How Anita, New Deputy Speaker Caught Museveni’s Eye
Even While at FDC, She Was Museveni's Special Friend
By John Ogulei
In 2017 the Bukedea Woman MP and the Former FDC Deputy Treasurer Anita Among Annet openly declared that she was working with President Museveni, a year after she trounced the former Internal Affairs Minister Akol Rose Okullu.
In the January 2017 interview, Anita made a bold confession that she was an agent of President Museveni that opened her way of success and described President Museveni as her “special friend” who is always willing to help her every time she is in need.
“It is true the President is my good friend and I meet him any time I want,” Among said. Adding that, “If it is about getting money from him [Museveni], yes I get it and even if I want it now, I can easily call and tell him that ‘Mzee, I am broke’, and he will give it to me.”
Whereas Anita didn’t specify what she uses the money she gets from President Museveni for, it was established that she helps Museveni to soften opposition politicians and get them on the President’s side.
For example, when the President wanted to meet MPs from Kasese, angered by the raid on Omusinga Charles Wesley Mumbere’s palace and the subsequent arrest of the Rwenzururu king, it was Among who persuaded all FDC MPs to meet the President. She, indeed, accompanied them to Museveni’s farm at Kisozi in Gomba for the meeting.
Among is not the first FDC MP to openly wine and dine with Museveni while in opposition. In the run-up to the 2011 general elections, then FDC MPs Agnes Akiror and Alex Onzima publicly worked with the President. Both were later appointed ministers, even though Akiror had failed to secure re-election to Parliament.
According to Political Analysts, Among’s close ties with the President made her popular and that with the history of President Museveni appreciating the Opposition Members, Anita was well tipped for the position of Deputy before she declared her intentions.
In July 2016 during her thanksgiving, President Museveni urged opposition and NRM politicians to desist from personal fights and shift focus on developing their areas.
Museveni who spent the whole of Saturday in Bukedea district launching a number of development projects spearheaded by Among, described Among as a good legislator.
The projects launched by the President included, a science laboratory at Bukedea Comprehensive School named Yoweri Museveni Science Laboratory, laying a foundation stone for Bukedea teaching hospital and opening of a new radio station in the area among other projects.
During the removal of article 102b of the Constitution that barred those aged below 35 and over 75 from contesting for President, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party’s former deputy treasurer Anita Among fully supported the amendment of the article.
“What is important is an amendment that cuts across; reduce the lower age from 35 to 18 years and also open up at the top. Why should presidential contenders have such limitations yet there is none for MPs? The best we should do is to bring back term limits,” Among said then.
In 2016, Among told her FDC colleagues that she and Museveni were close friends and support for the age limit removal could be interpreted by some to mean that her friendship with the President could also be political.
Who is Among the new Deputy Speaker of Parliament?
The Woman MP Bukedea went to parliament in 2016 as an FDC leaning independent, but one could conclude that, she during her first term in parliament served the interest of the NRM and accomplished more assignments for President Museveni than her party and no wonder she became Museveni’s Blue eyed girl and a trusted handler for a number of sensitive political jobs.
An accountant by training, Among worked in centenary bank for 10 years before she resigned in 2007 to contest for the Bukedea woman MP seat and lost. After she lost the elections, she got a teaching job at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and later Kampala International University (KIU).
In 2012, Among defeated Salaamu Musumba and a host of senior FDC political party officials for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) however her victory was embedded with controversy after allegations came out that she had bribed the delegates.
In 2018, Museveni made a statement when he included Anita in the high profile delegation brokering peace for South Sudan, where she took part in meetings of Presidents of South Sudan, Sudan Khartoum and Ugandan super ministers and top military generals.
In 2020, she officially joined NRM after falling out with FDC and won the Bukedea district woman MP seat in 2021 unopposed.