Independent candidate, Joseph Mabirizi, last evening sparked rounds of thunderous mock laughter at Serena conference center when he suggested that all Ugandan women should be “represented down there”.
While appearing on the first ever presidential live TV debate, Mabirizi was asked for his views on the women empowerment in the country.
“We shall make sure women are empowered down there,” he stated.
The moderator, also BBC journalist, Alan Kasujja, sought for clarification as to what Mabirizi meant by “…down there…”
Kasujja: “Down where?
Mabirizi: “As in down there…”
[Thunderous laughter from the audience]
Mabirizi: “We shall cater for them from up to down.”
What the candidate actually meant was that he would ensure that women are given positions of leadership on every committee from the highest level of government to the lowest.
Tweeps couldn’t let the statement go without adding some bit of mockery to it.
Former FDC female activist, Anne Mugisha, said on her Twitter handle @AnneMugisha that: “Mabirizi evokes laughter from audience even before he opens his mouth. On women he wants them on all committees up to down there!”
Anne Mugisha, her rating of the winners and losers at the #UgDebate16, gave Mabirizi, the Worst Performance slot, the Best Performance to Maj Gen Benon Biraaro, and Most disappointing to former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi.
Sexy and extremely gorgeous NTV news anchor, Sheila Nduhukire, wrote on her Twitter handle @Snduhukire: “I don’t want to be represented from up to down there…No Mabirizi. No.”
Another tweep thanked Mabirizi saying, “If for nothing else, for comic relief [atleast].”
On arrival at Serena, Mabirizi told press that the presidential race in Uganda was not on a level ground.
“For example I was ‘adapted’ [kidnapped] in Busoga,” he said.
“I ‘adapted’ in Jinja,” he repeated, “and police didn’t believe me.”
Asked why he was the best candidate, Mabirizi said: “all the other candidates have passed through the bush, I am the only one who has not.”
On the possibility of losing the election, he said, “I don’t think I can lose this election. The indicators are, all the youth are ready to vote for me.”
Mabirizi explained that while all the candidates have good manifestos, its him who has the best approach towards “whatever we want to do for the nation”.
“I have plans A B and C. Don’t vote those who have history of vote rigging. I will not allow it. Vote me in.”
Kacungira then asked Mabirizi if he has seen any agreement on oil and whether he thinks Uganda should continue to invest in oil.
Mabirizi: “Oil is not only thing we should invest into. We should inject more money in tourism and agriculture. Oil prices are going down.”
When asked by moderator and KTN news anchor, Nancy Kacungira, what he would do to address Uganda’s debt burden which stands at $6bn, Mabirizi went comical.
“It’s all about debt management,” Mabirizi stated.
He was pressed to explain what he meant by his assertion.
“A lot of money that we borrow is embezzled, I will fight corruption.”
He added: “Don’t just drag the culprits to prison, arrest them, confiscate property, and bar them from holding public office.”
He said for every Indian or Chinese working in Uganda, he will send a Uganda to work in China or India.
He said the current government is borrowing money without putting measures to ensure debt management.
“Money is being misused. In order to pay debt, you need to deal away with corruption …”
Kasujja then interjected: “Thank you sir.”