Mugisha Muntu

Mugisha Muntu


GENERAL Mugisha Muntu has opened up about his journey, so far, as the coordinator of his new party National Alliance for Transformation (ANT).
While appearing on NTV earlier this week, Muntu spoke about various issues and here, we bring the excerpts…
On  him not being suitable for politics played in our country…
MUNTU: “What do people really want? I want to believe that the majority want to politics based on issues, politics that advance policy alternatives, not gutter politics. This is whole purpose of our existence as the Alliance-establish clean politics.
About what the Alliance would do on unemployment…
MUNTU: “Invest in education and health. To ensure that we have a skilled labour which is healthy. But also to create environment for people to create their own jobs not only through Direct Foreign Investment, but also domestic investment.
Our experience is that countries whose economies are domestic-based, they are able to withstand global economic shocks. So we would prioritise investment in Agriculture, establish an Agriculture bank, engage in intense marketing and only allow foreigners to engage in activities that locals are unable to compete in as of yet like hi-tech production.”
On where the Alliance gets finances…
MUNTU: “We have just concluded 6 sub-region leadership trainings and we are now looking for money to complete the 15. At some point we shall have to ask the public to finance our activities because what we are doing is in the interest of all of us. If we had the money we wanted, there would be a political earthquake in this country, but we know this is a temporary situation.”
On why he was saluted by army during street protests…
MUNTU: “There are those who salute and those who don’t and I am OK with that. I was an army commander from 1989-98 and some of those officials still accord me respect.
On why the regime never arrested him when he was in hospital during bush war…
MUNTU: “I was in Kiseka for 1 month receiving treatment and the only place I went to was Kisementi for an X-ray. The regime never got to know where I was. If they had known, obviously they would have arrested me. After treatment, I went back to the bush.
On leaving the stage for young people…
MUNTU: “I hear that issue quite a lot. I agree that 75% are below 35 y/o. It is a legitimate case and they can use this number to influence politics in our country. But I have kept the youth in the party and those I meet in other fora on alert.  I keep reminding them that in 1962, Sir. Kabaka Mutesa, Milton Obote and other ministers like Grace Ibingira and John Kakonge were below 35.
In 1986 when we came, majority of us were below 35. Some of us were below 30, I was below 30, Dr.Besigye was below 30 and so were a host majority of Generals who are still trapped in the regime.
If the issue was age, why did these governments dominated by young people fail? It means there is something that has eluded us as a people that we have to keep searching for,
not just age.
On meeting Hon.Robert Kyagulanyi…
MUNTU: “We meet amongst ourselves. We meet with PP, DP, Jeema. We keep meeting so that we can build bridges of trust as we move towards 2021 so that it can act as a basis of building a united force.”
On the situation in the country…
MUNTU: “People are hurting. Parents are being hit from both sides. A parent who sells their land, sheep, cows, goats, chicken to take their children to school hoping that that child would come back and help the family but after completing, there are no jobs. In this case, parents lose property and carry the burden of taking care of their jobless children. Crop prices have drastically gone down.”
On whether the Alliance will be declaring presidential flag bearer…
MUNTU: “As the Alliance we believe that that will come at the tail-end. Our focus now is to build party networks, establishing leadership at different levels, and mobilisation of resources. Imagine now if anyone in the Alliance came up and said that “I am the presidential flag bearer” be it Hon. Alaso, Barbara Allimadi.
This would divert us from the things we need to do now as a party. As the Alliance we believe that the momentum will come from that councillor, LC3 C/P.
On if he would support removal of army from Parliament…
MUNTU: “Yes, I actually made a presentation to the security committee in 2004 which was chaired by Simon Muyende when we changed the system to multiparty.
 I know the regime can’t do that. It is us who will do that. The Army needs to be immunised against partisan politics. They can be political but not partisan as the case is now where groups are vying for space and supremacy. Tanzania used to have the army in Parliament but when they changed to multiparty system, it was automatic the army went back to barracks.
On health…
MUNTU: “The country is ailing. You can imagine a situation where a pregnant woman has to deliver by ceaserian and has to pay 1m, 2m,3m upfront.
There are many people who come to our spaces to seek for help genuinely. That is the situation that we in the opposition now must be prepared to solve. In some cases, build from scratch, in other cases reverse the trend. Yes, the buildings have been erected but in most cases staff is less motivated, no equipment, corruption.
As the Alliance we believe that Gen.Museveni is a symptom of a bigger problem and we know that when he leaves (which is obvious and soon) we must be organised and disciplined enough and prepared to solve this mess.
On security…
MUNTU: “If you want to know the intentions of government (forget what the gov’t spokespersons tell you), look at the budget. In the 2019/2020 budget, Judiciary received 151.2bn of which 34.06bn are wages and 12bn are for Arrears while State House alone is receiving 401bn (250bn higher than Judiciary).
Judiciary requested for more funds to recruit judicial officers, construct courts and other Justice Centres which was never provided but instead, the President donation budget was raised from 80bn in last FY to 200bn this FY. The priorities of this government are upside down. Their focus is on regime survival.
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