Byanyima: Uganda ready for a woman president, but blocked by those who ‘‘fight dirty to lead’’

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Winnie Byanyima, the executive Director, Oxfam International, has said that Ugandan women are ready to lead Uganda to the Promised Land.
‘ ‘Ugandan women have been ready two lead for a long time but there are many incompetent men who feel entitled to lead and fight dirty to lead!’’ she said recently.

Byanyima was reacting to Maya B. Aliza, a personal lifestyle blogger who asked her whether Uganda was ready to lead Uganda before asking her to give it a chance in 2021.
In 2015, the US judge Michele William Tiffany while on three day working visit in Uganda noted: “I commend Uganda’s progress in gender equality; there has been progress of women in leadership positions,”
She added: “Ugandan women are now ripe for the top leadership of this country. I do see a woman president in the next 10 years.” She was speaking at a dinner in honour of her visit ,organised by New Faces New Voices in Kampala.

Since the country adopted multiparty politics in 2005, only three women have offered themselves for the job; Uganda People’s Congress’ Miria Obote in 2006, Ms Beti Olive Kamya of the Uganda Federal Alliance in 2011 and Kyalya Walube
Shortly after clenching a second 5 year term as the Executive Director Oxfam International, The 58year old, Winnie Byanyima, while appearing the BBC’s Hard Talk program dismissed claims that she was running for Uganda’s top seat in 2021.
When the question of presenting herself to run for President in 2021 was put to her, Byanyima said this would be an honor but added that her focus is currently on Oxfam.

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“It would be an honor to be asked to lead my country but right now I am enjoying an even bigger honor to support the voices of citizens around to find economic justice.
“I have just signed my second contract at Oxfam to serve at the organization for the next five years. I am looking at serving Oxfam right now.”

Potential women presidential candidates

Towards the 2016 presidential elections, The New Vision research team conducted an opinion poll between June 12 and 20, 2015, covering 6,626 households countrywide. It was conducted in order to make an assessment of the general public’s perception of the forthcoming general elections.

During the survey, each of the respondents was asked to name one person they think should be the woman president. A total of 1,616 respondents answered the question. Kadaga had a 34% vote, far ahead of all the proposed candidates. The First Lady, Janet Museveni, came second with 6.2%, followed by Betty Kamya (4.5%) and Kampala Capital City Authority executive director Jennifer Musisi (3.8%). Others on the list were Winnie Byanyima (2.4%), rights activist Miria Matembe (2%) and FDC’s , Salaamu Musumba (1.1%).

When asked: ‘Why do you think this person would be woman president?’
A total of 14.3% said Kadaga respects the Constitution, is not corrupt or has shown ability to fight corruption and fights for human rights and integrity. A total of 6.6% of the voters cited the need to have a female president. Another 3.7% said she is a very brilliant woman

Not ready for female president

Respondents were also asked the question: ‘In your opinion, is Uganda ready for a woman President?’ Only 28% of respondents gave a ‘Yes’ answer, indicating a small margin of those who favour a female candidate.
Ahead of the 2016 elections, an opinion poll conducted by Research World International
, indicated that more than 2,000 respondents said they were not ready for a woman president.

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