MBALE – Captain Mike Mukula’s allies from Eastern Uganda have alleged a plot to kick him out of office as a fresh storm gathers in the ruling National Resistance Movement party.
In public, there seems to be tight chemistry between the NRM Eastern Uganda delegates, whose dalliance looks unshakeable, and so is the political pretence.
The NRM vice chairman for Eastern Uganda Mr Mukula could be surviving on borrowed time in the NRM seat — and his survival as Vice-chairman within NRM Party is now in doubt — if fresh details of a plot to cut him to size by 2021 are anything to go by.
As the divorce in the ruling party gets noisy and messy, PML Daily has learnt of secret plans to block him from remaining as chairman [Eastern Uganda] and force him out before the national elections in 2021.
Although on June 22, Mr Mukula received Mr Mutembuli defected with Mr Bart Nsubuga the People Power Advisor for Butaleja district and Mr Paddy Kiyimba, the DP Chairperson for Butaleja district. He added that the three converts are a very big catch for NRM.
And a week later, he has received another group from across Eastern region crossing to NRM; the NRM delegates insist Mr Mukula has failed on his work as Eastern Uganda NRM vice chairman and want him replaced with the business mogul and former MP for Tororo Mr Sanjay Tanna.
Mr Paul Kimamati, the NRM chairperson for Bulambuli district says Mr Sanjay has been so instrumental in helping the NRM financially and in marketing it across the sub-region than Mr Mukula who only works for himself.
“If the party is to grow, then we need people like Mr Sanjay, who is not discriminative, he has the love for the NRM party, he has given and supported many people in NRM, I think he is a better candidate for us,” said Mr Kimamati.
The NRM chairperson for Mbale district Mr Masaba Muhamood says he has interacted with Mr Mike Mukula for sometime but that he believes that he has failed to unite NRM in Eastern sub-region.
“And I think time is up, he has played his role as a vice chairman, we appreciate it but it is time for another person. We need a person who is with us throughout like Mr Sanjya. Mr Mukula is in Kampala all the time and only surfaces when there are people crossing from another party to NRM,” said Mr Masaba.
Mr Benedicto Okiror, an ardent supporter of NRM from Kumi district says Mr Mukula has used the party to do his business but does not help the party at all and that it is time for him to go.
Ms Mary Nyachwo, an NRM leader at Nagongera says they are just waiting for the time of elections to kick out Mukula for Mr Sanjay.
Mr Sanjay says it is not his neatness and business acumen, it is not his ingenuous smile, it is not his colour, it is not his devotional attachment to NRM but his response to NRM supporters in terms of need that makes him stand out.
“I have responded to Covid-19 in this region, I have given out food, water, medicines, masks to cater for our people. For me, it is service above self and I want to promise that I will serve my party NRM, the people as long as they entrust me with the leadership,” said Mr Sanjay.
Asked whether he was wrestling with Mr Mukula or not, Mr Sanjay said, “We shall cross the bridge when we reach there,”
Although there is ethnic tension described here as an absolute factor threatening to tear Tororo between the Japadhola and the Iteso [the major tribes in Tororo municipality], Mr. Sanjay Tanna has risen above these that to describe him as an Indian would earn you a slap.
He has businesses across Eastern sub-region from Busia to Soroti and therefore employs a number of local people across all tribes and occasionally adds, “I am a Ugandan of Asian origin but I don’t believe in tribes but in humankind.
Former minister Capt Mukula now finds it difficult to retain the post of the NRM Vice Chairperson Eastern Uganda after key figures opposed to his leadership in Bukedi and Teso sub-regions started mobilising to unseat him.
It is this powerful post that senior Teso and Bukedi NRM bigwigs and other opinion leaders want the professional pilot and former Soroti Municipality MP to vacate. PML Daily has learnt that a top NRM cadre is leading the project to ensure that Mukula is not re-elected to that position when the national conference convenes to fill all top positions.
The senior cadre scheming Mr Mukula’s downfall is said to be holding meetings in Kampala where he is convincing sons and daughters of Teso and Bukedi that matter to consider pleading with all NRM leaders to abandon Mr Mukula for Mr Sanjay Tanna.
PML Daily has learnt that recently there were meetings at Kati Kati Restaurant and City Royale Hotel, Bugolobi mid and late last month where Mr Sanjya was in attendance and gladly accepted to take up the mantle to wrestle out Mr Mukula from the position of Vice-chairperson.
Mr Sanjay says he has already considered shelving his ambition for the Tororo Municipality seat currently occupied by Mr Apollo Ofwono Yeri of the NRM.
Although Mr Sanjay Tanna is expected to face questions on his loyalty to the NRM party because he opted to stand as an independent in the 2016 election for the Tororo Municipality seat, he is still keen on his bid to throw out Mr Mukula.
Mr Mike Mukula could not be reached for a comment as his official line was apparently not available for this.
WHO IS Mr MIKE MUKULA
Mr Mukula, is a former powerful MP and minister, is among the top 10 powerful leaders in Museveni’s ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
He is one of the Vice-Chairpersons representing the six regions of Uganda.
He is the Vice-Chairperson for Eastern Uganda, Hajji Abdul Naduli is for Central, Geoffrey Nyakaana is for Kampala, Sam Engola for Northern Region, Matayo Kyaligonza for Western Uganda and Simon Peter Aleper for Karamoja.
By virtue of his position, Mukula and his five colleagues are only below the National Chairman Mr Yoweri Museveni, First National Vice Chairperson Moses Kigongo and Second National Vice Chairperson Rebecca Kadaga, and wield a lot of power and influence in the party and government.