Former Premier Amama Mbabazi has seconded Dr Ruhakana Rugunda’s appointment as the new Prime Minister, saying President Yoweri Museveni made a right choice as parliament debated on Tuesday.
In the motion that was moved on Tuesday afternoon by the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and overwhelmingly endorsed by 217 out 2025 MPs who voted, Mr Mbabazi said, “It is possible that in this parliament, I have Known Nduggu Rugunda longerWe have been friends, workmates and comrades, consistently for the last 56 years. All the seconders have said anything about him (Rugunda) and I thought I would give you a different view. Because of my knowledge of him, I can therefore confirm to you and the country that the choice of Rugunda as the Prime Minister is the right choice.
Mr Mbabazi who is the Kinkiizi West MP and also NRM Secretary General further said, “Our struggle against poor politics started longtime ago when we were students and Rugunda was our leader.”
According to Mr Mbabazi, from 1971 to 1973, Dr Rugunda directly participated in the fight against poor politics in Uganda.
“He survived because he knows many things and many skills, among which is making friends. He made many friends and that is why he is alive today,” Mr Mbabazi said, adding,” In 1973, we comrades of Rugunda shaved off his beard. This beard you see on him today is not his original beard. We shaved off the beard to save his life. You can’t imagine how he looked like without the beard.”
In his maiden speech after the endorsement as Premier, Dr Rugunda saluted Mr Mbabazi who he said has been his child hood friend.
“I will be focusing on the implementation of NRM manifesto and the National Development Plan. Let us intensify our collective effort to combat corruption which is one of the biggest challenges to this country. Great emphasis will be placed on accountability and transparence,” he said.
In his welcoming speech, the Leader of opposition in Parliament Mr Wafula Oguttu who, although did not second the motion on Mr Rugunda’s appointment congratulated Dr Rugunda, saying he fits well in the shoes of the Prime Minnister and will serve the country well.
“I stand here to congratulate Dr Rugunda on his elevation as Prime Minister. I have known him since 1979. We only disagreed once. We formed a party called Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM). We want to revive UPM and he came to dissuade us from reviving UPM. Other than that, we have been good friends. We (opposition) appeal to you that you continue taking the route of dialogue and tolerance. We also hope that you can use your position to continue pursuing political reforms,” he said.
In a letter written to the speaker of parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga and copied to Head of Public Service, Secretary to Cabinet and Mr Amama Mbabazi, President Museveni asked parliament to approve Dr Rugunda’s appointment.
“By virtue of the powers vested in the president of the Republic of Uganda by article 108A(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, I have with immediate effect decided to appoint Dr Ruhakana Rugunda as the new Prime Minister of Uganda,” the September 18, 2014 letter reads in part.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor