INTERVIEW BY OUR REPORTER
OPPOSITION Democratic Party (DP) Nakaseke South legislator Paul Ssemakula Luttamaguzi’s Four years at Parliament story is very interesting!
According to him, Parliament has four categorises of MPs. One of them, is that of dealers and conmen who are ever enjoying flights and women are the pivot around which their lives rotate. He says, these are both in NRM and opposition.
Luttamaguzi fell a victim of this very group during his early days at Parliament. He tells a hilarious story of how a certain MP conned him of his first salary.
To add to his misery, another lady MP offered him a deal to abuse a certain big person in government but when he rejected it, the woman MP blackmailed Luttamaguzi telling MPs how he was demanding for sex from her.
This popular radio and tv political talkshow panelist – turned MP has talked to The News Editor (NE) Online about his experience at Parliament and how he has conquered Nakaseke, the reknown ruling NRM Mecca. Read on;
NE: How is the ground? President Museveni recently criticised Nakaseke South people for electing a weak MP. Do you see yourself back in the 11th Parliament?
LUTTAMAGUZI: The ground is fine, ignore Mr. Museveni. We are delivering. About 2021, I don’t think our people can substitute their star Christiano Ronaldo.
NE: What is this quarrel boiling between you and Hon. Rose Namayanja.
LUTTAMAGUZI: Personally i dont have time to fight her. She was Nakaseke MP for three terms, once a minister and now NRM treasurer. Go and ask her, what did she do for Nakaseke? How did our people benefit from her? She has now brought her husband to stand against me in the forth coming elections.How has her foundation benefited Nakaseke. Even the road going to her husband’s home, it is me who lobbied government to work on it.
NE: Last year, you ambushed Hon. Namayanja’s function in Nakaseke and disorganized it. Are you worried that NRM want you out come 2021?
LUTTAMAGUZI : I don’t fear NRM. I floored them in 2016, they cant manage me. Namayanja organized a function at Kaddunda to launch her husband’s campaigns but when I ambushed her, she fell short of words. They thought I would not attend. They hired about 10 bodabodas to accompany him, but me i came with a forest of bodabodas. The function got to a standstill and groups of both male and female youth accompanied their MP. I received a wonderful welcome and Namayanja almost took off. She wanted her husband to contest unopposed in NRM. They must be targetting billions of Museveni money. Go and tell them, they are day dreamers. They will be humiliated.
NE: How do you assess your three years in Parliament? How far with your manifesto as the Nakaseke South MP?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Thank you. Am serving my first term in Parliament as Nakaseke South legislator. Nakaseke is the heart of NRA/M. This is where NRA rebels launched their rebel activities against then Dr. Apollo Milton’s ruling government. The NRA guerilla war swept through Nakaseke.Our parents bankrolled the guerilla war, fed the rebels, housed most of them from Obote’s wild soldiers and also, many picked arms and joined the rebels.Nakaseke became the district with most house-less orphans since their parents were slaughtered like goats during this five years’ war.As an opposition politician, it wasnt an easy task to wrestle and uproot NRM in Nakaseke and in general, Luwero triangle which is mostly reffered to as NRM’s Mecca. However i was massively elected and won Nakaseke South for opposition Democratic Party. I promised my voters to be their bold voice in Parliament, to enact pro-people laws and lobby for my constituency. My manifesto had a lot of promises. We made an agreement with my voters for them to trust me with their votes. Three years down the road, I am very happy to go to Nakaseke South and talk to our people, I am not like some politicians who blow their trumpets.
NE: Briefly, how did you convince staunch NRM people to vote DP in Nakaseke?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Not every one in Nakaseke is Pro-NRM. In fact, thousands are against this government. However, they needed a strong commander like me. When I presented my self, they definitely rallied behind me. Secondly, NRM government forgot the NRA guerilla war sweat of Nakaseke people. We were not rewarded. We don’t have good facilitated hospitals, no good schools, roads are impassable, our famers and cattle keepers are not getting any hand of help from a government they ushered in and our veterans are crying. There is no district with land grabbing cases like Nakaseke. Our people are homeless, their land was forcefully taken and their MPs were mute. We had to do something. I packaged myself well , swore to fight and stop the land grabbing mafias. Am happy voters listened and also bought my message. We worked together, looked for votes together, they funded my campaigns and on voting day, they protected our votes and our win. In fact Hon. Syda Bumba (Former minister and Nakaseke North MP) had plotted to use her influence to rig my votes in favour of one Sekabira saying, they can’t allow DP to win in NRM’s Mecca but Nakaseke South people vowed to roast her alive if she had dared. We were more vigilant and when it comes to vote protection, am superb because I got first class training in that field.
NE: Have you said you were trained to protect votes?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Yes sir. Many of you don’t know this. I was trained by Israelites. Worked with them in UN. Was trained about how to trust people, when do you laugh, security issues, what and where to eat, your movements etc. I went to polls with knowledge on how to study people and watch their movements. Syda Bumba and her team under estimated me.
