In response to harsh criticism from Hope Mwesigye, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, the Rujumbura MP (NRM), has said he is not envious of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, as the former Agriculture minister claims.
The response comes days after Mwesigye, an in-law to Mbabazi, accused the former Health minister in an interview with The Observer on July 1, of having an axe to grind with the premier. Speaking to The Observer on July 9, Muhwezi instead urged Mwesigye to apologize to him and stop using the Banyakigezi community to promote her political agenda.
“The comments [that I am envious of Mbabazi] by my honourable friend Hope Mwesigye were unfortunate because she was avoiding the fundamental issue of using our non-political organization for their political gains,” he said, adding, “It is a non-issue, irrelevant, incompetent, immaterial, and diversionary the issue is why does she use our organization for political gains?”
“Why doesn’t she address herself to that issue instead of diverting it to non-issues?” he further asked of Mwesigye.
Mwesigye, a former Woman MP for Kabale, told The Observer on July 1, that Muhwezi was frustrated and envious of Mbabazi’s political record.
“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… ” Mwesigye told The Observer.
“They are the people who are busy selling the sole candidacy for President Museveni, which people have rejected especially in Kigezi people don’t want to hear about it, and they know it.”
At an earlier press conference at Parliament, Muhwezi had accused Mwesigye of hoodwinking the public that Mbabazi was the preferred presidential candidate among the Banyakigezi community. Muhwezi made the remarks a few days after Mbabazi had been handed a spear and a shield during last month’s Banyakigezi cultural gala.
Muhwezi told The Observer that NRM MPs had endorsed President Museveni as the sole NRM flag bearer for the 2016 elections, and that would not change.
“She [Mwesigye] wants to portray a picture that I and right honorable Prime Minister Mbabazi, we don’t like each other, and that I am envious of him which is not the case,” he said, describing handing Mbabazi a spear and a shield as an “unfortunate incident” which doesn’t “represent” the views of the Banyakigezi.
Despite these protestations, however, there has been no love love lost between Muhwezi and Mbabazi. During the NSSF-Temangalo saga in 2008, Muhwezi pinned Mbabazi for exerting political pressure on the fund to purchase his land at a fee he said was inflated. Mbabazi was later exonerated by Parliament.
Yet it is Muhwezi’s avid support for Museveni’s sole candidacy that marks a more dramatic turnaround. Barely two years ago, in 2012, Muhwezi chastised some NRM MPs who had started a campaign to promote Museveni’s fifth term bid. Muhwezi told The Observer then that the actions of the MPs, led by Eastern Uganda Youth MP Peter Ogwang, were in breach of the party and national constitution.
“There is no reason to talk about succession,” Muhwezi said in 2012. “The Constitution is very clear on how a president should be elected or replaced. As far as I’m concerned, the president has just spent one year so, you cannot come out to say that he should stand again when the party top organs like the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) have not decided.”
Muhwezi added that what Ogwang and the other lawmakers were doing was not right.
“The MP is not right. The time has not come. It doesn’t require one person to come and drum the song that the president is standing again. It is a matter of the whole party not a few individuals here and there. We shall discuss it when time comes,” he said.
Source : The Observer