Miria Matembe, the indefatigable women rights activist has said Security minister, Gen Elly Tumwine influenced her sacking from the popular NBS Frontline talk show that airs every Thursday from 10pm to midnight.
Matembe was a panellist together with NRM’s Ofwono Opondo and DP’s Norbert Mao, with journalist Charles Odongotho as the host. Speaking at the closure of the 24th leadership camp organised by Forum for Women in Democracy [Fowode] at Namugongo, Matembe said the government regarded her as a very dangerous person who should not be given a platform on a major national television.
“The minister of Security said I was very dangerous to the government that I was swerving government people’s opinion. They threatened the TV that if I don’t leave, they were going to close the TV, so they chose to sack me. I have no money, I have no guns, but they fear me because they think I’m dangerous,” Matembe said calling on the 30 girls that had completed a one week’s training to stick to principles even when this threatens their financial and social wellbeing.
Matembe has since been replaced by Proscovia Salaamu Musumba, a prominent opposition politician and former Bugabula South MP also the FDC vice chairman for eastern Uganda.
“I can’t believe that one morning, I can wake up like Beti Kamya [minister of Kampala] and Beatrice Anywar [Kitgum municipality MP] and say I have joined president Museveni; that you can hear me say he is the best president I have ever met, yet yesterday I was saying he is headed in the wrong direction. I can’t believe how much people have lost a sense of shame which makes us different from animals,” Matembe said.
She called on women leaders to be exemplary because many women are looking up to them.
“In my time there was nobody to mentor me, I was mentored by the problems and challenges I grew up from. Women leaders must be exemplary not to use their positions for self-actualisation but to offer leadership which is about service not ownership,” Matembe said.
For her part, Elizabeth Ampire, the programs director Women in Leadership program at Fowode said the program was introduced in 2004 to help mentor young women leaders to be able to take charge of their affairs.
“We were getting uncomfortable with the status quo and we thought we could do something about it instead of lamenting if we want things to change in this country,” Ampaire said.
She added that ever since the program was introduced, hundreds of women leaders have been trained in gender and governance, alternative leadership feminism in Africa, gender and development, gender budgeting, social and business entrepreneurship among others.