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Former Presidential Candidate Katumba Resorts To Book-Selling!

Written by on April 5, 2021

Former Presidential candidate John Katumba was the center of drama at a Parliament committee meeting after he resorted to pleading with members to buy his book.

Katumba was last Thursday appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights probing violence stemming from the  2021 elections.

Katumba who entered the committee about an hour late left members bemused after he said he could not proceed with the hearing because there were no men present in the committee. At the time, the committee had only four female MPs led by the Vice-chairperson Agnes Taaka Wejuli.

The committee moved on and started interacting with former Presidential candidate Fred Mwesigye, until a male MP appeared for them to get back to Katumba.

Katumba decried violence in the elections saying that he has been made to feel like contesting was a crime as he was brutalized during the campaigns and even his security also manhandled. This was in apparent reference to an incident in Fort Portal when the presidential candidate was being beaten up by security and his police guards had to engage in physical battle with them to protect their charge.

Katumba says the playing field was not level as President Museveni used state resources while the other candidates struggled to traverse the country.

“It was like we made a crime to participate(in elections).” He told the parliamentary Human Rights Committee.

Katumba said the elections were total destruction and not just a violation of human rights. He says the fact that the Electoral Commission is appointed by the President, it is not fair.

However Katumba also told the committee that his life was also under danger as he was being trailed and his home broken into last week by some men.

He also told the committee that he was struggling to make ends meet as he was no longer getting the generous contributions from the voters. This was when the committee proposed to write to the police to give him security, but he said he didn’t need them because he would not be able to afford them.

He also said that he had tried looking for a job after the elections and had failed, and so had now resorted to selling books.

It is at this point that Katumba started to talk about his book and pleading with members to buy copies. He was selling his book “Untold story of John Katumba”  at 200,000 shillings and he had a bag full of the books, which he said detail his experience before the elections and nominations.  According to Katumba, the book also  details the torture and violations he underwent before nominations.

However when MPs heard that the book was being sold at 200,000 Shillings, they questioned the amount, adding that the book should be at most 50,000 Shillings. Katumba pleaded with the MPs to buy his book, saying it was the only way he has of earning a living for now and supporting his family.

At the end of the committee, the chairperson of the committee, Agness Taaka Wejuli, and James Baba the MP Koboko bought a copy each, before Katumba went to the corridors of Parliament to flog his merchandise to others.   A few sympathetic Journalists and Staff at Parliament bought some copies.

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