A man many thought of as aloof has slowly earned a position in the hearts of many (if the crowds have a story to tell). Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi started his campaign in Masaka where he addressed crowds at the golf course. His journey to Masaka showed a man who had evolved into a common man’s friend. He stopped at various trading centres to buy the popular “muchomo”-roasted meat on skewers among other things. For many who doubted his charm for the common man, this was a symbolic reply to them.
At Masaka, former Masaka Municipality MP, Shanon Kakungulu crossed over from NRM to join the GoForward 2016 team. Masaka gave many a perspective as to what was going to define Mbabazi’s campaign message.
He continuously stressed the need for change, and also took off time to deflect most of the blame upon President Museveni. “You may be asking, why are you Mbabazi offering yourself? You have been with Museveni for 30 years. What new thing do you bring,” he asked rhetorically. “I decided to contest because after a long time in politics, I know, as a leader there is time to do the right thing, change.” said Mbabazi.
Museveni was not spared from the blame; “The president has the utmost power in this country. Others are just delegated to do his work. We need to change governance; give power back to the people.”
Here are a number of issues he highlighted;
On Health: We know that 19 women die in labor every day. Our health system is in a state of crisis. We spend $150m seeking medical treatment abroad. We will invest that money in our hospitals for better services.
On Low Salaries for Public Servants: I know it’s little. I tell you today, we collect enough money, it’s just being misused. Once I am elected president, it will be world war against the corrupt.
On Federo: I will meet with officials from Buganda to discuss Federo and the return of ebyaffe. This I will not only do for Buganda but for other regions like Tooro, Bunyoro etc.
On Unemployment: We will set up laws to ensure investors do not employ their own labour force.