By Ssentongo Abdulnoor Kyamundu
Before the start of Bugiri municipality campaigns, a one Buluuba Andrew who was said to be the FDC Chairperson for Bugiri Municipality wrote an article stating why they don’t hate Asuman Basalirwa but they can’t support him because he is so unpopular to the extent that Bugiri municipality is predominantly a Muslim constituency but they don’t support Basalirwa.
When I visited the constituency for consultations, I found out that our friends had done a good job of circulating their article in all local(Bugiri) social media groups and their statement was translated to ridicule Muslims.
In a meeting I had with the Muslim leaders in the district, one of them asked if FDC carried out research and found out that Muslims are “good” only when they vote a non Muslim, but become “bad” when they chose to vote a Muslim.
As campaigns moved on and Asuman Basalirwa was gaining strength day by day, many desperate attempts were tried to make him look ugly amongst the Muslim community but all ended in futility.
One of such attempts was an allegation that Basalirwa moved with Hon Kyagulanyi who (Kyagulanyi) ‘ate pork with the locals in the area called Kamwokya’.
They thought this would make Basalirwa look ugly amongst fellow Muslims. Surprisingly, this only won that area for our camp as the locals started seeing Asuman as an all embracing leader.
Another Facebook post questioned Basalirwa’s Muslim credentials by accusing him of distributing waragi sachets to voters. Still this lie fell flat.
At some point, they graduated from blackmailing Asuman Basalirwa, the person to Islam, the religion and Muslims in general.
While on NBS Morning Breeze, the FDC candidate, Eunice Namatende mentioned nothing like her programs for the constituency except telling the viewers how badly Muslims treat women and it was the reason for her declining support.
On the election day, while being interviewed by NBS’s Sam Ibanda Mugabi, Salaamu Musumba, the FDC Vice Chairperson for Eastern Uganda attributed their loss to Islamic extremism and violent youths of “ebisunsu” hairstyle who intimidated their voters into I think supporting the undeserving Asuman Basalirwa.
According to her, the Juma prayers on the polling day needed to be postponed because sheiks ‘used them to tell people to vote their Swahaba’ (Asuman).
The same sentiments were re-echoed by Harold Kaija, the FDC deputy Secretary General on NBS the Eagle talkshow last weekend.
For FDC, Muslims voting their own to Parliament is extremism. They should be represented by other people.
More still, Islam is a religion that sees women as inferior species because they did not vote for Namatende. May be the Muslims in FDC have a certain treatment they give to women in their party. They should come out and explain.
Lastly, the famous statements of, “if you don’t vote FDC, vote NRM”, we gather they were premeditated.
We thank the people of Bugiri municipality because such statements hit on a rock.
The senior pastors in the district supported Basalirwa and they did it openly by appearing on his rallies. No Muslim leader did it.
I would request my colleagues in FDC to come out loud and tell us if they have opened a war on Islam and Muslims or come out and apologise for the blackmailing statements made by their Islamphobes in their ranks as FDC has a large number of Muslims in leadership and followers, some of whom have told us they are feeling alienated.
The writer is the Spokesperson for the Justice Forum (JEEMA) party.