By An Executive Editor
The former Member of Parliament – Agago North – Prof. Morris Ogenga Latigo – has said there is nothing strange at all with an opposition politician meeting the President or anyone in the ruling government for purposes of development.
In an exclusive interview with Kampala Gazette, Prof. Ogenga, the former Leader of Opposition in Parliament said while such meetings attract suspicion in the opposition camp, it comes back to what or the principles that drive the politician or an individual.
Otherwise, he says in the extract below that Gen. Saleh letter to Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago tantamount to an attempted blackmail.
Kampala Gazette: If you are a leader, regardless of where or which political party you subscribe to, why must it be an issue (for example), if the government or someone in the government reaches out to forge a way forward to working together for development. Would it be a bad thing to meet them?
Prof. Ogenga Latigo: I met the President and I am not in NRM…You are saying there is nothing wrong with that?
Kampala Gazette: That’s what we are asking….
Prof. Ogenga Latigo: Yes. I met Salim Saleh. We started the Grain Belt in the North. Long time ago when Kazibwe was the Vice President. So, there is nothing strange. Because all these things depend on who you are, and the principles that drive you as a politician or an individual.
Kampala Gazette: But what light does it shine on the relationship of the one (say in the opposition) with their party (If they are not okay with it)?
Prof. Ogenga Latigo: If that relationship was a contract and you are in breach of a contract, then it is the contract terms that will define the rest but if it was just a normal relationship and a normal initiative, then there should not be any issue at all. About this Saleh’s letter. I have personally been wondering why Lukwago criticizing Saleh would lead to him (Saleh) writing a letter about supporting him. He did not even criticize Saleh. He was supposed to have commented and even if Saleh was offended by the comment, one would then not expect him so say oh..I am going to withdraw political support because that tantamount to an attempted blackmail and you ask, why would Salim Saleh want to blackmail Lukwago. What is his fear? I look more at what his fear is.
Kampala Gazette: Lukwago sent out end of/new year greetings, I saw posters announcing Lukwago for President. Could this have triggered the letters? Would it have offended Saleh in any way?
Prof. Ogenga Latigo: If it rubbed Salim Saleh the wrong way then I would actually be very surprised. That would not have been something new.
Prof. Ogenga Latigo: I am a scientist and so normally when I see things that are not straight, I ask myself and say, what is going on? So, there is probably more than meets the eye and it’s not just about Lukwago and not just about Salim Saleh.