By Arnold Arinaitwe
It was September 09th 2022 that the Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake and his wife Bridget Namirembe tied the knot at St. Noah Mawaggali Cathedral, in Kiyinda-Mityana and later their reception at Gombolola grounds attended by dignitaries turned into a political stunt!
Politicians across the political divide in Uganda save for a few NRM members of parliament, dignitaries from Buganda kingdom attended Zaake’s wedding reception that has raised serious questions to the fate of political maturity in Uganda.
On the wedding day however, Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Nuwagaba who also doubles as the opposition attorney general carried the speaker’s message and cash gift of Shs10m which was very specific and referenced Zaake’s invitation. Zaake’s reaction upon receiving the envelope remains a very despicable act. Grabbing and throwing the envelope on the ground was the least we would expect from an honourable Member of Parliament.
The stunt was successful in the moment, but an embarrassment to the diligent political, cultural leaders, in laws and omukungu Ssembuusi Butebi, Father to Zaake, who picked the money. When they could not hold the shame anymore, the Buganda officials had to just walk away. They were followed by NRM MPs like Phiona Nyamutooro the national female Youth MP, Agnes Kirabo the Youth Mp Buganda and others who had out of courtesy to a colleague volunteered to be part of Zaake’s entourage.
An insider in the opposition shadow cabinet has provided more information about Among’s Shs10m to Zaake. Apparently in the Tuesday meeting, furious members demanded an explanation from MP Niwagaba why he represented the speaker yet Zaake never wanted and in his explanation to the cabinet Niwagaba said that when he received the money and letter on Thursday he called Hon Zaake to inform him and Hon zaake was disappointed that the speaker had promised Shs20m but was now sending only Shs10m.
Zaake according to sources even asked Niwagaba to deliver the money that very evening before the wedding but Niwagaba told him there was a lot of traffic and therefore he would deliver the money on Friday since he was coming for the wedding which he did. He was so surprised that Zaake who was aware and was waiting for the money, turned around and threw it.
Many voices increasingly doubt whether NUP with people like Zaake’s Character can be trusted with power. People are afraid that with this kind of anger and political dishonesty the Kamwokya group can plunge the country in chaos instead of bringing peace. NUP as the youngest Political party in Uganda without formal ground structures at the onset failed nurture and orient politically its leaders neither has it used available political capital internally to draw a formal internal structure to contain its “Dogs” in public. And it’s not by surprise that senior political leader in the party have opted shun the party headquarters in Kamwokya that is becoming a cult of myopic political dwarfs who only seek to insult them in public under the guise of the struggle.
Talk about the Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga. The Kamwokya group seems so angry at how Mpuuga conducts himself with a lot of calmness and restraint. At this rate the public may want to know, what exactly does NUP want? There are also rumours that Zaake is one of those seriously eying the LOP position and he is doing everything possible to drag Mpuuga in whatever thing he can think about.
Reports say Zaake’s anger stems from the fact that he was knifed from the Parliamentary Commission and he thinks that Mpuuga should have begged on his behalf for Anita to forgive him. While ill-motivated Zaake constantly made contacts with Among he has maintained to the public that he is not bothered by the position. Yet his desire to remain at the commission led him to strike a deal with Among which saw their infamous hug in Kololo at her election.
The writer is a Pan-African