KAMPALA — Former Mbarara Municipality MP Eng. Winnie Karagwa Byanyima, who is currently serving as the UNAIDS Executive Director has denounced as “malicious”, a social media campaign advert involving her name by the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Eng. Byanyima who is a wife to former Forum for the Democratic Change (FDC) president Rtd Col. Dr Kizza Besigye, has through the Uganda Women’s Movement, distanced her self from the advert— saying her association with NRM ended in the year 2000 when she quit the party and co-founded FDC.
“The Uganda Women’s Movement at large is shocked by the credit that the National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O) political party wants to take for the strides Hon. Winnie Byanyima has made,” the statement reads in part.
Eng. Byanyima says she’s shocked that the NRM wants to take credit for her political and professional strides instead of addressing the exiting girl-child challenges.
She also says her global career growth is attributed to her parents and teachers who modelled and shaped her into the admired woman she is today.
Titled; The future is female – Winnie Byanyima, the NRM campaign advert says: “Winnie has enjoyed a storied career both professional and political. She’s currently the executive director of UNAIDS. She didn’t come out of the blue to get where she is. Winnie secured her future under Sevo [Museveni]. Woman, you too can.”
The advert seeks to influence women to vote for the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni who is seeking to extend his rule beyond 35 years.
See full statement
The Uganda Women’s Movement at large is shocked by the credit that the National Resistance Movement Organization (NRM-O) political party wants to take for the strides Hon. Winnie Byanyima has made.
Winnie is a committed member of the women’s movement in Uganda, Africa and a renowned global social justice advocate. Winnie’s parents, both political activists shaped her values, work ethic and socialist feminist stand.
Her mother, a women’s rights leader in Mbarara inducted her in women’s club activities when she was 8 years old. She is grateful to her teachers at various stages of her life, who inspired and challenged her to be the best she could be. Winnie credits her activist sisters and brothers of Uganda’s Women’s Movement for learning from them the skills and attributes that have helped her grow.
Winnie disassociated from the NRM in 2000 and co-founded the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) political party which she remains a loyal member of. Her public service nationally and globally was enabled by family, friends, amazing teachers, hard work and a passion for justice and excellence.
As such, therefore, she takes great exception to and offence by the NRMO political party campaign advert that falsely seeks to portray her as a supporter or client or product of the NRMO and someone whose life has been shaped and/or defined by the NRMO political party.
Contrary to what the campaign advert claims, women and girls in Uganda and across the world have a right to vote in elections, be elected in positions of leadership and make their voices heard in any process that will ultimately affect them, their families, and their communities. These in addition to her hard work is what propelled Winnie’s career both in political and professional spheres and not claims by the NRMO or any other individual to have ‘secured’ her future.
To the women in Uganda, we all have a right to political participation as a necessary step to achieving global gender equality and democratic governance. No individual should claim to have given us this right.