By Mbabazi Hanning Gonzaga
In the land of bonanzas, the Pearl of Africa where wonders never cease, a poor powerless woman crosses the red line by attempting to confront the Sabalwanyi of Uganda, Gen Yoweri Museveni. The poor woman who knows no boundaries until she is embarrassed is non other than Hon Rabecca Kadaga.
When the Sabalwanyi made his point clear, Kadaga took it for granted & went ahead to declare a war between legislature & executive. Little did she know that she was playing with fire, to be honest the war is between Kadaga & Museveni & not the two arms of government!
Kadaga is a product of Museveni who appears to be turning against her maker. Having always contested as a woman MP since 1989 courtesy of affirmative action, Kadaga can not claim to be powerful or even to be emancipated! But also having been appointed by Museveni as a minister & becoming a Deputy Speaker & later Speaker courtesy of NRM caucus that sits in state house, Kadaga remains nothing but a mask without Museveni.
Her collapse began when Kadaga was rumoured to be one of the possible successors to the throne. This was due to her stand on homosexuality law, rebel MPs expulsion, former MP Nebanda’s death & oil saga, amongst others. She positioned herself as a defender of Parliament & people’s interests. Also being a woman & being from Eastern region was an advantage in a country where politics is polarised along tribal lines as alleged by some.
Kadaga used her office to entrench herself & build a powerbase. With the other offices like Vice President, Chief Justice or Prime Minister being appointive, Speaker becomes the second powerful office in the country. Because Kadaga has a network of elected MPs across the country whom she directly supervises & former legislators whom she worked with, Kadaga is the second most connected politician in government.
Kadaga used this office to allow MPs allocate themselves all privileges like personal vehicles, unnecessary travels, salary increments, burrial allowances among others.
She used this to compromise MPs anticipating future prospects of supporting her Presidential bid.
Kadaaga became an international star when she chaired the Inter Parliamentary Union, started delivering investors to the President. I proved Kadaga’s appetite for cheap popularity when she declared non existent medicine for Corona Virus!Without even bothering about the Minisitry of Health, World Health Organisation etc Kadaga could not wait but to declare how her friend had discovered the said medicine.
Locally she turned herself into a King maker of Busoga politics marking it as her territory, she took part in the Busoga Kingdom affairs, turned herself into the hope of civil society by receiving their several petitions. She started launching projects like Busoga livestock project & many other projects countrywide! She once launched a 40bn sate light project, i wondered how Museveni who even launches a water tap could allow Kadaga to launch such a big problem! I simply knew Kadaga was soon approaching her fall.
Her master was reading her steps, being a strategic military man who doesn’t take risks, Museveni had to find means of taming Kadaga. The first step is when Hon Oulanya contested with her & Museveni had to intervene. Kadaga should have known that she had no power without Museveni.
Now comes 2020 & Kadaga attempts to grab money, 20m each for her MPs. First of all, Parliament would have passed a resolution to have its MPs do something in the fight against Covid 19, then they would beg for resources from Minister of Finance or make a virement or re-allocation within Parliamentary budget, but they opted to grab a budget presented by cabinet to suit their interests.
Kadaga thought that as Museveni wins the war among the populace then herself should retain her MPs & that explains why Kadaga kept advising MPs to use the money regardless of Court order or Attorney General’s advice.
So it was a show of power among Kadaga & Museveni whom would MPs follow? Gen Museveni had to embarrass Hon Kadaga as a powerless woman in the face of her own army (MPs) & later call the same MPs to promise them more money & formation of constituency task forces.
President has directed auditor general to investigate MPs who bought food items instead of giving it to Covid 19 task force. Some MPs may be forced to refund, those who don’t have money may run to the President for rescue. Kadaga will remain an abandoned haunted woman! She was slapped in the face, beaten with her own stick & crushed in her own movie.
In the next campaign, Hon Oulanya will be blaming Kadaga for misleading MPs & causing unnecessary fights with executive. I see Hon Kadaga losing the speakership unless she rediscovers her boundaries & act within those limits.