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Who is Behind the Political Witch Hunt of State Minister for Housing, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi?

By Muhumuza Jimmy, 

Kampala.

State Minister for Housing Dr. Chris Baryomunsi is facing a relentless political witch hunt from within the ruling NRM, the business community in Kanungu where he hails from, and from the pro-Ntagali loyalists. He’s being accused of stepping on the toes of many opportunist seekers who take advantage of the common man to exploit him or her;

However, our investigations into the political witch hunt point to several undertakings that range from politics, business, his proximity to the President, and naïvety. 

Proximity to the appointing authority; during the presidential campaigns, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi having won the position of the Vice-Chairperson of NRM Western region, was charged with the responsibility of traversing with the president Museveni conversing support for him in Western Uganda, an assignment he executed very well given the margin President Museveni pulled from Western Uganda. However, with too many of his political opponents, this performance has not gone down well with them.

Mediation Role in Bakonzo, Government clashes; At the height of ethnic clashes and political misunderstandings between the Bakonzo and government, President Museveni assigned Dr. Baryomunsi a role of mediation between the worrying parties in Kasese District that yielded into the release of the over 80 royal guards to Omusinga Charles Wisley Mumbere the cultural leader of the Bakonzo now under house arrest in a Kampala suburb of Muyenga. The release of the royal guards added political mileage to the ruling NRM in the just concluded elections, Museveni managed to win the stronghold opposition base of Kasese with 47% which political analysts described as an unprecedented performance. 

In Kanungu District, where he has been consistently elected all has not been well for him. A brewing political fight between him and tycoon Garuga Musinguzi has been on overexploitation of tea growers and misappropriation of OWC funds by the tycoon meant to enhance tea growing in Kanungu. Dr. Baryomunsi was dragged to court however, in a turnaround of events he won the case and the contract to supply tea seedlings to tea farmers was removed from the tycoon losing billions of shillings he had been sniffing from the poor farmers. It has turned out to be a political witch hunt because ever since tycoon Garuga has been financing Baryomunsi’s political opponents to get him out of parliament but all in vain. In the last elections, Garuga is known to have splashed billions of money against Baryomunsi but the voters still showed confidence in the highly educated medical doctor. 

Since 2006 Baryomunsi has been representing the people of Kinkizi East.

A rising politician in Western Uganda and Kanungu, Dr. Baryomunsi is seen as outshining his colleagues. This has caused a threat to other politicians in the area more so after assuming the seat of the Vice-Chairperson NRM Western Uganda in the Central Executive Committee of the ruling NRM party as well as reclaiming his seat in the 11th Parliament. This has attracted many political enemies for him in the Kigezi region and particularly in Kanungu.

Woes with the Anglican Church in Kanungu; Anglican Church leaders in Kanungu have been fighting him ever since he went to Parliament in 2006, they hold a conviction that the position of MP in Kinkizi East should be held by an Anglican but this has not been the case. People in Kanungu vote for issues, not religious differences or ethnic differences, he has had an edge over his political rivals from Kinkizi who peddle religious differences other than articulating issues that affect the people. Being a medical doctor gives him an advantage of understanding the issues that affect his people, all they need are better health services, drugs, good roads, and clean water. He has gradually addressed some of them.

A rumor of the return of former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and MP Kinkizi West to cabinet seems to be another spoke in the wheel that Dr. Baryomunsi has to grapple with; that if president Museveni appoints Mbabazi in his next government. However, political and independent analysts hold a view that it would be a big political miscalculation if Mbabazi accepts the offer; it will dent his credibility in politics and conscience. Political haters of Baryomunsi recently dragged him into the ex-communication of former Archbishop of the Anglican Church, Stanley Ntagali over an alleged adultery scandal with the wife of an Anglican priest. The information available to this paper indicates that the haters dragged Baryomunsi’s name into this scandal to impeach his character and spoil his image in the public. They hoped that the President would see this and drop him from Cabinet in the new government. The lady in question, Judith Tukamuhabwa has embarrassed them by distancing herself from the accusations they made against the Minister. She was clear she does not know Dr Baryomunsi. The haters of Dr Baryomunsi should leave him alone and he needs to be elevated to a higher level. He is one of the few Ministers who defend government with lots of confidence.

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