President Yoweri Museveni wants to turn this [Pope Francis’ visit to Uganda] into another campaign, says Kyadondo East MP, Ssemujju Nganda.
Nganda was Saturday appearing on a political talk show dubbed “The Capital Gang” and hosted by Capital FM.
“…that the Pope has endorsed me,” Nganda quoted what he suggests Museveni will now start spreading at his 2016 campaign rallies.
Yet, when asked by NBS TV after escorting the Holy Father to Entebbe airport on his way to Central African Republic on Sunday, Museveni said: “Ugandans hosted the Pope. I didn’t.”
Museveni also said the Pope’s visit was very good for tourism.
“He was protected by the state without incident.”
Earlier, NRM Secretary General, Kasule Lumumba, had explained that the Pope’s visit was not about the ruling party but Uganda as a whole God-fearing nation.
In 1993, His Holiness Pope John Paul II visited Uganda and spent 6 days in the country.
In the subsequent “no-party” presidential election in 1996, Museveni defeated Paul Ssemogerere and Mohamed Mayanja by a landslide.
Although international and domestic observers described the vote as valid, both the losing candidates rejected the results.
In the following presidential election, held in 2001, Museveni won by a substantial majority, with Kizza Besigye as the only real challenger.
“The Pope has come to cleanse the NRM presidential candidate,” Nganda suggested while speaking at Capital radio.
Nganda who also doubles as the opposition FDC spokesperson, insists “Besigye would be a better President”.
During the papal mass at Namugongo on Saturday, Besigye was seen shaking hands with Museveni, something that has elicited many interpretations.
According to NRM, Museveni won the day for sharing that his party “tolerant and all-inclusive”.
According to FDC, Museveni had “humbled himself” to respect the “next president of Uganda”.
Nganda said his only worry to ensuring Besigye win in 2016 was the current electoral commission which opposition dubbed “Museveni’s walking stick”.
“EC is getting worse,” Nganda said. “I think Aziz Kasujja was far much better than Badru Kiggundu”.
Nganda says Kasujja had an EC that was able to call the NRM candidate to order unlike the current one accused of working on the whims of the ruling party.
Kasujja started out as a Commissioner at the Stephen Akabwayi headed Electoral Commission.
He was later appointed EC chairman en route to superintending the 2001 general elections cycle.
He left the EC in 2002 with close to three years on his contract still to run.
He also served as Uganda’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.