A former Ugandan Member of Parliament for Nyabushozi County in Kiruhura District has rubbished Maj. John Kazoora’s memoirs saying the former guerilla fighter lied about her.
Kazoora, now Secretary for Defence in the opposition Forum for Democratic Change party fighting to oust President Yoweri Museveni’s ruling party, published his memoirs recently that carried sordid details about the five year bush war that brought the current government to power in 1986.
In the book, ‘Betrayed by My Leader,’ Kazoora makes several nice references to Mugyenyi’s late husband Dr. Joshuua Mugyenyi but not so palatable ones about her. But she has since contacted Red Pepper Online to say, most of what the author said about her were incorrect. Below, she sets the record straight in a candid statement.
I believe books are for posterity and that is the spirit in which I went to the launch of Hon.John Kazoora’s book, Betrayed By My Leader. I looked forward to reading another book about the NRA war experience. I respect people that have the dedication to write biographies and I read them with interest. I read this book and I feel that it is necessary that I respond to the references made to myself, my late husband and my actions as a Member of Parliament.
The author states several times that he helped me to escape from our flat in Mitchel Hall in 1981 when UNLA soldiers came to arrest my husband, the Late Dr. Joshua Mugyenyi. He later states that twenty years later I de-campaigned him in Kashari (his former constituency) and in Mbarara.
Firstly, to the best of my recollection, I did not know Hon. John Kazoora as a student at Makerere University. I came to know him following his election as the Member of Parliament for Kashari, a neighbouring constituency to my own, Nyabushozi. We became acquaintances and colleagues when I joined Parliament in 2001.
In 1981 John Kazoora could not have taken me out of Mitchell Hall flat to my sister Naomi Nasasira’s (nee Rutamwebwa) room in Mary Stuart Hall(pg.40) because she had graduated a year earlier. She was working with Uganda BAT and living with us in our Mitchell Hall flat. As a matter of fact, I was with her, the late Dr. Kyamureku and our house keeper Edrida (RIP) when UNLA soldiers arrived in the flat, my husband had escaped through the back door. Naomi does not recall Hon. Kazoora being there or thanking him for assisting me(pg.118). All accounts of Hon. Kazoora’s involvement are not accurate .I have no recollection of his involvement except if he got involved after we left the flat.
By 2006 Uganda had embraced a multi-party system. Hon. Kazoora belonged to FDC and I belonged to NRM. We both campaigned for our respective parties. It should not come as a surprise that I campaigned for the NRM candidate at the time. Let me put it on record though that while in Kashari, together with other NRM flag bearers from the Ankole region, I did not campaign against Hon. Kazoora as an individual, but instead focused on soliciting for the NRM vote.
It is not my intention to discredit the author but given the five references (pgs 29, 40, 118 and 175) of inaccuracy that I personally felt the need to highlight, I can only wonder how many other elements have been misrepresented. Hon. Kazoora should be reminded that as we put pen to paper, we are writing for generations to come and we owe them the truth.
We should have the foresight and maturity to know that there is no permanency in politics. Today, we could belong to the same party and tomorrow we may not. Most importantly, we should respect the political decisions and choices made by others, not endeavor to create permanent differences.
Hon. Mary R. Mugyenyi,
Former MP, Nyabushozi County