Uganda’s former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has refused to yield to NRM’s tricks by declaring he will not seek presidency under the Yellow umbrella. But Mbabazi carefully chose his words this week while announcing that he will still contest the presidency by avoiding to state beforehand that he will contest as an independent candidate or whether he answer calls to join the Democratic Alliance.
Mbabazi said he had chosen to abandon his wish to seek the party ticket because of illegalities.
Mbabazi said: “The fact of the matter is NRM has sought to obstruct my intentions completely. The party’s pressuring of the National Electoral Commission was evident in the EC’s attempt to renege on their initial position regarding my consultations by requesting me to “harmonise” my schedule with the party.
“Similarly, full of all sorts of snares and illegalities, were obviously created with my candidacy in mind.”
He then went on to say: “I have decided that I will not stand within NRM and when the time comes I will be nominated as Presidential candidate.”
Although Amama Mbabazi has yet to sign the Protocol that established The Democratic Alliance (TDA), a group of leading political parties and other pressure groups that seek to end President Yoweri Museveni’s reign, continue to spread the Gospel that Mbabazi can be trusted to lead the Alliance and therefore stand as a joint candidate.
Among those who have expressed support for the choice of Mbabazi as the joint TDA joint candidate is Leader of Opposition in Parliament Wafula Oguttu, Susan Namaganda, the Bukomansimbi District Woman MP.
Mbabazi’s sister-in-law Hope Mwesige has been working with the TDA team and expressed solidarity with them during its launch a few weeks ago.
Mbabazi claims his determination to stand for presidency is not solely driven by the desire to topple Museveni but also to restore good governance in the country. A number of people doubt his genuineness.
Mbabazi faces serious criticism from some quarters within the Opposition who see him as uncommitted to the need to restore full democracy. Having been an architect of most of the repressive laws in Uganda and but also his insistence that NRM is still a viable tool to take Uganda forward, is a source of doubt in the minds of many that indeed Mbabazi may be a plot to hijack the opposition to keep NRM in power.
Mbabazi said he is not leaving NRM, a party he says he founded, but will ultimately get nominated.
“I’m not leaving NRM. I’m just not running on the NRM ticket. I am going to start a journey and at the end of this journey, I’ll be president of Uganda,”
Mbabazi made the remarks on Friday while addressing the press at his home in Kololo. The announcement came on the last day for picking nomination forms for whoever wished to stand for presidency. The announcement also came on the same day President Museveni picked his forms.
Mbabazi made the announcement from his home in Kololo after the party refused to relax its stance to remove what he called illegal rules on nominations.
Mbabazi refused to pay Ushs20million as fees for nomination fees for president as required by the ruling party’s electoral commission, following changes by the party.
Those who condemn Museveni for most of Uganda’s woes insist that Mbabazi has been a strong factor behind Museveni’s failures, not only as a leader in the party. But Mbabazi says he still believes in the NRM ideals.
He said: “I remain eternally committed to the core values of our struggle. In everything I do, I will continue to embody the true objectives and identity of the National Resistance Movement. The principles of NRM are noble and just; they were and are still based upon a desire for a better Uganda.”