KAMPALA – Last week, the Speaker of Parliament Right Honourable Anita Among told legislators and indeed the nation that she had received assassination threats on her life.
She however did not disclose any names and the reasons why these Assassins were interested in squeezing life out of her. A few days later, it was reported that her Chief body guard had fled the country to America, probably for his own safety or was it due to his connection to the threat.
The Speaker’s unexpected out-bust followed a demand by Katikamu South Member of Parliament Hassan Kirumira that the government provides answers to the whereabouts of Suleiman Jakaana Nadduli, son of former minister and bush war comrade Abdul Nadduli, whom unknown individuals in civilian clothes allegedly abducted in a drone.
It is at this point that the Speaker said there is a need for the government to take security matters seriously and investigate abductions as well as assassination threats to her own life.
The Speaker told parliament that she had received a report indicating that her vehicle was being trailed by suspected assassins to finish her. “I have got a report, I have only shared this with the leader of opposition but I can now officially tell you.
I have got an assassination report, wanting to assassinate me,” She did not disclose the source of her report and did not explain why she did not report to police. When asked about the fears, Police only said they had picked interest in the case and were going to investigate. It appears the police was not aware of the report.
Just a few months ago, Anita Among a.k.a Magogo forked out a billion plus from parliamentary coffers to buy herself an armored Mercedes Benz to enhance her security. It is not clear whether her decision to spend such colossal sums of money was influenced by her current fears or it was the desire to drive big.
It beats human understanding that the immediate outgoing Jacob Oulanyah (RIP) did not see the need for such high class security. Infact sometimes Jacob would ride on a Bike alone from home to office without fear of mafias disguised as assassins.
Recall Jacob Oulanyah was a Deputy Speaker for 10 years and is on record for having been pushed to preside over controversial sessions by government and her boss.
Despite all the controversies, why did Jacob Oulanyah remain a darling of many Ugandans and with no known threat to his life? What didn’t he fear that the current Speaker feels obliged to fear to the extent of making her fears public.
Within a short period of time, the Speaker seems to have accumulated more enemies than friends. It all lies in what the English call vindictiveness.
A person described as vindictive is usually someone who holds a grudge and who always tries to get back at people who they think have wronged them in some way.
Vindictive people retaliate against others for any insult whether imagine or real. Vindictive people do not let things go and will do anything to avenge.
A wise man Winston S. Churchill once said, you will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks at you. People who are vindictive never want to leave an enemy or perceived enemy standing.
I look at the animosity between Honourable Zake Francis Butebi and wonder if these two will ever bury the hatchet. Just a few days ago, the Speaker was all over Parliament venting out her anger because the Right Honourable Prime Minister had undermined her decision to ban the Nyege Nyege festival and in her own words, the speaker said “I want to remind this house that nobody will ever run this house so long as I am a speaker. Nobody! If you think you’re going to overrun the parliament of Uganda, you’ll not do it. I am elected by 415 Members of Parliament,” between me and you, such a statement was not called for save for the benefit of populism.
What is even more disturbing was the Speaker’s revelation that she had only shared this very sensitive information with the leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga. An ordinary Ugandan with commons sense would have expected her to share her fears with her new found love Moses Magogo who also doubles a Member of Parliament and later with her NRM Party Chairman, Members of CEC, the Police Boss, CMI or even the Clerk to Parliament.
In what many have considered alarmist, the Speaker asked the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Internal Affairs Minister to expedite investigations the allegation and report their findings within a fortnight. Correct me if am wrong, I thought the right thing to do was to share her fears with the relevant authorities in her chambers. Doing it on the floor of Parliament in my view raised more questions than answers.
One would think the Speaker has been gagged not express her fears elsewhere and so decided to go public probably for empathy.
At her current position as third in hierarchy, I think the Speaker was being erratic for no reason; somebody needs to move in quickly and guide how on how to conduct herself, for she is no longer the ordinary helpless woman in Bukedea.
Honestly speaking, if the whole Speaker of the legislature is fearful for her life, then who is safe.
Many Ugandans live at the mercy of their ancestors, the heavens and neighbours. Many still use rudimentary tools like spears, bows and arrows and at times pangas for their own security.
If an individual like the speaker who lives in the upscale Nakasero with fortified security manned by counter-terrorism police and SFC can have such fear, then we are doomed.
It is also an indictment on our security as a country. If it is true that the Speaker did not share her fears with any one, it means that even her own private security was not aware of the threat.
It appears many people within government are living in fear for one reason or another. But why live in fear in your own country. No wonder many are selling off their belongings and seeking refuge in exile.
It still baffles my mind that a whole Speaker can vent out her personal frustrations during Plenary as if other avenues have been closed. This behavior reminds me of a saying by Chinua Achebe that “Whenever you see a toad jumping in broad daylight, then know that something is after its life.”
But what should the Right Honourable Speaker do about these fears, take them for granted, my answer in no, assassination fears are real.
Assassination fears began with General David Sejusa who openly said the threats were part of a plan to pave way for a certain project that was being prepared to take over power. Before we knew it, Muhammed Kirumira, Major Kiggundu, Ibrahim Abiriga, Felix Kaweesi and dozens of Muslim Clerics were no more.
I had mentioned before in one of my dossiers that starting the year 2021, Uganda will undergo very rampant “ecdysis and moulting to create space for new skin”. For those who remember the science of insects and crawling animals know what I am talking about.
The only way new skin can be created by getting rid of the outer layer to expose the inner layer. Those who have wisdom may choose to read between lines to know what I am talking about. The old skin must be discarded to expose the new skin. Keeping a low profile and avoiding ambitions can help.
Mr. Roger Wadada Musaalo is a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician