A few weeks ago, the MP for Kasambya county, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa of the ruling NRM party, in an unprecedented move declared that he will not seek re-election as MP or any other elective political position until President Yoweri Museveni steps down.
The controversial MP who strongly opposed the repealing of the Presidential age limit from the constitution in 2017 said he can no longer serve as an MP when the powers of the Parliament have been usurped by self-seeking individuals.
“Parliament no longer wields any power. We are only used as a rubber stamp for individuals who have their dealings,” he told the press while justifying his decision.
Mbwatekamwa, 40, who has been in Parliament for only one term, said that it has increasingly become difficult for Parliament to change anything under the current system if it doesn’t suit the desires of the President.
“I have resigned from politics until Museveni steps down. The only way I can honour his invitation is if he tells me he has identified a successor that we as the NRM should back. And I don’t care if that successor is his wife or son”.
SoftPower News recently sat down with the legislator and businessman to understand in-depth what his aspirations are as well as what he is involved in beyond politics.
Who is Hon. Mbwa Tekamwa Gaffa?
Mbwatekamwa Gaffa is a Member of Parliament (MP) of Kasambya County in Mubende District. I am 40 years old married to Donah Atwire with four children. My Father is Dr. Kihurankuba Rwachumika while my mother is the late Jolly Gaffa. I was born in a family of six children, three boys and three girls.
What is your line of faith?
I am a Pan-Africanist and that is why you can hardly hear any Christian or Moslem name accorded to me. I believe that God exists but I don’t know whether He is a Christian or a Moslem.
What is your profession?
I can say I am versatile. I am a teacher, a health worker, a human resource officer. I had my first diploma in Secondary education from Nkozi University, Mitala Maria Campus, I got my Bacholar’s Degree in Phycotherapy from Kyambogo University, I later did a post graduate Diploma in Human resource then I went for Masters in Management Science.
What is your employment background? What sort of jobs have you done in the past?
I have been a teacher at St. Mary’s Vocational School in Kitende, I taught at Ahmadia Moslem School in Wandgeya, I worked with Bailor College of Medicine in Mulago. Then i went to Mubende regional referral hospital. I also worked with TV Africa, Tropical FM in Mubende, Greater African Radio in Mbarara and I have also ever worked as a taxi conductor.
I worked as a conductor in 2005 when I was at Kyambogo University. I used to study in the evening and during the day, I would work in a taxi.
How did you find this particular job as a conductor while at campus?
It was very interesting because once a conductor is focused, he can earn some good money but the challenge is – people will always see you as illiterate. I used to meet the university ladies i was studying with but they would never recognize me or know that I was part of them. I would listen to them brag, abuse me but I would keep quiet because all I needed was money from them. Actually, some of my best friends knew that I was a conductor and I never shied away from my occupation. It is a very good venture inspite of the insults from your clients.
Besides politics, what else do you do?
I am a dog breeder and that is my biggest business that I am well known for. I rear dogs here in Kampala and in Mubende. Currently, I have 86 dogs of different breeds.
How big is your market?
I have a very big market that i actually cant satisf because in most cases, my clients are over demanding and I don’t have puppies or trained dogs ready to guard.
The market is so good because you may find that I sell a one-month-old puppy of Germany Shepherd breed at Shs 500,000 while other expensive breeds can go for Shs 1.5m. I can sell a guarding dog at Shs2m while a bulldog ready to guard goes for Shs5m. This is a very lucrative business though a few Ugandans have ventured in it.
What other businesses are you involved in?
I am an educationist. I have several primary schools all called Answered Prayer in Mubende, Kyegwega, Ibanda and I also have a nursing school called Mubende Answered Prayer School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Why ‘Answered Prayer’?
This is a very good question because most people think that may be I am a good devoted Christian but I chose that name after doing a number of business but only registering failure. I then chose to reach out to God in prayer that he should this time round answer my prayers promising that once he answers, I would name the business ‘Answered Prayer’. When I ventured in schools, things worked out.
What prompted you to join politics with all the businesses you had?
Actually, I realized that my constituency was not well represented by my predecessor who I could hardly hear debating in the House. He was too quiet for life. I made up my mind to join politics and represent my people well so that their voices can be heard.
Little did I know that coming here (Parliament) even though you are a good debater, government doesn’t listen. Actually government wishes to work with people who are very quiet and silent who can only sleep and snore.
Do you mean to say Parliament is a useless institution which we can do away with?
Yes we can do without Parliament because the actual things that would impact on social and economical aspects of human beings are not even handled.
Government is more interested in things that can keep it it jn power. First of all, we are too many in Parliament, it is swollen and even the quality of debate is not good.
If Parliament is to work well, I would propose that each district brings at least two legislators – a male and a female. That will reduce on the number of legislators which might ensure a quality debate. We need to decongest Parliament because there are many people who are doing nothing but simply wasting tax payer’s money.
Do you think your constituents will miss you?
I may not say they will miss me because even if the best MP dies, he will be replaced within 60 days through a by-election. I will not say they are going to miss me because this can only be best answered by the constituents themselves. But I don’t regret my decision and don’t expect me to turn back on my words (of not offering myself for another term). I have worked for my constituents and I believe I have caused an impact and what I would have done within five years is enough.
What will remain your role in the liberation struggle?
I will take on the role of an activist, I will join people like Bishop Zac Niringiye, Stella Nyanzi to sensitize Ugandans so that they know their rights. In the struggle, I will keep at the front line but I will not have any political seat.