After her defeat in the February 28 East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) elections, Ingrid Turinawe has continued to tread a war path with the largely NRM-dominated Parliament, which denied her the vote.
In an interview due to be published in The Observer, Turinawe, the opposition FDC secretary for mobilization, said she is the only person who got a ‘choir’ of over 400 MPs singing for her.
The singing, Turinawe referred to, was the hostile MPs’ chants that drowned out her campaign speech in the parliamentary chambers. Turinawe said MPs thought that by making noise to drown out her speech they would humiliate her. She said they ended up playing into her hands.
“When I walked into parliament I found all of them standing; I said this is respect from members of parliament. Hon Muhammad Nsereko was the choir master…who has ever got a chance anywhere to be sung for by over 400 members of parliament apart from me?” Turinawe said.
She added that she had expected the hostility, something that strengthened her resolve.
“Whenever I get an opportunity to weaken any arm of government that supports a dictator, I will use it,” said Turinawe, who polled 25 out of a possible 398 votes. “So, I used that opportunity to really weaken and expose them internationally.”
She, however, denied ever calling MPs pigs.
“Whoever says that I called MPs pigs let him/her bring evidence...When I’m going for my activism I have never hidden myself. I come openly and do my things in public view,” Turinawe said, adding, “People are badly off but instead of changing people’s lives, they are busy changing their own lives. That is why pigs are sent there to send a message but it seems they don’t understand the message. If you behave like a pig, you eat like a pig, you walk like a pig, then what are you?”
Turinawe also shrugged off criticism from DP’s Norbert Mao who said Turinawe reduced her colleague, FDC Florence Ekwau Ibi’s, chance of being elected. She charged that Mao was ready to do anything to get his candidate, Fred Mukasa Mbidde, elected.