Former minister Hope Mwesigye has attacked NRM MPs Jim Muhwezi (Rujumbura) and Henry Banyenzaki (Rubanda West) for supporting President Museveni’s sole candidacy bid in 2016.
Mwesigye is a sister-in-law to Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who, despite several denials, is rumoured to nurse presidential ambitions of his own. Along with Mbabazi’s wife Jacqueline, Mwesigye has been a consistent critic of the resolution by NRM legislators that no one should challenge Museveni for the party candidature in 2016.
Mwesigye spoke to The Observer on July 1, after Muhwezi and Banyenzaki accused her of using the recent Banyakigezi cultural gala to “trick” the association into endorsing Mbabazi, who hails from Kigezi sub-region, as their presidential candidate for 2016.
Speaking by telephone, Mwesigye suggested that the two MPs were driven by frustration and envy.
“I think Muhwezi, is frustrated because of his envy for Mbabazi – because he has always wanted to be like him, yet he can’t be equally so is Banyenzaki,” said Mwesigye, who has lately become critical of the Museveni government she once served as Agriculture minister.
“They are the people who are busy selling the sole candidacy for president, which people have rejected especially in Kigezi people don’t want to hear about it, and they know it.”
Addressing journalists on July 1 at Parliament, Banyenzaki and Muhwezi had singled out Mwesigye for blame.
“She brought a spear and handed it over to [Bank of Uganda] Governor [Tumusiime] Mutebile to hand it over to Mbabazi, and then hoodwinked the unsuspecting public and the nation at large, that Mbabazi is the preferred presidential candidate for Banyakigezi.” Banyenzaki said. “But we the Banyakigezi NRM Members of Parliament who represent Banyakigezi constituencies, we did wide consultations and our people endorsed President Museveni as our candidate in 2016. And for anybody to come up and say that they have endorsed Mbabazi is just wishful thinking.”
Banyenzaki was flanked by Maj Gen Muhwezi, also a founder member of the Banyakigezi community.
“As representatives of the wider community of Banyakigezi, we do categorically dissociate ourselves from this gimmick and mockery of endorsement of Amama Mbabazi as our presidential candidate,” Muhwezi said.
“It was wrong for anyone to use that function to make attempts to aance hisher political objectives. We want to re-affirm the position which was arrived at through participatory consultations of NRM members in our constituencies to the effect that His Excellency the President and chairman of NRM be the sole NRM presidential candidate in the forthcoming 2016 elections.”
Mbabazi, who was accompanied by his wife Jacqueline at the cultural gala, was handed a spear and a shield, interpreted in some circles, as symbols of power and ultimately an endorsement of Mbabazi. Asked whether she could join an NRM team to popularise Museveni’s sole candidacy, Mwesigye, also the Kabale district NRM chairperson, said she could not.
“I am not aware of it I was not in Kyankwanzi. Even if I had got the money to popularise that resolution, I couldn’t sell it because I can’t support something that erodes internal democracy principles,” she said. “We cannot accept to support undemocratic tendencies and that is why we fought bad governments. Why would we go to this extent?”
Mwesigye insisted that everyone had “the right” to contest any post at any level: “We don’t need to ring-fence posts in government.”
She attacked the way NRM has spent time, and dished billions of money on popularising the Kyankwanzi resolution yet there are “major issues” to be worked on.
“Do you think that having many graduates without jobs is a bed of roses? We don’t have doctors in hospitals. With all those issues, you come and tell me to popularise and waste all this time and resources on the Kyankwanzi resolution? it’s a shame,” she said.
At least Shs 6bn was released to NRM MPs as facilitation to popularise the Kyankwanzi resolution at the grassroots. Mbabazi did not pick the money.
Source : The Observer