With the gusto of a victorious warrior after a decisive battle, President Museveni came home on Saturday, and dared any disgruntled member of the ruling party to get out. Museveni, who recently fired his prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, returned from the United States to huge crowds organised by key party officials.
Although officials denied that the rare hero’s welcome was related to Museveni’s action against the ambitious Mbabazi, our sources said this was indeed to celebrate Mbabazi’s exit. Museveni touched down at Entebbe International airport at 2:46pm and headed to State House to escape the afternoon downpour.
In his speech at the Mayor’s gardens, Museveni used parables and at one point made a biblical reference drawn from the book of Exodus where God appeared to Moses in form a burning flame in a bush.
“I don’t want to relate God’s words to NRM but you people should know that our prosperity is in our blood, we shed blood of your relatives to come to power,” Museveni said.
“[NRM] is not a party to joke around with, those who want to play with NRM should go somewhere else,” he said.
He said that at an appropriate time, he would explain “each and everything”.
He warned against early campaigns for 2016 but urged NRM mobilisers to continue mobilizing for the next general elections. Speaking to The Observer on Friday, Richard Todwong, the minister without Portfolio in charge of Political Mobilisation admitted that the Mbabazi saga had raised tensions in the party.
Todwong spoke on the sidelines of a press conference called at Kati Kati gardens, to announce the grand welcome at Entebbe. Beside the press conference venue, another meeting was planned involving Brig Leopold Kyanda, who had led the previous day’s operation to withdraw military guards from Mbabazi’s home the director of police operations, Andrew Felix Kaweesi Museveni’s brother Shedrack Nzeire Kaguta Uganda Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo, NRM Deputy Treasurer Katongole Singh, and senior police officers in the Kampala region.
“Because of the media reports [about his undeclared presidential ambitions] we have been seeing over sometime, yes it has caused a bit of tension and confusion in the party,” Todwong said.
Amid mounting speculation that Mbabazi was planning to challenge Museveni in 2016, NRM MPs signed a resolution in February, declaring the president as their sole candidate for 2016. Mbabazi eventually signed that resolution, but did not pick money given to party MPs to popularise it.
“When reports of his presidential ambitions first came out, we expected him to come out and clear the air, but neither has he come out to restrain those that are running around with his posters, nor has he come out to say [that] he is running,” Todwong said.
Source : The Observer