Buganda Premier Charles Peter Mayiga has defended his tribesmen’s decision to overwhelmingly vote for Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) for presidency, saying he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
Mayiga was responding to President Museveni’s criticism of the voting pattern in the January 14 election that saw Kyagulanyi’s National Unity Platform (NUP) sweep most MP seats in the central region.
“Instead of people looking for how to solve the social economic issues of the people, they now bring back sectarianism. Like you saw the voting, for instance in Buganda,” said Museveni on Saturday.
Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and several Ministers lost their Parliamentary seats in the election.
Mayiga, who took part in in the Local Government Council elections at Lweza in Wakiso district, said Baganda tribesmen’s decision to vote their fellow should not be regarded as sectarianism.
“In Buganda, there are many reasons that could have forced the people to vote the way they did. For instance, the health sector, education sector, poverty, unemployment, roads, corruption, land grabbing and many others,” said Mayiga.
“There are many other things that we want; we for instance want federal system of government. We have been asking for Federal for over 30 years. All those are issues that I think NRM leaders should address with courage and humility instead of picking on Baganda. It is very bad for national unity,” said Mayiga.
“I believe those could be among the reasons why people in Buganda did not vote for NRM -instead of putting sectarianism at the forefront, which is absolutely untrue. They should look into those issues. There are many other places that did not vote for NRM, for instance Busoga, Busia etc. I don’t think all that is being tribalistic,” he added.
Ebigambo bino nabyo bikulu. pic.twitter.com/Rz2neUvh1y
— Charles Peter Mayiga (@cpmayiga) January 20, 2021
The development threatens the fragile relations between Buganda and the central government.
Museveni’s strategists believe Mengo and the Catholic Church rallied support for Kyagulanyi and NUP in the recently-concluded elections.
They claim NUP is being used as a vehicle for reviving Ganda nationalism.
Earlier this week, Kyagulanyi publicly acknowledged support received from the Catholic Church and Mengo for his campaigns.
“We shall overcome someday. The efforts of our fundraising team, our diaspora team, the Catholic Church and the people of Buganda cannot go unthanked,” said Kyagulanyi.
Museveni last week said NUP’s ‘New Uganda’ campaign slogan was a cover for conservatives to return Uganda to the old tribalistic politics that sowed seeds of anarchy in the 1960s.
On his part, Mayiga said the issue of Baganda voting for Bobi Wine and his NUP should not be considered tribal because people in western Uganda overwhelmingly voted for President Museveni and NRM.
“In Ankole, they massively voted for NRM. So, where do you place that? It is not about tribalism. What needs to be done is to look into issues that are affecting the people,” he said.
Palace sources told ChimpReports that Kabaka Muwenda Mutebi remains unhappy with the killing of his subjects in the central region by security forces during last year’s protests in Buganda.
At least 54 people were killed in riots sparked by the arrest of Kyagulanyi and Patrick Amuriat over alleged violation of COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
Kabaka Mutebi has condemned the killings and called for deep investigations to bring perpetrators to book.
On the other hand, President Museveni said only those who succumbed to stray bullets would be compensated.
Tensions between Mengo and the Central government in 2009 triggered riots leading to destruction of lives and property.
Museveni last year slammed Mayiga for opposing the National Coffee Bill which proposed the issuance of licenses to coffee growers.
In February 2019, President Museveni and the Kabaka met at Banda palace where they agreed on central government returning in sequences the remaining Mengo assets, mostly buildings, verified land titles, and financial compensations as well as rent arrears for estates being occupied by government.
In total Mengo claims close to Shs 165Bn, although half of this is yet to be verified. President Museveni directed that the verified Shs 52Bn be paid in three financial years.