“Why Can’t You Shut UP,” Rugunda to Nantaba, she fires back

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has advised the state minister for Information and Communication Technology Idah Nantaba, to restrain herself from making any further comments in the media on the alleged assassination scheme against her.

We have learned that Rugunda, who is also the leader of government business in Parliament, said this during a meeting with Nantaba at his office on Friday morning.

“She discussed with him her complaints and outbursts in the media, which ordinarily conform to the standards and procedure we expect of the government minister,” a source privy to the discussions of the closed-door meeting said.

“She was advised by the Prime Minister to restrain herself from the media because the government, particularly the President, is handling her immediate complaints about the alleged threats against her, mudslinging or even attempts to frame her,” said the source.

This website has also learned that Rugunda has scheduled a meeting with all the parties Nantaba has, in confidence, complained about, both to him and the President.

“So that is the job of the Prime Minister. Her complaints may be right, but the right way is the platform of government, not the media. In this particular case, we think the media can destroy her. But we hope that since she responded to the Prime Minister’s invitation and meeting, she will heed his advice,” the source said.

Nantaba, who is serving her second term as Kayunga district Woman MP, had since March been absent from the House after allegedly surviving an assassination attempt, which led to the death of one Ronald Sebulime.

Nantaba Fires Back

However, when we contacted Nantaba for a comment, she remained defiant.

“Why do you fear and panic when I address the media if you have nothing to hide? I now have all the time to respond to your deceitful, character assassination, maligning propaganda. The truth will soon shock you because it will soon be unveiled,” she asserted in a WhatsApp message.

“I was insulted for five months by all the media houses because you were heavily bribed to turn around the assassination story. I was shocked by the deceitful publications that were publicized every other day that passed by. You hurt me. My heart bled. I was alone; I could not defend myself. Now I am here, so be it,” she added.

Nantaba vented her anger on the Police and political rival and one of the embattled landlords in Kayunga, Moses Karangwa.

“What is police and Karangwa hiding from the public? Why run to court to block me? Why not go to the same media houses and set the record straight?” she asked.

The High Court in Kampala on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction against Nantaba from media utterances that are targeted at Karangwa.

In August, Rugunda dismissed media reports that Nantaba had sought political asylum in Canada for fear of her life in Uganda as baseless. He told the House that Nantaba was in Canada on official duties and that he had authorized her travel.

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Patrick Luwagga is the editorial director of cross-platform content for UGANDANZ. He works across the newsroom and with business partners to drive and develop ambitious editorial projects that include digital journalism, video, data research, polling, live events, and thought-leadership series that are supported by outside underwriting. As executive director, he is responsible for the creation of Political news section, prior to joining UGANDANZ, Patrick was the chief editor for the national weekly news magazine of Kasese Times. In that role, he covered several presidential elections, wrote and produced two television documentaries, and was a regular commentator on television and radio news programs. Patrick was born in Masaka and grew up in Kasese. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Makerere University where he was a Knight Foundation journalism fellow.