By Dismus Buregyeya
Residents of Gomba district have bid farewell to the State Minister of Housing planning and Urban Development Mariam Najjemba after she declined to seek any political post ahead of the 2016 elections in the district.
Najjemba has been serving as the Gomba MP and district NRM party Chairperson since 2006 after she defeated the then area MP, Tonny Kalule Ssengo.
She said she has quit elective politics in Gomba to concentrate on her ministerial duties and marriage. She is married to prominent businessman, Hajji Muyanja Mbambali.
Mbabaali is the NRM flag-bearer for Bukoto South Parliamentary seat where Najjemba has already pitched camp to support his return to Parliament.
The NRM party EC cleared Mbabaali to contest for the Bukoto South Parliamentary race in Lwengo district after he acquired a new set of academic qualifications.
After the 2011 elections, Mbabaali lost his parliamentary seat and appointment as State Minister in charge of investment after the High Court disqualified him on grounds that his academic credentials were not genuine.
The farewell luncheon for who Najjemba recently got married to Mbabaali after she converted from Christianity to Islam, was held at Vietnam village in Kanoni, Gomba district on November 28.
Earlier, the Muslim community in Gomba held special prayers for Najjemba at Kanoni main mosque to appreciate her for her dedicated services to the people and the Muslim fraternity.
The district chairman, Abdu Kyabangi attended the ceremony where the locals donated several gifts including a goat in appreciation for her selfless services.
Najjemba told the people of Gomba that she will not completely abandon them. “I was raised up here in Gomba, I will always come back to support my people, Masaka where am heading to take care of the affairs of my husband is not far from Gomba,” he said.
She however noted that she partly made up her mind to quit politics in Gomba because of some of the voters who could not appreciate her services.
“ Am not an angle , I needed guidance and constructive advice, I do not like politics of hatred, I have been serving under a lot of un necessary pressure from voters, some of them could not appreciate what I do for Gomba, I am officially stopping my political responsibilities in May” she said.
Najjemba noted that she has not left Gomba the same. She thanked the leaders and locals in Gomba who have supported her political career contributing to her elevation to Ministerial appointment.
She asked NRM supporters to vote for the party flag bearers. She asked them to bury their political differences after the elections.
She said Gomba today has two constituencies curved out of what was a single constituency. She further added that the challenges of Gomba will be addressed through the promotion of vocation skills and training. “Let’s focus on skilling our children in schemes like carpentry, tailoring, saloon business, farming and building, we shall create jobs and enhance the incomes,” she said.
Najjemba promised to continue to follow up the pledges President Museveni made to the people of Gomba. Among them is the establishment of a sh2.5b district hospital, a vehicle for the district Kadhi and Muslim headquarters for Gomba district. Najjemba delivered sh60m from President Museveni for the completion of the main mosque at Kanoni.
The Kanoni woman Muslim group leader, Janat Kayongo described Najjemba as a model on matters of empowering women. “We are proud of Najjemba. She has supported our groups which has improved our income,” she said.
She noted that the men or husbands in Gomba district do not support women in their development groups. Kayongo cited the charcoal making scheme out of garbage; they started which lacks financial support.