By Denis Turyahebwa
Former Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Venansius Baryamureeba has defended his move to join the ruling National Resistance Movement saying he took the decision after a ‘close discussion with his God’.
While on NBS TV discussion on Tuesday morning where the former presidential candidate faced off with the opposition chief whip and FDC’s Spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, Prof Baryamureeba said he responded to God’s call.
“Since 2015, I have not been in any political party but I’ve finally joined NRM because God has guided me,” said Barya as commonly referred.
“Parties accommodate everybody provided you share the same ideology. I don’t just belong; I first pray about an issue and get guidance from God. I’m joining NRM in principle,” he added.
However, in response, Nganda branded prof.Baryamureeba as abig ‘shame’ to the country after he accused him of becoming a ‘fortune hunter’ instead of being at the forefront of fighting to ensure the country is run better.
“The country should be involved in a debate on how to make Uganda better and it should be led by professors. Increasingly, they’ve become fortune hunters and that’s a disappointment,” Ssemujju said.
“I am expressing disappointment in professors like Barya. Someone of Baryamureeba’s caliber should be discussing issues affecting this country and giving us solutions but he also wants to join the table which is disappointing. He’s embarrassing the title of a professor,” Ssemujju said.
In response, Barya defended his decision to join the NRM saying every Ugandan is free to join a party of their choice and blasted the opposition for always blackmailing the NRM as a bad political party.
“Anyone who joins another party is okay and is seen doing the right thing but when you join the NRM, then that’s not okay,” he said.
“Joining NRM is a personal conviction and we should give people the benefit of doubt. I’m going to make a major contribution to the party, just wait and see,”
“The party I am joining is going to be in power for the next 30 years. NRM is the only party with a national character. I am going to be there permanently and help reform it,” he praised
“There’s a general feeling in the opposition that any intelligent person shouldn’t join NRM but I am joining to help them do better.” Prof Baryamureeba said.