Uganda Elections 2006: Bwanika Wants Uganda United for Peace, Progress and Prosperity

Uganda Elections 2006: Bwanika Wants Uganda United for Peace, Progress and Prosperity


Bwanika says that while some of the Presidential candidates are promising to get Ugandans jobs abroad, he wants to make Uganda a global workstation where a lot of work for other countries is done in Uganda thereby generating employment.

By Gerald Rulekere
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First published: January 3, 2006


Politics in Uganda has become a monopoly of some people that you will more than likely tell who is standing for which office, especially the national Presidency.

Many People suspected long ago that Yoweri Museveni, Dr. Kizza Besigye, John Sebaana Kizzito of the Democratic Party, Miria Obote of the Uganda People's Congress would stand for the country's top post.

But the candidature of Dr. Abed Bwanika took many by surprise. Bwanika is an independent candidate in the 2006 Presidential elections.

Following the withdrawal of Alhajji Nasser Ntege Ssebagala from the race, Bwanika is the only independent candidate in the race.

More than 30 people picked forms from the Electoral Commission to contest for the presidency but only six succeeded in getting nominated.

Bwanika succeeded even when some heads of political parties failed to fulfill the nomination requirements. So he is not a simple man. He has even attracted the backing of the Forum for Integrity in Leadership party.

Bwanika, 39, says he has the best manifesto to lead Uganda out of the persistent poverty that is affecting the majority of Ugandans.

In an interview with Ultimate Media, Bwanika recently said that his candidature is centered on development issues.

Bwanika says that while some of the Presidential candidates are promising to get Ugandans jobs abroad, he wants to make Uganda a global workstation where a lot of work for other countries is done in Uganda thereby generating employment.

Bwanika says if elected President, he will spend a bigger percentage of the national budget on agriculture, which employs more than 80 percent of Ugandans.

He says this will make Uganda a global food basket. Bwanika says he will also make Uganda a global tourist centre and enable Uganda to take advantage of being in the middle of the Great Lakes Region by making the country the hub of economic activity, supplying the most demanded goods and services in the region. This is what he summarized as his Four Way Vision.

Bwanika, who is also a pastor, is married to Gladys, with two sons. "I have worked at Makerere University, both as a teacher and as a researcher. I am currently a managing consultant of a private company, Livestock Consult, which majors in production and other agribusiness issues," Bwanika says.

He is the founder of the Christ Witness Ministries, a charitable organization involved in moral rehabilitation, education support and welfare mostly to the disadvantaged groups. He says he has been involved in the National Fellowship of Born-Again Churches in Uganda, where he is the Secretary for Development and Professionalism, and Treasurer Kampala district. So he expects a lot of support from the born again Christians.

But so does Museveni, whose wife Janet Museveni has always garnered him votes from the Pentecostals. But that is even when you think all are going to vote as a Pentecostal block, which is unlikely.

"Through this work, I have traveled around the country and come in touch with the realities of poverty, social injustice, gender imbalances and poor health services which are among the main challenges to Uganda's population today. I helped establish Sembeguya Estates in Sembabule district, which is the leading goat farm and the second biggest ranch in the country," Bwanika adds.

Dr. Bwanika holds a Masters degree in veterinary medicine and is the current President of the Uganda Veterinary Association. He has a huge task to convince people that he is better than Museveni, a man who many Ugandans have enjoyed for the lat 20 years or Dr. Besigye who many Ugandans see as the only alternative to the domineering Museveni. In addition the other two candidates are standing for political parties which are all more than 50 years with supporters countrywide.

Dr. Bwanika says he has been an active politician and most of the current generation of politicians are disappointing and fighting personal wars. He says he campaigned heavily for President Yoweri Museveni in 1996 but he didn't deliver as he (Bwanika) expected. In the 2001 elections, Bwanika says he campaigned for Dr. Besigye and no longer thinks he deserves another shot at the presidency.

With lack of an extensive political experience compared to his competitors in a country where ability to manage the military is a strong factor, Bwanika's chances need prayers.

But with many Ugandans looking for a political messiah in a politically sinful environment where many politicians are badly tainted, you never know how many people may find Bwanika a good alternative to lead Uganda for the next 5-year term. A courageous man he is, but the odds before him seem greater than the opportunities.

By Gerald Rulekere
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First published: January 3, 2006
To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

Gerald Rulekere is a Journalist and member of Ultimate Media Consult. He has written and published extensively on business and gender issues and been writing for Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd for the last two years. A professional and graduate journalist, Rulekere is always looking for an opportunity to better his writing especially for international media.