By Joseph Tumushabe

Ugandan MPs your actions are more treacherous than  Bataringaya’s 1964 cross-over, you or your children will pay the same price but you can’t accumulate more wealth than he did.

Basil Bataringanya was an MP from Ankole and Secretary General of the Democratic Party.

In December 1964 he cut a deal with the then President Apollo Milton Obote for his selfish gains. He crossed the floor of that same Parliament you sit in, abandoned his own party, the DP and his electorate and joined UPC. He led 6 others at the time.

He crossed only for his personal gains after Obote promised to reward him. It is recorded that when Obote realised that the opposition party was politically stronger than his ruling UPC, he decided to weaken it by either assimilation or extraction of its strongest pillars.
Bataringaya had made an attempt to become DP president in an attempt to take full possession of DP and deliver it to UPC, and when he failed he opted to cross with the few he could convince to go with him.
Those who stayed in DP under Kiwanuka included Boniface Byanyima, Martin Okello, Gasper Oda, Payarhabai Patel and Alex Latim, who replaced Bataringaya as leader of opposition in parliament. They are todate respected

Basil was rewarded handsomely for this act of treachery. He became a powerful Minister of Home Affairs in Obote’s Government and proceeded to acquire property around Kampala and juicy chunks of land elsewhere. By the time of the overthrow of Obote’s government in 1971 Basil was the second richest Minister in Obote’s Government.

Basil Bataringaya was among the first Ministers to lose his life to the military regime of Idi Amin when on September 18, 1972. He was picked from his home in Katonjo loaded on a military jeep and was never to be seen again alive.

Six years later in 1977 his wife Edith was also violently killed. His young children were orphaned and had to survive through the protection of the Catholic church and party members of DP whom Basil had betrayed and deserted for buttered bread.

MPs listen, we subscribe to this message. Let every Ugandan leader know that treachery to the peaceful transition from Museveni’s reign now is simply not an option. They will go away with personal and perhaps collective dire consequences.

To you who are friends and close relatives to these miserable MPs, warn them please.

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