Kampala – The founding leader of the National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party-(NURP) which later metamorphosed into the National Unity Platform (NUP), Moses Kibalama Nkonge, has expressed his disappointment towards the current leadership of NUP noting that he has been let down by the people he trusted.
He claimed that NUP leadership is not following the constitution of the party and the terms and conditions of the agreement.
“Within a week, I found myself sidelined in NUP and wondered: ‘Is this what I negotiated for?’ Kyagulanyi and I are not friends,”he said on Monday while appearing on a local Tv.
Asked whether he regrets handing the party to Bobi Wine, Kibalama said anyone can make political mistakes which are regrettable.
“When you head a political party, you have an urge to get more members. You allow in as many as possible. I intended to have people come in and energise the party. I was very hopeful. Weeks later, I came to understand that I had teamed up with a gang who diddled me,” he said.
Kibalama said one of the biggest challenges in the leadership of the party is that the party is being run like a movement which shouldn’t be the case.
MUSEVENI IS A GENIUS-KIBALAMA
In a new twist of events, Kibalama has said President Yoweri Museveni is matchless and a genius.
“I can’t compare him to anything or anyone else,” Kibalama said.
According to Kibalama, Museveni is incomparable, having been able to shepherd the country for three decades.
“I cannot compare him to anyone else, here we are, and Uganda had a terrible history even in governments I served. Some governments lasted for only 63 days, some for six months, Binaisa and Yusuf Lule came and lived shortly, to find someone who has lasted for 30 years, that is a blessing,” Kibalama said.
He added that if Museveni invited him today on his campaign team, he would be ready to support him.
“I am a free man, if he invited me, I would campaign for him,” Kibalama said.
He maintained that he is still part of the opposition and his fallout with Bobi is specifically based on principles.
“Even when Bobi calls me and says here this is what we should have done, I will go back. But for now, I am a free man,” he said.
“I would back Bobi Wine for President then. I was sidelined by NUP but I still have a window of reconciliation,” he added.
Kibalama contended that the opposition has no chance of winning elections since they are poorly funded. “They need foreign funds, “he said.
Kibalama accuses Bobi Wine of promising him heaven and earth but to only deliver nothing making the entire situation seem like the Kiwaani Wine himself sang about more than 10 years ago. That in the discussions, preceding Wine NUP Presidency, People Power negotiators revealed they were anticipating a lot of money from their donors abroad. That he was promised this would be invested to boost his export business.
Saying “we have realized we have been dealing with wrong people,” Kibalama says he regrets ever getting down into any negotiations with the Kyagulanyi group because they don’t honor any of their words.
“They are a totally useless group of young men,” he says, adding that they just fell into Wine’s trap.
Kibalama also alleges that they were promised big positions in NUP but they have since been swept under the carpet despite being founders.
Former Secretary General Paul Simbwa Kagombe for instance Ssimbwa was supposed to be part of the NUP Secretariat in Kamwokya having been registered with the EC as the senior Administrative Secretary for NUP.
Ssimbwa ideally is the insider who knows the extent of rot and obscurantism inside NUP headquarters.
He says for the weeks he has operated with the Kyagulanyi group at Kamwokya, he has gotten the impression they aren’t serious at all. He says to them the party constitution, as is written, doesn’t mean anything because they do things in total disregard of the party constitution.
He claims that being the SG at the time Wine came into the picture, he knows much more than anyone else about the circumstances under which they came to partner with People Power which he contemptuously refers to as a mere pressure group. He claims that before zeroing in on their NURP, Kyagulanyi had unsuccessfully tried to find an old party to swallow under his wave.
He says the Kyagulanyi group at Kamwokya are too casual and untrustable because they aren’t even prepared to stick to the contents of the MoU they signed for the merger between People Power and what existed as NURP before the name changed to NUP.
He wonders how guys who can abrogate their party constitution in just a month can be trusted to lead a country. He also complains of personalization of the party as opposed to running it properly as a transparent institution.
ON HIS SECURITY, CDF
Relatedly, in an interview carried out at his home in Buwambo, Wakiso district, Kibalama clarified on the ongoing talk about his security, torture allegations and why he had to contact army chief Gen David Muhoozi.
“I am at home, I am happy enjoying my life, my freedom, I don’t have any complaints, my nails are there on my feet and my body is intact,” Kibalama said.
Over the weekend, Wine came out to allege that Kibalama was in great pain after being tortured meticulously by security operatives. “I got an opportunity to speak in private with Kibalama. He disclosed to me that he has been tortured in detention where he is held by security. He said one of his toe nails was plucked out.”
However, Kibalama held a press conference soon after and displayed his toes that still looked intact and fresh without any signs of torture. He further denied being invited by CDF Gen. Muhoozi claiming he is the one who tirelessly looked for him concerning his security.
“I am surprised that out of Lawyer’s questions, those individuals misinterpreted the fact that I meant the CDF of Uganda David Muhoozi. I would like to clarify my meeting with General Muhoozi. It’s not true that Gen. Muhoozi invited me to his office but I made an effort to contact the CDF because of my personal security at home and elsewhere. I had individuals I could not identify who would come in my compound at night to threaten or to harm me. I called the police sometime at 2am and fired in the air, the police later made a report and I insisted on getting protection from the state. I tried very much to contact Gen. Muhoozi and when I got him my discussions were simply and directly concerned with my security,” Kibalama said.
Kibalama also admitted that he was in Mbale for a period of two weeks and being guarded by the state but insisted he was not tortured.
Kibalama further denied allegations that he was surrounded by security operatives while in court on Friday. He claims he was a free man in court and that all the social media posts circulating are false.
“The court was supervised by police officers and in uniform, anything like government operatives I wouldn’t know because court was attended by many types of people. I deny, I didn’t see operatives inside the court. What I saw were many members of NUP, and many women and men who had interest in hearing court matters. So it’s not true that the court had operatives.”
Ssimbwa also alleges that party officials led by Secretary General Lewis Rubongoya confiscated Kibalama’s phones and passport for unknown reasons.
On Monday Bobi confirmed the passport is in their possession but was never confiscated.
Bobi Wine claims that NUP requested for Kibalama’s passport and other documents to assist him secure asylum.
“We handed these to a human rights lawyer who has been handling his file. Since he now needs it, we shall accordingly give it back to him as soon as he comes for it and signs to acknowledge receipt of it,” Bobi said.