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Weekly Observer |The Inside Story | Museveni – Why I fired Amama

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Posted October 19, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Inside Politics ~ 3,242 views

     

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Details from NRM’s heated CEC meeting

Publicly, President Museveni has said very little about the sacking of Amama Mbabazi as prime minister but on Thursday, October 16, Museveni offered members of NRM’s Central Executive Committee a somewhat detailed explanation. The CEC, the second highest decision-making organ of NRM after the delegates’ conference, was convened by Mbabazi in his capacity as secretary general at State House Entebbe.

CEC comprises of the party chairman, Museveni, the first national vice-chairman Hajji Moses Kigongo, and the deputy regional vice chairpersons; Mike Mukula, Rebecca Kadaga, Capt Francis Babu, Alhajji Abdul Nadduli and Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza. Others are Mbabazi, the secretary general and, his deputy, Dorothy Hyuha, chairpersons of various leagues; Kirunda Kivejinja, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, Hassan Bassajjabalaba, Jacqueline Mbabazi, and Denis Namara.

The treasurer, Amelia Kyambadde, and her deputy Singh Katongole, and the chairman of the party’s electoral commission Dr Ruhakana Rugunda are also members. According to multiple sources amongst CEC members who attended the meeting, convened largely to discuss the 2014 report into the messy 2010 primaries, the meeting began with an abrupt motion moved by Capt Babu for the amendment of the agenda.

Shortly after President Museveni had opened the meeting, Babu reportedly suggested that cohesion in the party be added to the agenda. Babu, according to our sources, stated that lack of cohesion had caused “massive confusion in the party.”

His suggestion was overwhelmingly supported and adopted. With the agenda amended, President Museveni then spoke out on what pushed him to sack Mbabazi in a one-man reshuffle last month. Museveni reportedly said he had closely followed Mbabazi’s political mobilisation activities in the run-up to his sacking and studied numerous complaints against the former premier from various NRM members.

“There were a lot of complaints about Mbabazi’s [political] mobilisation, and [him] meeting different NRM district leaders at his home in Kololo,” Museveni reportedly told the meeting.

“I had to move in and stop the confusion,” he added.

The president also accused Mbabazi’s wife Jacqueline, of telling various NRM leaders that he (Museveni) had “expired.” The president, according to our sources, admitted that this had infuriated him. In the presence of both Mbabazi and his wife, Museveni said Jacqueline had started by telling people that he was grooming [Brig] Muhoozi [Kainerugaba, the first son and SFC commander] to succeed him.

The president further said that after sometime, Jacqueline started targeting him personally, adding that he had recordings to prove this. Museveni claimed that Jacqueline had even met senior officials of some international organisations such as USAID, and accused him of being “too extravagant” to be maintained by Ugandans.

Before attacking Jacqueline, a combative Museveni had earlier asked Mbabazi to explain why he had categorised party leaders and army officers as “bad and good people.”

The president then cautioned Mbabazi against putting his personal ambitions before the revolutionary vision.

“The vision of the revolution is always first; we can’t allow people to mix their personal ambitions [with the revolutionary vision],” a source quoted Museveni as saying.

Mbabazi speaks

In response, Mbabazi reportedly wondered why the president had not dealt with all the people accused of creating cliques within the party as he promised in February during the NRM MPs’ caucus retreat at Kyankwanzi.

“When the president said he was going to investigate the cliques and divisionism being created in the party, honourable David Bahati (caucus vice chairman) whispered to say that the president was referring to me,” Mbabazi told the meeting.

Mbabazi added that he followed the president to his tent to inquire why MPs were soiling his name. Mbabazi, who categorically denies the charge of creating divisions within the party, reportedly said that the accusations emanate from some of his bush war comrades who hate him because he often refused to give them “sensitive information.”

At a certain stage, Mbabazi also reportedly spoke about his long-time friendship with Museveni. He said he and Museveni have had several “disagreements, [but] I continued to work well with the president because we have been together for over 40 years.”

On her part, Jacqueline, the chairperson of the NRM Women’s League, used the meeting to accuse Museveni of frustrating “internal democracy” within NRM. She cited the Kyankwanzi sole candidate resolution as an explicit example.

“…The party chairman is busy hosting different meetings to push [through] the Kyankwanzi resolution,” she reportedly said. “He even met my members [of the Women’s League] without inviting me.”

She said she was prompted to mobilise politically for Mbabazi because “everyone was against the secretary general.”

Despite Jacqueline’s confession, our sources indicate that Mbabazi maintained he was not aware of her mobilisation work. In response to the claim that recordings of her clandestine meetings were in Museveni’s possession, Jacqueline said her detractors were “trying to match her voice with another in Fort Portal.”

Jacqueline also attempted to lecture CEC members on management ethos, which teach about longevity in leadership.

“… Ten years in leadership is a long time,” a source quoted Jacqueline as saying, adding that it was a mistake to lift the presidential term limits.
But her lecture was interrupted by President Museveni who said “theories of leadership” do not apply to “revolutionaries”.

Open discussion

When the matter was opened for debate, members vented their rage against Mbabazi and his wife. Led by Jim Muhwezi, the Rujumbura MP, some urged President Museveni to guide the meeting on what to do for Mbabazi, whom they said had become a “stumbling block” to party cohesion.

Others who were hard on Mbabazi included Sam Engola, Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, Singh Katongole and Kasule Lumumba. They all accused Mbabazi of “creating cliques and mobilising to oust” the president. Sam Engola reportedly asked how one could explain the things that happened at Namboole stadium in September during the Cranes vs Guinea match.

“Where did all those [Mbabazi] T-shirts come from? Mbabazi knows this,” Engola said.

Kasule Lumumba allegedly said she had seen various letters, appointing some “youths as Mbabazi campaigners” during her working tours in Sebei and Buko.

Singh Katongole also spoke of how he had learnt that Mbabazi was building a power base. After listening to his colleagues, Maj Gen Kyaligonza expressed his displeasure with Museveni for handling Mbabazi with kid gloves.

“You [Mbabazi] are lucky that I am not president; otherwise, by now you and your wife would be in Luzira prison,” Kyaligonza, a decorated bush-war fighter, reportedly said.

On his part, Basajjabalaba (Entrepreneurs League) urged Museveni to reconcile with Mbabazi, saying that the party was “better off with him.”

NRM register

In its report, the committee that was led by Rosemary Sseninde (Wakiso Woman MP) said it had failed to access the party register and recommended a fresh registration of all NRM members across the country before the next party primaries next year.

When the matter came up for discussion, Mbabazi was again on the spot. Members demanded for the register, which Mbabazi said is available both in print and electronic form. Mbabazi, however, insisted that the register would not be handed over unless NRM commits itself to pay back the accumulated Shs 3bn debt, money that his daughter Nina Mbabazi borrowed to compile it.

After going on for some 11 hours and yet not reaching consensus on key issues, Museveni adjourned the meeting to Saturday, October 18. By the time we went to press, we were yet to establish what transpired in that meeting.

walusimbideo@gmail.com


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

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