Boston Dispatch | Former Ugandan Vice President Gilbert Bukenya Tours The Diaspora To Sell His Presidential Bid For 2016

Posted October 22, 2013 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Diaspora Dispatch ~ 5,970 views



On October 21st 2013 in the former Vice President of Uganda and MP for Busiro South who has declared his intentions to run for the Presidency in 2016 was in Boston to sell his agenda to one of  the biggest constituency of Ugandan living in the Diaspora. Below are some highlights of his interview with Mr. Godfrey Kaweesa and Mr. Nsereko Simple held at the Radio Uganda Boston studios in Waltham.

Mr. Bukenya who was happy to be in Boston started off his interview by giving a background to the NRM party.   NRM as a party started in 2002 before thenthere were no political parties. And he notes that he was never a politician to begin with but somehow stumbled in politics in 1996 and he didn’t even know the entrance to the parliament buidling or what they say in parliament.

Initially when he run for political office his goal was to help the poor in Busiro North. When he got elected to parliament, he was able to build his base and a following. He was overwhelmingly elected chairman of the NRM caucus in Parliament. After about 9 months President Museveni appointed him Minister of  Trade. He hardly knew the President then and was hesitant to take the post since as a medical Doctor he knew nothing about running a Trade Ministry but in the end he accepted the job.

Mr. Bukenya believes he was a appointed by the President due to his hard work  hard work and creativity and it was no surprise that in the next cabinet reshuffle he bounced back as the Minister in Charge of  the Presidency. This gave him an  great opportunity and experience to know the the inner workings of the President and his office..

After about a year on the Job he was appointed to the office of  the Vice President which really ticked off the NRM original historicals who felt that Mr. Bukenya  was quickly ascending to the NRM leadership. He claims he approach was collective responsibility to the government he was serving regardless of whether he disagreed with what was happening at the time.

He was a professor at four universities before joining President Museveni’s government  and also sserved as the Dean of Makerere medical school.  However he was a fun  of the president’s ideas and felt that these were good for the country.  He quoted the President saying that politicians that didn’t want to relinquish power were buffoons. He however called him a hypocrite in the long run after failing to stick to his promises.

However the former VP felt the  final straw came when the President refused the Kabaka to visit his subjects in Buluri, Bugerere and Kayunga in the pretense that people were waiting with pangas to kill the Kabaka only to find out that that was a lie.

He also noted that today one of the biggest problems currently facing Uganda is the removal of the right to peaceful assembly voted by the current parliament. He believes that parliament set themselves to fail after signing into law that a gathering of 3 pple without permission gives the police the right to arrest you. Museveni has a convincing language until you find out about his true colors. He says it took him a while to get out of government in order to gain experience in the inner workings of government. He said that he didn’t believe in quitting the game without a strategy.

As an example to the lack of priority in our politics ever since 1959 the beds in Mulago hospital have never been replaced. He referred to it as “bankruptcy of ideas and poor leadership” when it comes to the status quo of Mulago Hospital in Mulago. He urged Ugandans to unite but he was vague about whether he was running under the NRM flag or an independent come 2016. He said he’ll announce his political party come June 14, 2014.

He proposed that the opposition is better off uniting or fielding a coalition candidate to have a better shot at the Presidency. Leadership requires experience and is not an expedition.  The current gov’t has ruined the infrastructure and hardly any new infrastructure has been added to our national grid. The whites left us with 1262 kilometers of active railway lines. As we speak today, we are left with only 232 kilometers of active railway lines when Ugandans are in leadership. Is that progress or under development?, He asked.

During his vice presidency he boasts of introducing upland rice growing scheme on dry land. Before that Uganda used to spend about $90 million importing rice but as we speak Uganda only imports rice worth about $32 million. That’s a success story. People used to speak bad about Bukenya for spending a lot of time in gum boots teaching people how to grow rice.

He says he felt that they grew apart with the President when it came to particular issues like spraying citizens with tear gas, violation human rights etc..He also notes 209 members of parliament out of 210 seconded his vice presidency. That means he was not fired due to incompetence. About the criticism from Hon. Semujju, He challenged Hon Semujju Nganda to call the kabaka Ronald Mutebi and find out whose call he’ll pick up since it is on record that the Kabaka even refused to take Museveni’s calls. He also challenged him to who the kabaka would invite to his palace.

He believes that the Ugandan Diaspora is very crucial to the future development of Uganda and that is why he is visiting the Diaspora regardless of the fact that most of them don’t vote in the Uganda national elections.

The interview summary was supplied by Radio Uganda Boston.

About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.



    Bukenya has to realize that his association with m7 is a hand problem to overcome. VP who killed Dr Andrew Kayiira?

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