NE: Who did you contest with?
LUTTAMAGUZI: The incumbent was Mbuga Ssempala. In the race, we also had Ssekabira (Now in People Power) and Dr. Ssengonze Damulira. All were NRM People and Bumba wanted it for Ssekabira. I blocked her games and since then whenever we meet, she salutes me because Bumba knows am a Gen. in vote protection. Am not an easy man.
NE: Back to your manifesto Hon. what have you done for Nakaseke South in the three years as their MP?
LUTTAMAGUZI: There is a road called Kisuule – Nakaseke – Kapeeka. It branches from Bombo – Gulu road and goes to Gen. Saleh’s Namunkekeera Industrial Park. It is one of the most busy roads but has been in a sorry state for decades. No one had ever talked about it. As the area MP I have lobbied for its construction. I approached minister of Finance, I talked to Gen.Salim Saleh and am happy to tell you that our negotiations are postive. The Contract was awarded to the Angola Contractor to work on the roadPayments have already been made to work on the road from Namunkekeera to Kituma. Can you imagine this Kisuule road has been all along on the 2006 presidential pleges and nothing has been done. Together with the district leaders, we have talked to the authorities to see it constructed. In my manifesto, I promised if voted, I will lobby for the construction of this very road. Everything is going on well. By 2021, we will have good results.
NE: And in the Parliament?
LUTTAMAGUZI: You go to the Hansard and The Parliamentary score-card. I saw them recently writing about me as one of the most active MPs in the House. I have been raising matters of National importance like land grabbing. If it wasn’t my voice in Parliament about land grabbing in Nakaseke, am sure 90% of our People would be homeless now. Villages like Balaatira, Senda, Nzingu, Kabogwe, Bendegere, Bamusuuta, Bukusu, Lwetunga, Nambeya, Kimegeredde, Nakaseeta, Ssakabusolo, Kibowa, Butakuli, Nabbiika and many other villages where land grabbers were chasing away our people with the help of army men. I fought and failed them.
NE: Is it because you are too vocal against land grabbing, that the Leader of Oposition appointed you Shadow Cabinet minister in charge of Land?
LUTTAMAGUZI: That is true and I want to thank Rt. Hon Betty Aol. Recently people from Mbarara approached me for help, someone was grabbing their land. Land grabbing is now country wide.
NE: You led Nakaseke People before Justice Catherine Bamugemereire land inquiry.
LUTTAMAGUZI: Yes and I want to thank Justice Bamugemereire for her efforts towards saving Nakaseke people from land grabbers. She has been to many villages like Kyererezi, Lwanda and Kasiga in Kapeeka Subcounty. A certain highly connected lady called Doreen Toberonda chased away people and many were killed. All that has been put to a stop.Justice Bamugemereire was even in Ngoma and worked on many land complaints there. I have been applauded for my great achievements in three years as the area MP.
NE: This common talk of mafia in government, are you not worried for your life assuming also there are mafias in land deals and you are now becoming a thorn in their fresh?
LUTTAMAGUZI: A leader must be strategic. If you become fearful, you can’t serve your people. Mafias are everywhere but we have to serve our people.
NE: Have they ever attempted to bribe you out of their way?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Very much and not with small money. Some one was offering me more than UGX 600M. His problem wasn’t money, but land. He only wanted me not to defend my people. I rejected the offer. Now what these land dealers have embarked on, is to fight me out of Parliament and are vowing to front candidates against me come 2021. Let them come, they will be humiliated. They have attempted to poison me, staged accidents, etc. Never at single time will I betray my people.
NE: Apart from land, how else have the people benefited from you?
LUTAMAGUZI: From my salary, i am giving back to my voters. I bought three cars: A truck, a bus and a lorry. If you have any function, you just buy fuel, you leave other costs to me. No other MP in Nakaseke has ever bought even a wheel barrow for voters. I have lobbied and many villages have got electricity through rural electrification Agency program. Go to vllages like Nakatandaggira, Lule in Sembwa, Mulungi omu, Toggo, Seeta, and others. True the program is countrywide but it takes an active MP to tap such programs for his or her people. I have friends from Turkey, they gave me an offer of five Mosques. We are launching them very soon like one at Kakonde and Nakawa.I have built many bore holes in different villages like Nakatandaggira and Kalege town.Am now rehabilitating Kapeeka hospital using my salary and my savings. The hospital had no electricity, I paid and reconnected, the hospital beds were very old and others broken, I have repaired all of them, bought sixty new mattresses and repaired the Xray machine for Nakaseke hospital.In Semuto Healthy centre IV i bought for them new mattresses and repaired their toilets. Am planning to work on staff houses.I recently asked Speaker of Parliament to cut my salary and reconnect Nakaseke Hospital to the National water grid.Q hospital like this needs running water to operate.I pay school fees for many helpless children, have bought sewing machines for different women groups in Ssemuto, Kapeeka, Kaasangombe, etc.I have built churches and used my money to work on all feeder roads.Towns like Kigegge, Kaasangombe and others, have been approved to be connected to National Water.
