POSTED BY ROBUKUI
Although he has not explicitly stated so, there is no doubt Mbabazi intended to seek for the Presidency of Uganda. In Museveni’s Uganda a mere intent by any member of his NRM to seek the top leadership amounts to high treason that is commonly referred to as “counter revolutionary” (kipingamizi). Mbabazi knows the dire consequences of such intentions thus the reason why he has not explicitly come out to declare so. With Museveni’s approval, during his tenure in different positions right from the bush days Mbabazi has initiated, designed and executed a number of dirty games meant to ensure the former’s political survival.
Mbabazi is not a stooge and in doing so he hoped that was grooming him as his possible successor. His holding of two positions (Prime Minister and Secretary General) was with full blessing of Museveni in order to keep out Otafiire and Bukenya.Like Museveni, Mbabazi had hoped that if the later could secure the EAC presidency, he would elinguish power at home.
When Mbabazi realised that Museveni was instead grooming his son Muhoozi to succeed him, he felt betrayed. He instructed his family members to spearhead the behind the scenes moblisation for his presidential bid in the hope that this move would pressure Museveni into abandoning the Muhozi project. It was not until Museveni unleashed the Kayihura led security machinery against him, the Tadwong Secretary Generalship and now being relieved from the Premiership, that Mbabazi is starting to realise that the road to succession is rough.
Aware of growing resentment among party members and the general Ugandan public over Museveni’s overstay in power, Mbabazi hoped to come in as an alternative that would ensure continuation of the ruling oligarchy while guaranteeing Museveni’s security out of the office. It is too early to say that Mbabazi has lost out. That is why both Museveni and Mbabazi are very careful with the utterances against one another. They are both aware of each other’s strength in the ruling oligarchy. There is something both Museveni and Mbabazi are not telling their fans. That is why historicals like Otafiire, Muhwezi, Ssejusa, Kayihura etc have not come out openly to comment on the alleged sacking. It is only the Twalire’s in likes of Ophono Opondo who are jumping up and down with uncoordinated conclusions.
Mbabazi was using his position as Prime Minister to build Museveni’s, the party’s and his own political base within and outside the country. It is this position that boosted the bilateral, diplomatic and financial resources for himself, Museveni and the party. That is why Museveni came out openly to protect him in the nasty financial scandals. His being dropped from the Premiership position is more of an internal disciplinary measure that a fall out.
THE CHOICE OF RUGUNDA
Like many other suitable party members for the position of Museveni Premiership as opposed a Prime Minister for Uganda, Rugunda is another Museveni stooge. In public he looks a gentleman but in private he is another Museveni sycophant. He is the Aronda type of dangerous silent burners. During the Constituent Assembly, its only Aronda and Rugunda who did not debate any article on the floor but were instrumental in the behind the scenes political machinations. Rugunda is in favor of Museveni’s sole candidature and if he is a gentleman he should have been able to advise Museveni to relingiush power. In all the choice of Rugunda was precipitated by the urge to neutralise Mbabazi’s influence in Kigezi region. It is believed that most of the elites from Kigezi (Rugunda inclusive) region are behind Mbabazi. One other task of Rugunda is to resolve the small differences between Mbabazi and Museveni.
SECRETARY GENERAL MBABAZI
With the position of Prime Minister now no-more, Mbabazi is vulnerable to devastating humiliation if his family and supporters continue with their designs. Such humiliation will take the form of internal party disciplinary measures first against members of his family and criminal summons by the Police. His capacity to interact with grass root party members will be curtailed.
2016 NRM FLAG BEARER
Mbabazi seem to be banking on the Delagates Conference to be elected as the party flag bearer. Initially he had intended to continue mobilising underground so that he takes Museveni by surprise during the delegates conference but Museveni’s intelligence machinery burst his (Mbabazi’s) ambush. Museveni always chooses his weak stage managed contenders during party primaries to elect the party flag bearer. Mbabazi is not a weak contender if he is allowed to contest against Museveni in their party primaries. Therefore, the recently initiated countrywide ‘single candidature popularisation’ scheme was meant to counter the anticipated Mbabazi contest. IF ATALL ELECTIONS ARE TO TAKE PLACE IN 2016, Mbabazi will have been rigged out during party primaries if he will have opted to contest. The rigging will take the form of outright intimidation and bribery of delegates. If he adamantly either contests for the party flag bearer or opts to contest for the Presidency in the general elections as an independent, he will loose and that will mark the end of his political career. On the contrary, if does not contest in either of the two scenarios above but instead maintains his current silent status, he stands better chances of Museveni bringing him back on board.
Mbabazi cant leave NRM to join any of opposition parties. He cant form his own political party because like Museveni he believes NRM is him. Museveni cant risk expelling him from his party no matter what. The only basis for the opposition jubilation should be exploitation of Mbabazi’s squabbles with Museveni to woo support from voters.
No doubt, war drums from some section of Ugandans are targeting Museveni’s grip on power. Battle orders are sealed in the same package that is holding Museveni’s declaration of intentions to seek another term. Should these drums turn into reality and depending on how Mbabazi behaves between now and then, Museveni will need Mbabazi in one way or the other. Mbabazi cant use military means to gain power but he only uses some individuals in the intelligence services to access political intelligence.That is why Museveni has taken long to discipline him.
Mbabazi has not fallen out with Museveni because they still need each other. So long as he is still a member of Museveni’s NRM, Mbabazi is as close to Museveni as ever before.
INFORMATION IS POWER