Edris Kiggundu is a respected veteran weekly Observer news journalist. He is one of the most respected journalists who specializes in investigative stories.
He has had chance to interview and interact with most senior politicians in Uganda through his work and has gathered a lot of classified information which main stream news medias cannot publish.
LOST ONES: Starting today, I shall write short, no-holds-barred, stories on my Facebook page about young/youthful/promising legislators that the country hoped would inspire good leadership and change on the political landscape.
They were like rough diamonds that needed a little bit of cutting and polishing to make them fine gems. Many have disappointed or fizzled off the political scene. Others that continue to attract media attention do so for wrong reasons. I hope the candidates for these series take the criticism in good faith (some are still close acquaintances).
I have no ulterior motive(s) in writing these stories. Rather, I hope they may be useful to young political/parliament reporters in understanding individual political behavior and processes in this country.
For the same reasons the SpearNews republishes the series here as they first appeared on his Facebook wall
Hussein Godi Akbar, the former Arua Municipality MP, who is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence for killing his wife.
I first got to know Godi on the campaign trail of 2006 when I covered Dr Kizza Besigye. He was new to politics and I was still a novice in journalism. The KB campaign had hired a van for the press team and while we were in Arua, Godi, who was a poor candidate without any means of transport, squeezed himself in. He was eloquent, friendly and vibrant. He appeared to have the grasp of the main political issues locally and nationally. It was his election to lose and he won.
In Parliament, he wasted little time in making his presence felt during debates. Yet it did not take long before, he fell off the political radar. Like many young, excitable legislators, the trappings of being called an “honorable” got the better of him (He once admonished me for not addressing him as honorable during a casual conversation).
Next, he became a party animal, started buying one powerful car after another (one time while walking along Parliament Avenue, a large blue shinny Nissan Patrol, emerged from behind and almost ran over me. Godi, who was on the wheel burst out laughing when he saw my terrified face).
Before long, he became irregular at parliament and towards the end of his first term he was implicated in the murder of his young wife. Life came to a standstill and he became sober.
During the campaigns of 2011 with murder charges hanging over his head, Godi, who had lost in the primaries, made his way to the podium in Arua municipality seeking to get Besigye’s endorsement.
Besigye ignored him in preference to the official FDC candidate. Standing besides the podium (as many journalists do), I watched the disappointment on his face.
At the end of the rally, he told me: “Besigye has forgotten me yet I delivered for him votes here in 2006.”
Truth is, many people, yours truly inclusive, had forgotten Godi. A week after the election (in which he lost), court found him guilty of murder.
With that came the end of a political career that promised so much but delivered so little, if anything at all.