Kyadondo East MP and People Power pressure group leader Robert Kyagulanyi has responded to claims by Moses Nkonge Kibalama and Paul Kagombe Ssimbwa that they have removed him from the presidency of the National Unity Platform (NUP).
Kibalama and Ssimbwa claim that Bobi Wine failed to pay them $5m (about Shs18bn) which he had promised them for agreed to cede the party’s leadership to him.
Hours after a video in which Kibalama and Ssimbwa announced they had pulled out the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that created NUP from National Unity, Reconciliation and Development Party (NURDP), Bobi Wine has accused the duo of betrayal.
Bobi Wine claimed that he had failed to reach Kibalama and Ssimbwa to resolve the matters at hand.
“For several days now, Mr. Kibalama’s phones have been off. That of Ssimbwa has been on and off.”
Bobi further alleged that when Ssimbwa’s phone is on, “it is picked by someone who identifies himself as a solider and claims that they have him in custody.”
The video that in which Kibalama and Ssimbwa claim they have denounced Bobi Wine was recorded at night in an undisclosed place.
Bobi Wine argued that the fact that Kibalama’s house is “now guarded by UPDF” could point to the fact that he “has been compromised and coerced into disowning us and claiming that whatever was done to change leadership was illegal.”
He also cited the fact that Kibalama and Ssimbwa signed two contradicting affidavits in a case involving NUP as proof of that they have either been coerced or compromised.
“On Monday [September 14] this week, our legal team went to court. Both Kibalama and Ssimbwa had sworn and signed affidavits opposing the case brought against us and the Party,” recalled Bobi Wine.
“To our shock, when we got to court, we found another strange and suspicious lawyer who had other two affidavits ostensibly signed by Kibalama and Ssimbwa! The learned judge wondered how the same individuals could sign two contradictory affidavits.”
THE COURT CASE
In August 2020, Basile Difas and Hassan Twaha ran to the High Court challenging Bobi Wine’s acquisition of the party.
Difas and Twaha sued Kibalama, Bobi Wine, Ssimbwa, David Lewis Rubongoya, the Secretary General, party spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi, deputy Secretary General Aisha Kabanda, Secretary for Women Affairs, Flavia Kalule Nabagabe, and Secretary for National mobilization Fred Nyanzi Ssentamu.
The duo wanted court to block the nomination of candidates under the NUP party until another case in which party founders challenge the manner in which the party was ‘sold’ to Bobi Wine.
According to Kibalama, only 41 delegates of the former party had attended a conference that endorsed a proposal for change on name and leadership.
In the end, Justice Musa Sekaana of the High Court ruled that NUP “already took part in the electoral process by participating in the national youth election and therefore an injunction at this stage would create more confusion.”
He added: “The status quo is that the first respondent [NUP] changed the name and cannot be stopped from using the name or return to the former name [NURP].
The leaders of the party are office-bearers whether illegal or not in office. Court can’t restrain them from holding office as this would put the party activities in limbo and yet the court has not yet determined the matter.
The issuing of an injunction is the discretion of the court and consequently declines to grant the temporary injunction.”
BOBI ON INCONSISTENT KIBALAMA
Bobi Wine also wondered how Kibalama could change his mind on the party yet he has been insisting the transfer from NURDP to NUP was within the law.
“To know how shabby the characters who rule over us are, the same Kibalama who has appeared on TV several times confirming the legality of everything we did to change party leadership, was now writing that we never followed the law! They desperately wanted an injunction to stop our party activities, but the judge refused.”
BOBI WINE ON DEFAULTING KIBALAMA’S SHS18BN
Bobi Wine has threatened to produce evidence of how Kibalama was compromise to cause confusion in NUP.
He has accused the NURDP founder and its former secretary general Ssimbwa of betrayal.
“Everyone who betrays the people’s struggle will get their due regard. Using tax payers’ money; our money, Museveni will definitely bribe so many people, including men of honor, to do very shameless things. But our faith is not in the political class. Our faith is in the people of Uganda.”
The presidential hopeful has also dismissed reports that he failed to pay Kibalama Shs18bn.
“In a very shameful way, Mr. Kibalama states that we promised to pay him five million US dollars ($5m) for transferring the party leadership. Treat this with the contempt it deserves,” wrote Bobi Wine.
“We are aware that for a very long time, the regime in Uganda has tried to portray us as people who get lots of money from foreigners!”