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Weekly Observer | Museveni walks out on Amama, former PM refuses to apologise

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Posted July 27, 2015 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Inside Politics ~ 2,485 views

     

JPAM VS M7

Any lingering hopes of reconciliation between President Museveni and Amama Mbabazi appeared to vanish on Friday, after the president abruptly walked out on his former premier.

During a meeting at State House Entebbe on Friday, Museveni tried – and failed – to persuade his erstwhile comrade to drop his 2016 presidential bid. To insiders, Mbabazi’s presidential challenge is threatening to do more harm than good to the ruling party.

Museveni made his latest effort to sway his former prime minister during a special meeting of the Central executive committee (CEC), NRM’s second  highest policy-making organ.

Mbabazi, his wife Jacqueline and sister-in-law Hope Mwesigye had been summoned for “an interaction” with a CEC select committee.

The three were officially invited through a July 21 letter written by the NRM secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba to appear before a four-man committee chaired by President Museveni.

The interaction, however, according to our sources, turned into a disciplinary meeting that charged the ousted NRM secretary general with breaching the party code of conduct.

With Museveni in the chair, the meeting asked Mbabazi to apologize for nurturing presidential ambitions. Mbabazi, sources said, roundly  declined to apologize.   Infuriated, Museveni drew the meeting’s attention to the events that led to the 2014 Kyankwanzi resolution that endorsed him (Museveni) as NRM’s 2016 sole candidate.

NEVER AGAIN

Mbabazi reportedly responded by asking Museveni why he was revisiting old issues that had been handled and resolved by CEC. A now irritated Museveni took a swipe at CEC for insisting that he (Museveni) talks to Mbabazi again.

“You see, you see. I told you but you insisted that I talk to him. I don’t want to talk to him again,” Museveni reportedly said before walking out of the meeting, leaving Kigongo to chair the reminder of the session.

After a short while, Kigongo called the meeting to order and Mbabazi presented a 15-page missive. In his presentation, which was intently listened to by the CEC select committee, Mbabazi said he felt ashamed of NRM’s recent actions that included; the arbitrary arrests of his and opposition supporters, selective application of the law and turning the country into a police state.

He also harshly criticized the NRM Electoral Commission’s demand for nomination fees from party members intending to contest the party primaries.

This, he said, had turned the NRM into a party of the haves. (See full statement)

After his lengthy presentation, one CEC member reportedly shot up and said, “But Mbabazi, this is splitting the party; please stand down.”

Mbabazi did not respond; but moments later, he  reportedly picked his things and left the meeting.

TIME WASTED

Interviewed at the weekend for a comment, Lumumba declined to speak. A senior CEC member who attended the meeting confirmed our narrative of events but downplayed the part of Museveni storming out of the meeting.

“The president did not storm out, he had other engagements and asked Hajji Moses Kigongo to take over,” the CEC member said.

“He [Museveni] is fed up; he doesn’t want to be involved in issues to do with Mbabazi anymore,” the NRM leader said.

Jacqueline and Mwesigye snubbed the meeting. Jacqueline didn’t give reasons but Mwesigye wrote to Lumumba.

“Reference is made to your unreferenced letter dated July 21. I have just received it at 4:30pm, exactly one hour before the planned “interaction.” This is very short notice,” Mwesigye’s July 24 letter to Lumumba said.

“Furthermore, you do not indicate the nature as well as the substance of the “interaction” so that I can make adequate preparations,” the letter reads further.

In the letter, copied to Museveni and all CEC members, Mwesigye clearly refused to recognise Lumumba as secretary general.

Interviewed on Saturday, Mwesigye told The Observer that she was a witness in a case challenging Lumumba’s appointment. She said, therefore, she does not recognise Lumumba as the rightful holder of that office.

In a weekend interview, Ofwono Opondo, the deputy NRM spokesman, said the hitches at the CEC meeting clearly demonstrate the futility of  talks with the Mbabazis.

“I personally don’t have trust in that process because the people we are dealing with are obstinate; it is a waste of time, we should rather concentrate on our election programme,” Opondo said.

sadabkk@observer.ug


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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