Former Katikkiros leading Mengo back to 1966 crisis
By Aisha Nankya (email the author)
Posted Friday, June 11 2010 at 00:00
The news of the two former Buganda Katikkiros (premiers) Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere and Dan Muliika declaring their support for the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC), a loose grouping of some opposition parties planning to field a single presidential candidate next year, leaves a lot to be desired.
The move justifies the saying that history does not repeat itself but it’s the [people] that repeat history. Mengo has a habit of always coming in the way of the Democratic Party (DP), make alliances based on selfishness and impulse and later crying foul. Yet it is the DP that has aways stood with Mengo during the hard times.
It was Mengo, for instance, who played a big role in blocking Ben Kiwanuka, a Muganda, from becoming Uganda’s Prime Minister simply because he was a Catholic. Today, they are standing in the way of Nobert Mao simply because he is a non-Muganda. What criteria did they use to choose the IPC to champion Buganda’s interests?
The two former Katikkiros who will obviously be representing Mengo interests in this move, admitted to being novices in politics. Secondly, they are offering blanket support on behalf of Buganda without even setting up principles or fully understanding the objectives of the individual political parties that comprise IPC. This is evidenced by Muliika’s appeal to the IPC to publish its manifesto, so they can know what they stand for. Can you imagine? This shows that they offered blanket support without even knowing what they are supporting. To quote DP president Nobert Mao, how can one enter a taxi without knowing its destination?
Mengo’s interests are permanent but how can one peg them on the removal of President Museveni? How can you put all your eggs in one basket? It is also surprising that the duo are both retired but have now come up to determine our destiny. Will they, for instance, appropriately accommodate the interest of the youth? Have they widely consulted and have they been endorsed to represented us? Can they tell us the difference between FDC’s Kizza Besigye, who has a high chance of becoming IPC flag bearer and President Museveni? How can you put Mengo and the Kabakaship on the line? Did they think of the other Kabaka’s subjects in the DP, NRM and other political parties? How can you alienate them? Where will Mengo run to if Besigye, whom the electorate has rejected twice, loses the third time?
Not long ago, Mulwanyamuli negotiated the Regional Tier that was to create an office of Katikkiro, by-passing Mengo. This was rejected by the Lukiiko of course but it is still on the table, waiting to be implemented. Muliika was later sacked as well for openly using the post of Katikkiro to campaign for FDC, among others. The two extremes coming together is suspect.
UPC’s Olara Otunnu is part of this cooperation but they strategically keep him away whenever they make appearances in Buganda. In effect the two former Katikkiro’s have not only allied with Besigye who has no political base in his home town Rukungiri and the entire western Uganda but with UPC as well, a party that abolished the kingdom and masterminded the killings in Luweero. How different is this move from the infamous UPC/KY alliance of 1966?
Mengo should strongly and clearly distance itself from the duo because they are putting all Baganda interests at stake. You can always ignore advice but cannot stop the consequences.
Ms Nankya is a social worker in London, United Kingdom