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Gilbert Bukenya: From Mahogany to Mushroom


Gilbert Bukenya: From Mahogany to Mushroom

Prof. Gilbert Bukenya when he went to opposition

Prof. Gilbert Bukenya when he went to opposition

From the Outside Looking in

Turncoat. Fifth Columnist. Miscreant. Unreliable. Unprincipled. Not to be trusted! These are some of the descriptions one hears from the public about Prof. Gilbert Bukenya’s change of heart in renouncing his membership of The Democratic Alliance in favour of returning to the NRM party and President Yoweri Museveni, who he had roundly denounced after his dismissal from the vice presidency in 2011.

True, True, he would have been forgiven for lambasting the NRM for its Mafia character, even while he belonged to it, if after long ago having noticed that he would have sought refuge elsewhere.

But it is not admissible that after being trusted by the Opposition TDA, he should turn round to claim that, now, it is Museveni who has the credentials for leadership of the country. If that were the case, why did he seek the leadership of and in TDA? It meant that those people in the TDA, too, had the required leadership credentials, including himself.

Bukenya has been taken to task over this bad-tempered behaviour, not least by his own party members of the Pressure for National Unity (PNU). He has now come up with other explanations that do not pass muster. He claims that the TDA presidential seekers are greedy and that they failed to address his concerns.

One of the reasons he accuses the TDA “leaders”, is that they could not give ample explanations to how they expected to redress the issue of land-grabbing in the country. Bukenya was vice president for 11 years; as such we assume he was in the vantage position to, at least, influence change on this matter.

How come that, he now waits to join the opposition and then ask them to come to grips with the issue. Moreover, when he is not named the TDA presidential candidate, he turns round and goes back to Museveni who has failed to address the issue all that while?

These are contradictions that beg for another explanation for Bukenya’s pathetic attitude, not the one he is purring forward for the consumption of the public.

The media has been awash with what amounts to some credible explanations. Bukenya ran with eagerness to claim what were the arrears he had not received after he was sacked from the vice presidency. So, he formed the PNU and joined the opposition to rally them around to claim his emoluments. Is that it?

This has a more valid ring of credibility when one considers that work on his Katomi Kingdom and its attachments, had ground to a halt; and he was merely seeking for a way out to continue with their construction. Bukenya, by this argument, was merely looking for a lucrative sponsor for his investments.

If it was not the TDA, then he could easily turn round and use the information he got from briefly belonging to it and pander it to the highest bidder for use in the forthcoming general elections. It turns out the NRM, and Museveni, were thirsting for such information.

Thus Bukenya was merely shopping for money. Then, who is greedy, one may ask? By rejoining the NRM and the very people he had had no kind words for, Bukenya has demonstrated a high lack of principle and that he is willing to mortgage his reputation; if he still has any as an academic, and his integrity; if he still responds to the moral inconvenience he has had to go though while being a member of the NRM.

On both these scores the public wonders what kind of a person is a professor of Public Health who does not appear to have any modicum of academic excellence to which he would have had to swear in his Hippocratic Oath. Moreover, having known that he had rubbed shoulders with the Mafia, he should have had the boldness to quit when the time was due.

What is worse is that he has rejoined the same Mafia, he has been running away from. What kind of individual is this? This same Mafia has done some indescribable acts to him; what is his game plan? Having one time compared himself to the hardy mahogany tree, one would be forgiven for calling him a mere mushroom, now.



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