Mbabazi Now Eyes NRM Chairman Job

A day after NRM delegates gave their national chairman power to appoint the secretary general, effectively ousting Amama Mbabazi, he urged his supporters to remain g and continue mobilising for the 2016 elections.

A reliable source has told The Observer that during a meeting at his Kololo home on December 16, Mbabazi, flanked by his wife, Jacqueline, reportedly said the outcome of the NRM delegates’ conference had instead strengthened his resolve to aim higher, contrary to reports that he was crestfallen.

“I have the [capacity] to compete for the party chairmanship in the next conference, and that’s why I can’t leave my party,” Mbabazi is quoted as having told the meeting.

Our source told us that Mbabazi said the amendments to the NRM constitution favour him in case he contests and wins the chairmanship of the party at the next delegates’ conference. Then, he suggested, he would be in position to appoint the secretary general and other officials.

The meeting started at 10 am and concluded at 2 pm. Our source told us that it was impromptu, after some NRM delegates supportive of Mbabazi went to his home to express solidarity in the aftermath of the conference. The source said that they found him in good spirits as he was even cracking jokes with them.

Mbabazi told them that he was aware of a ploy to move a vote of no confidence against him in case he had tried to resist the proposals. He also reportedly told his supporters that he was happy the issue of sole candidate was not on the agenda at Namboole. Our source told us that Mbabazi urged his supporters to continue mobilising at the grassroots.

“He told us to ensure that a significant number of delegates for the 2015 conference are his supporters,” said the source who attended the meeting.

Specifically, the source said, Mbabazi told his supporters to identify potential aspirants who will occupy key party positions at district level, youth league, women’s league and other organs. Attempts to talk to Mbabazi to verify this information proved futile as his phones went unanswered.

His sister-in-law Hope Mwesigye neither confirmed nor denied whether the meeting had taken place. Asked whether she was aware of the meeting, Mwesigye paused for a few seconds and then said: “Why can’t he be chairman? Is he not qualified? Hasn’t he played a big role in building this party?”

Plan B?

While he refuses to publicly declare his political plans, preferring to leave people guessing, there’s widespread speculation that notwithstanding the Namboole setback, Mbabazi might still want to run for president of Uganda. If he were to become NRM chairman at next year’s delegates’ conference, notwithstanding the difficulty in achieving that, he would be in pole position to become president.

Until he was sacked as prime minister in September, Mbabazi drew most of his political clout from having Museveni’s ear and support. Now on his own, Mbabazi could reconcile with President Museveni and return to the NRM fold, form his own political organization, join the existing opposition parties, or withdraw from public life altogether.

Source : The Observer

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