Monday, 10 February 2014


President Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi in a boat while touring  Presidential farm in Nakaseke .
The pro-Museveni camp went to Kyankwanzi with a well-orchestrated game-plan, hatched sometime back to “fix” Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and any other enthusiastic party member harbouring presidential ambitions, sources said last night.Even with this plan to nip the NRM secretary general in the bud, the Daily Monitor understands that some 40 MPs loyal to President Museveni had agreed to delay his endorsement as a sole candidate, effectively locking out rivals, for 2016.However, on Friday, when the Government Chief Whip, Ms Kasule Lumumba, invited Mr Mbabazi to address the MPs’ retreat, his supporters at the back of the room started singing and clapping. This whistling from Mr Mbabazi supporters, according to sources, unsettled pro-Museveni members especially since the party chairperson (Museveni) had just asked those planting the seeds of disunity within the party to restrain themselves.
Mbabazi supporters
“When Mbabazi stood to speak, his supporters started at the back of the room singing: “our man” and clapping endlessly. It was at that point that we decided to shut them up,” a pro-Museveni member said.
“This was uncalled for, especially after the President lectured us on the need for cohesion in the party. They were campaigning for their man and we could not take it lightly.” The Daily Monitor understands that after Mr Mbabazi refused to come clean on his alleged presidential ambitions, Ms Evelyn Anite (Youth Northern Uganda) and other members decided to make their move.
“When the president talked about cliques, he said he was going to consult those involved and get back to us (caucus). We thought we need to bring this to an end and make it clear we still supported the President,” Ms Anite said in a telephone interview. “The plan was to ask everyone to stand up and pledge his support for the President but there was no time,” she added. Sources said before the nomination, MPs Katooto and Anite led the MPs into singling revolutionary songs used by NRA during the bush war and a campaign song, “Mzee waffe tumwagala nnyo bambi…” When the singing subsided, Ms Anite asked MPs who were opposed to a Museveni candidature to sit down and those in approval to stand. “They all stood,” Ms Anite recalled. Although Museveni did not respond to the proposal, a source said he “smiled all through.” At the weekend, Col Fred Mwesigye (Nyabushozi) had suggested that the matter of intrigue within the party be probed further now that the NRM leader had complained that some unnamed people were plotting to stand against him. There were also accusations of a recent secret meeting in Jinja which was allegedly attended by Mr Mbabazi, some ministers and MPs. Education Minister Jessica Alupo is said to have referred to this meeting. But Dr Sam Lyomoki reportedly accused her of blackmail and denied that he attended the Jinja meeting. Lands Minister Daudi Migereko also denied the accusations and declared his support to Mr Museveni’s 2016 presidential bid.
The counter accusations
State Minister for Animal Industry Bright Rwamirama also reportedly accused Mr Mbabazi of having distributed money and Christmas cards to NRM leaders. At the end of the session, Mr Mbabazi dismissed the ministers’ allegations against him as “rumours “and asked President Museveni not to listen to them.
“When the Ethiopian empire was falling, it listened to rumours. The Museveni that I know should have come to me if there was a problem,” Mr Mbabazi reportedly said. President Museveni reportedly listened attentively and later told the MPs that the matter shall be discussed later. Ms Anite yesterday moved another motion again for members to append their signatures to a document as a sign of “commitment to President Museveni”.
“We are going to ensure that members append their signatures on the motion and this document will guide the National Delegates Conference which will endorse the President as our flag-bearer,” said Ms Anite, who together with Maj Rwamirama; Kabula MP, James Kakooza; Minister without portfolio Richard Todwong and state minister for Urban Planning Rose Najjemba are said to be at the heart of the plan to secure Mr Museveni’s ticket.
Some sources the Daily Monitor talked to yesterday said they were shocked to hear their colleague, Ms Anite (northern Uganda Youth MP) who had been invited to give a vote of thanks after Mr Museveni’s speech, instead communicate the proposal without any prior debate. Anite’s take “It was a spontaneous position imposed on us and nobody knew about it. The President had, in his speech (at the farm), said he had a vision for that place to be transformed into a model farm to which we agreed.” But when Ms Anite was called upon to give a vote of thanks, she announced how the NRM had endorsed a proposal for President Museveni to stand unopposed come 2016 to the surprise of MPs,” said the source. According to a statement from State House sent to the Daily Monitor over the weekend, NRM MPs endorsed a proposal to have President Museveni stand unopposed for the NRM party presidency in 2016. Under NRM rules, this endorsement would automatically make him flag-bearer.

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