Who is Kibalama?
Nothing has become clear about Kibalama yet. Reports say he was born in 1962, in Buwambo Village in the present day Wakiso District. They indicate that he attended Uganda Martyrs High Senior Secondary School Lubaga for his O and A-level education before joining Makerere University Kampala for a degree in Business Administration.
He appears to have joined the Uganda Police at some point and later became an escort, driver-cum bodyguard of the late former President Milton Obote.
Many reports claim Kibalama became linked to Derbyshire Constabulary in the Midlands, UK where he appears to have attained training in VIP protection and escort duties, arms detection and disarmament techniques. Some reports say he got an apprentice diploma.
When Obote was toppled for a second time in 1985 and Museveni capture power in1986, Kibalama appears to have join activism to the new rulers.
“I wanted to continue with politics and that is why I registered a political party in 2004 called National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURP). I have been doing my work and that is why my party might have been silent for now,” Daily Monitor quotes Kibalama as saying.
But it appears Kibalama has also worked with the NRM government. He was part of the logistics management team during the Bududa landslide tragedy between March 2010 and August 2010.
What is not in doubt is that Kibalama is a man who is able to strike a money deal. But it is intriguing that he struck a US$5million deal with Bobi Wine without any documentation. According to Kibalama the alleged promises from Bobi Wine were not documented and there was no formal or legal understanding with Bobi Wine and team. The agreement was completely on mutual understanding.
Recent events; like a court case two NURDP members filed against Kibalama, Bobi Wine and top officials of NUP, have exposed Kibalama as a man who changes his mind in the heat of the moment and is capable of speaking with both sides of mouth. Those who know him say he speaks Swahili, Lumasaba, Runyankore, Rukiga, Luganda and Acholi.
It seems doing things in a rush and later changing his mind is part of Kibalama’s DNA. In 2010 Kibalama attempted to contest for president but chickened out. After picking the nomination forms to challenge President Yoweri Museveni in the 2011 election for the country’s top seat, Kibalama changed his mind reasoning that comedians’ expression of interest in the presidency had made it look cheap. By then commedians like Paddy Bitama had also expressed interest in running for preseidency.
So, Kibalama opted to compete for an LCV Councilor position for Gombe sub-county in Wakiso District. He argued that politics was not only about the presidency. He lost this contest.
The contradictory character of Kibalama was recently brought to the fore when he and his lieutenant, Paul Ssimbwa, signed contradicting affidavits in a case in which he and Bobi Wine are accused of changing the party’s name from NURDP to NUP fraudulently.
It remains to be seen how the Kibalama saga will affect the nascent NUP party and its leader Bobi Wine.