The Buyaga West Member of Parliament (MP) in Kagadi District, Barnabas Tinkasiimire has said that he still belongs to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party although he has close ties with People Power – the opposition political pressure group.
The legislator revealed this today (Monday) responding to questions about the meeting he and other “rebel” MPs had with President Yoweri Museveni last week.
Mr Tinkasiimire, who is a People Power coordinator for Bunyoro region had, together with other MPs, for long opposed many NRM party’s positions including the scrapping of the presidential age limit.
Some are on record for having many times told off President Museveni not to stand for another term in the forthcoming elections saying that he has to leave it to People Power’s Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu alias Bobi Wine.
On Friday, President Museveni said that “MPs called on me at State House, Entebbe to seek the party’s forgiveness”.
This meeting has caused a lot of debate with the public questioning why the MPs sought forgiveness yet they spoke out their mind when they especially spoke against the removal of the age limits after consulting their constituents.
However, Mr Tinkasiimire told journalists that the lawmakers did not apologise but discussed how to better the party.
“What took us in the meeting was issues to do with the party not President Museveni. It is not true that we went to apologise to him. The meeting was long. Can he tell you who apologised? We discussed other issues which had nothing to do with apology.”
Today, the MP re-echoed the same saying the meeting was about the party ideology.
“You cannot reduce the meeting that took more than three hours to just an apology. We mainly discussed issues to do with the party ideology. We discussed our four ideologies of patriotism, Pan Africanism, democracy and social transformation,” he said.
Mr Tinkasiimire said that change cannot be sought when one is outside the ruling party, the reason why he is still in NRM and standing with it in all conditions.
“I have been in NRM and I will always stand with NRM. Even when I was wearing the red beret, I was in the NRM. I was calling for change. We have used all civil methods and we are still engaging. That is why we held a meeting with the president. The unfortunate thing is the public thinks if we want change, we should leave NRM. We can still seek change within the NRM.”
The lawmaker said that during the meeting with Mr Museveni, they unanimously agreed that it is their responsibility to transform Uganda.
“We must transform our country. What is killing our people is that they can’t survive.