Mbabazi Meets NRM Delegates

Former PM vows to hold onto secretary general job

After his Sunday night face-off with police at a radio awards ceremony, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi held a meeting with some NRM delegates at a top hotel in Mbarara town. Sources who attended the Monday morning meeting say Mbabazi met more than 100 NRM delegates from western Uganda, along with his area mobilisers.

During the five-hour meeting, which the police seemed to be unaware of, Mbabazi said that despite being on leave from his role as NRM secretary general, he does not intend to relinquish the position until his term of office expires in September 2015.

A delegate who attended the covert meeting, Denis Twahika, told The Observer that the Kinkiizi West MP told them that the NRM constitution does not allow him to announce his political plans right now. However, Mbabazi reportedly added, he would return to inform them of his “great ambitions” for Uganda after the NRM delegates’ conference.

“I will come and announce my ambitions in broad daylight,” said Twahika, who heads the pro-Mbabazi mobilisers in the Greater Bushenyi area, quoting the former prime minister.

Undercover operation:

Sources privy to the preparations for the meeting revealed to The Observer that the plans were clandestine so as to avoid the possibility of security operatives interfering with it. A plan was laid out to have Mbabazi travel from Kanungu to Mbarara on Sunday night.

Mbabazi’s first stop in Mbarara town was the Western Media Awards at Kakyeka stadium, where he made a surprise appearance. Mbarara District Police Commander (DPC) Dickens Bindeba attempted to stop Mbabazi from addressing the crowd attending the event, but he later relented after the intervention of some senior police colleagues.

Following the awards ceremony, Mbabazi spent the night in Mbarara town and the following day, he met the NRM delegates. The Observer understands that the district authorities, NRM leaders and security officials in Mbarara were all kept in the dark about Mbabazi’s visit for fear of jeopardising his agenda.

Asked whether the police knew of Mbabazi’s meeting with NRM delegates, Mbarara DPC Bindeba said, “I am not aware of that meeting.”

Mobilisation:

The Observer has learnt that Mbabazi’s meeting with NRM delegates was organised by a group of his supporters belonging to a loose organisation named “Mbabazi NRM Western Brigade.”

The organisation has reportedly developed a network of mobilisers across western Uganda. Available information indicates that some of the known mobilisers are, Twahika (Greater Bushenyi), Muhammad Bwambale (Rwenzori), Akiki Kiiza (Bunyoro), Bright Muhumuza (Mbarara), Tom Rwomushana (Ntungamo), Denis Savimbi (Ibanda), James Mwesigye (Tooro), and Aaron Turahi (Isingiro).

Twahika told The Observer that Mbabazi encouraged them to continue mobilising the western region in his favour. Twahika further said that when Mbabazi was told about harassment of his mobilisers by Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), District Internal Security Officers (DISOs) and other security operatives, he assured them that he would deal with that problem.

According to Turahi of Isingiro, Mbabazi told them that he was not moved by any attempt to remove him from the position of secretary general. Mbabazi reportedly told his supporters that the move to cement the Kyankwanzi ‘sole candidate’ resolution and oust him from his position through a vote of no confidence at next week’s delegates’ conference is illegal.

Mbabazi said he would challenge a no-confidence vote in court if it arose, Turahi told us. Mbabazi further told his supporters that he had planned to organise the December 14-15 conference earlier but was told “there is no money.”

He wondered where the money was coming from suddenly, while he is on leave. Turahi further told us that Mbabazi aised NRM mobilisers and delegates against being used by individuals who seek to personalise the party and use it for their selfish needs, saying such a scheme would kill the party.

Source : The Observer

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