President serves big turkey on the eve of Christmas

On Monday, the President made important changes in the ruling National Resistance Movement party. After the delegates conference sent home its principal officers, the Secretary General, his deputy, the Treasurer and her deputy he took immediate action to replace them. His choices Justine Lumumba Kasule, the Chief Whip, Richard Todwong, the Minister without Portfolio, Rose Namayanja Nsereko, the Minister for Information and National Guidance and Kenneth Omona the Kaberamaido MP cheered liberals and froze historicals and post 1986 functionaries in place. The events of the last three months have “used” these two groups relentlessly to get rid of Amama Mbabazi and his group. The historicals, including army officers hated Amama Mbabazi because he “was not one” of them. He was part of the struggle but did not fire a single shot handling the delicate docket of intelligence gathering and fundraising. The party functionaries did not miss him much his work methods delivered with mechanical efficiency purges, palace coups and all sorts of personal embarrassments on his personal enemies. As far as intelligence goes during the last two months where Ugandans have been entertained nonstop it now turns out that Amama was probably not the only one in the family doing intelligence work on behalf of President Museveni.
In making the appointments, the President also sent a strong signal that he did not intend the revamped party to become a source of headache in the future. He has put a clear distance between himself and his appointed officials. No one as yet has been handed the fly-whisk to start mobilising the people. Even though the fact that none of the majors has been involved in any major scandal may also be a bait. The President has asked a political scientist and a medical doctor to raise money for his party. This can only be a recipe for disaster. Neither of the two are trained in financial matters and this financial expertise has been a problem for persons holding this role right from the days of Eriya Kategaya whose name was invoked a few times in Namboole. Kategaya in 1996 had to resort to Danze Enterprises to raise money for the campaign. James Wapakhabulo did not last long enough to campaign in a general election. In 2001 and 2006 the task fell to intelligence agencies to do most of the ruling party’s bidding collecting thank yous from businesses, political appointees and persons seeking favors. The intelligence machinery then also did a good job of weeding out competent people it perceived as unfriendly or neutral to the regime.
By 2011, the era of big money had arrived. Immediate former SG himself not a lawyer played the institutional game. Big money and politics have been bedfellows for a while. It is a major problem for the principal, the agents and the masses. Both the President and the Governor of the Central Bank have been “talking” up the local unit which has lost 10 per cent of its value this year. Both have been talking about money flooding the country during election time. Both have very much sounded like half- hearted missionaries sent to preach the Word of Christ deep in the African jungles where they encounter snakes, vermin and other forms of wildlife rather than supplicants ready to receive the word.
In 2016, big money will continue to play its customary role. Ahead of 2016, the President’s last pre-election reshuffle will return a few historicals with proven fundraising prowess to cabinet to “take care of themselves” and the party. A number of portfolios are now open for the President’s bidding Information, Chief Whip (the one who managed the MP financial bailout), Health, East African Affairs and Water. Retirements and natural attrition may also take care of a few other portfolios. On the campaign field it will be curious whether one last element will be visible, tear-gas and tanks that have minted billions for another group of people who are always ready on the go. Mr Ssemogerere is an Attorney-at-Law and an Aocate.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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