NE: Did you get government clearance to do this?
LUTTAMAGUZI: When you are a leader, you become part of Government. As an MP, I fall in the Legislature arm of Government. The remaining two are Executive and Judiciary. I don’t need to wait to be in a biger office to serve my people.
NE: On a certain radio, I heard you talking about Chief justice Bart Katureebe land in Nakaseke.
LUTTAMAGUZI: Yes, I saved it. A group of men came with huge sums of money to grab it but I stood my ground and blocked them.This land is at Natiji and has a farm on it. It is a big chunk of land and he has been owning it for so many years. You are a journalist, go ask him who saved his land. He will tell you, Luttamaguzi.
NE: Hon, how have you helped farmers?
LUTTAMAGUZI: I have been giving out seeds, hundreds of spray pumps, launched a campaign for all people to work in their gardens and am known for this.
NE: How have you found this parliament?
LUTTUTTAMAGUZI: It is a place where you meet differet groups of MPs. Some are extravagant ever on flights to enjoy life, some are dealers and some of these conned me of my first salary of UGX 20M. Some love rumourmongering and blackmail. There is a lady MP who sent me to abuse a certain big person and when I refused. I told her me am not hired to abuse people.She turned against me and told a group of MPS that I was demanding for sex from her. However, there are also good MPS who are pro people.
NE: Do you have friends at Parliament?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Friends for what? Did I go to Parliament to make friends? Me am self made. I don’t want friends. They are just colleagues. I don’t have a boss at Parliament be it opposition chief whip apart from the Speaker who heads the house. No body else can direct me. Voters are my bosses. They can only advise but not direct me.
NE: How do you rate the level of debate in Parliament?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Every MP was sent for different reasons. Some were elected because they buy waragi for their people, others because they attend burials, others were sent so that they also eat, while others because they are good lobbysits and can articulate issues. It is the Speaker to determine who is a good debater, who debates sense. That is not my work.We are all equal. The only MP I don’t want is that one who concorts words against me because i refused to dance to his or her tunes. Me am incorruptible. There are so many deals at Parliament and involving both NRMs and opposition. You can’t find Luttamaguzi in such circus.
NE: What do you learn from all this?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Life is a lesson.Not every one crying is in pain. Some are just mocking and hoodwinking public. Politics is like a film with many actors.This film has stages. Some play as opposition yet they are indeed NRMs and vice versa.
NE: What did you remember about the constitutional ammendment moment to lift presidential age limit? Anything you will never forget about that incident?
LUTTAMAGUZI: There was too much tension a Parliament. I learnt that every government has goals and objectives and will do all it takes to fulfil them.I also learnt that some of our People are not trustworthy. He or she tells you, ‘We wont touch it’ yet in doors, money is exchanging hands. Many duped voters, made them to think they are with them. This was a testing time of character. In opposition, many got huge sums of money to weaken those who were against amending the constitution. These have abnormal wealth. But you find our people chanting their names ignorantly. Many people in opposition are dealers, in bed with government.
NE: Where do you fall?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Me am self made. You can’t use me. I speak my mind. Many in opposition perfect their games and at the same time perfect their wealth increment. I can’t play such politics. You tell your supporters to stay in their homes not to work yet for you are filthy rich!
NE: You have a year to end your term. How are you looking at it?
LUTTAMAGUZI: I will continue serving my people. Some voters think you can satisfy them within a shorter period of time. That is impossible. Even Jesus the son of God didn’t do everything. Others will get annoyed but I always tell them to go and get help from other leaders.
NE: A part from being an MP, what else do you?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Am a farmer. If am not in Parliament, find me in my garden. I have very big banana and coffee plantations. Leaders should be exemplary. We must pratice what we preach.
NE: Tell us about your relationship with the Speaker.
LUTTAMAGUZI: Very healthy and for your information, Rt. Hon. Kadaga is my voter. I call her my Speaker, she calls me ‘my MP. Speaker has a farm in Kapeeka for so many years now. A very hardworking, straight and selfless leader. Before I became MP, Madam Kadaga recommended me for a USAID job. I respect her so much. She gives me time in Parliament to front Nakaseke issues and on day one, she called me by name. She advises me so much.
NE: Do you buy the DP BLOC approach of one to one in 2021?
LUTTAMAGUZI: Yes I do although sometimes I don’t attend their meetings where many members are President Museveni agents.
NE: Will you support Bobi Wine for president in 2021?
LUTTAMAGUZI: He is my candidate.
NE: President Museveni says by 2021, there will be no opposition. Looking at the on going bickering in opposition, dont you think he will achieve it?
LUTTAMAGUZI: May be there will be no opposition members he deals with. Ofcourse those he is silencing not to side with Hon. Kyagulanyi, they will be no more. Already many are mute. You can’t see them on radio and tv shows. They are instead hired to fight Bobi Wine.