverty]
I also stated that other than engaging in unproductive fights which actually have been going on in the region among the political elites resulting in the region not receiving substantive special funding to address its development needs.
In fact, what is on record is that the Speaker lobbied and received from government, a jigger kit, and the concentration of these fleas was in Kamuli District, this is a fact.
That is why my statements on the current issues affecting Busoga resonate well with the majority in the region. In fact my development concerns have gained deeper attraction in the region.
Enter Busoga Caucus
The so-called Busoga Parliamentary Caucus claiming that I am their member, wrote summons clearly acting on the instructions of the Speaker, inviting me for disciplinary action. I did not turn up because they are not an organ of this Parliament.
The real issue I have with the Busoga Parliamentary Caucus is that they have been stealing my money which I want back with 100 per cent interest and a written apology. I have never authorised them to deduct my monthly salary anywhere.
The Caucus went ahead and constituted a kangaroo court in utter disregard of the principles of natural justice. In fact, in that meeting, there was no complainant and an accused; the Caucus was a judge in their own case.
Honourable Chair, this so-called Caucus sat in the premises of Parliament and uttered criminal pronouncements for which they should appear before this committee for disciplinary action. Among the pronouncements was that they had barred me from stepping anywhere in Busoga except in my constituency which I could access by air, they in fact barred me from doing any work whether private or government.
I want to report, that according to their actions, this so-called Busoga Parliamentary Caucus is just a clique of some disgruntled of members of parliament who have no credibility to write home about.