Prime Minister (PM) Robinah Nabbanja has summoned the Kayunga District leadership to her office in an attempt to reconcile them and end their political wrangles that have dogged the area for over 15 years.
Ms Nabbanja, last week met the area NRM leaders at the district council hall but was irritated when supporters of Idah Nantaba, the district woman MP and her political rival Mr Moses Karangwa, the district NRM chairman, nearly fought before her.
During the visit, the prime minister also toured flood-hit areas in Galilaaya Sub-county.
As MP Nabbanja addressed an evening meeting, Ms Nantaba, who sat near her (Prime minister) was busy locked in verbal attacks with a group loyal to Mr Karangwa but seated about 30 meters away from her (Ms Nantaba).
“You goons seated behind- you are not leaders and not supposed to be in this meeting,” Ms Nantaba shouted as the Prime minister addressed the meeting.
Ms Nantaba’s utterances prompted Ms Nabbanja to cut short her speech as Mr Karangwa’s group led by Ms Prossy Naava, a councillor at Kayunga town council hit back at Nantaba.
“You are a thief. You stole relief food items meant for people displaced by floods,” the group alleged.
As the duel went on, Mr Karangwa who also sat near Ms Nabbanjja looked on and intermittently clamped his hands and laughed.
A visibly infuriated Prime minister asked the warring parties to keep quiet.
“I am shocked at what I have seen here. I am inviting all leaders in this district to my office on Friday (this week) so that I try to reconcile you. These wrangles have greatly affected the support NRM used to enjoy in this district. I am going to meet all the logistics and transport expenses,” she said.
In 2013, President Museveni tried to reconcile Ms Nantaba and Ms Karangwa but failed.
The president went ahead to invite Ms Nantaba and Mr Karangwa with their close allies to State house Entebbe but the former made no show.
Ms Nantaba, the former ICT state minister and Mr Karangwa were close friends. Mr Karangwa in 2011 was among the sponsors of Ms Nantaba’s maiden campaigns.
However, after Ms Nantaba won the district woman MP race, their relationship became sour with Ms Nantaba accusing Mr Karangwa of being a land grabber.
Meanwhile, Mr Karangwa and Ms Nantaba on one side don’t see eye to eye with the other faction that has Mr Joel Kayiira, the acting district chairman, Mr Amos Lugoloobi, the Ntenjeru north MP who is also her (Nantaba) elder brother, most sub-county LC 3 chairpersons and district staff.
Ms Nantaba and Ms Karangwa’s differences worsened in the last elections, when the latter fronted her daughter Ms Jacklyn Birungi, to contest against the former for the district Woman MP. Ms Nantaba trounced her.
Ms Nantaba accuses all leaders in the district of being thieves.
At Kawongo landing site, where Ms Nabbanja met flood victims, Mr Kayiira accused Ms Nantaba of sending him abusive messages on his phone.
“Ms Nantaba has been texting me abusive messages but I have forgiven her,” Mr Kayiira said amidst a thunderous applause from the residents.
This, prompted Ms Nabbanja to ask both Mr Kayiira and Ms Nantaba to shake hands as a sign of reconciliation but Ms Nantaba refused.
“I don’t want these wrangles because they are affecting service delivery and the development of this district,” Ms Nabbanja said.
Mr Karangwa when contacted said he was ready to reconcile with his political rival but when contacted Ms Nantaba did not answer our calls although her close political allies told this reporter that ‘‘she was not ready to reconcile with land grabbers.’’