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Is Museveni-Mbabazi quarrel a con act?

Ikebesi Omoding

Is Museveni-Mbabazi quarrel a con act?

Mbabazi (centre) was forced to change his trade mark cool composure by Museveni’s supporters during his appearance at VOA’s Straight Talk Africa show with Shaka Ssali

The Yoweri Museveni-Amama Mbabazi story won’t go away quickly. Attention is now progressively getting focused on the suspicion of Museveni’s usual political tricks. Accordingly, disinformation and tom-foolery.

These are not entirely wrong assumptions. There have been precedents along the Museveni political road, some of them so craftily conceived and executed that many people were duped; and they came to know the truth when it was too late.

Suspicion has fallen on such acolytes like the late Eria Kategaya; Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye; the current FDC President, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu; and, other lesser figures. The brutality with which Museveni has treated some of these people has been relegated to be of no consequence given the eventual political gains for Museveni and the alleged financial benefit that has accrued.

Take the case of Eria Kategaya: how could a bosom childhood friend and freedom fighter comrade have deserted Museveni in such a highly-publicized fashion of the term-limits, when it was in their mutual benefit for Museveni to continue being in power? One explanation is that; in their pecking order from the bush days, they had made a gentleman’s agreement that each of the five-or-so bush luminaries would have their go at ruling Uganda for five years.

In the ensuing power game, Museveni discovered that five years was like one week (according to the recent commentary by President Robert Mugabe on Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunsiza): so he has consequently hung on to the chair. The point here is that Kategaya was eventually returned to favour, anyway.

Besigye was always regarded as the outsider in the pecking order. So there was not much sympathy among the bush comrades when he pitched in his bid for the presidency, albeit from the Opposition FDC position. However, this was meant and seen  to be a diversionary move to make the thing real.

Besigye had been Museveni bush doctor who had nurtured the man through very difficult medical attention – at one time treating him from an alleged life-threatening situation. Moreover, it is said that from his vantage point in Nairobi, Besigye had accorded Museveni some lifestyle comforts when he (Museveni) was in the bush, undertaking perilous journey to reach him.

But in subsequent meetings with his rivals, which Museveni is very fond of, such a session was held presumably in the Morulinga presidential lodge, Kangole in Karamoja, in which they hammered out the con deal. However, it is presumed that Besigye then made a u-turn and tried to use his position in the FDC to make an actual play for power. It eventually led to the painful incident in which Besigye was gassed with red pepper, temporarily blinding him. In the process Besigye has not returned to favour because of some other mitigating factors, which we may not touch on here.

The most recent altercation concerns the former security chief, Lt. Gen. David Sejusa, and it involved another acolyte who was at one time imprisoned but has returned to favour, Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi, now the Minister for Information and National Guidance. If one follows the developments: from pranks at Mbuya Military Headquarters to London and back to Uganda, there is something suspicious about how Sejusa is making a loud point of apparent disagreement with Museveni.

The latest incident was last week’s so-called arrest and brief detention at Jinja Road Police Station. Going by how Museveni treats his “enemies”, this was actual kid’s play, which is not typical of the man. It is not vintage Museveni; so it has to be something else.

As usual there have been NRM front men and women who have gone on the war path against Mbabazi, basically ordering that he be arrested or expelled from the NRM. Such talk has gone on without any of this happening to Mbabazi. Why?

Many explanations have gone forth that Mbabazi knows all the intricacies or the people, who carry out such orders, therefore he is able to influence them to do the contrary. Yet Mbabazi himself has said that he had no authority to implement some of the development programmes that they agreed on whether in the Cabinet or some other fora.  For that reason, Museveni should be having the upper hand in this altercation and therefore this would be a con deal.

Still, Mbabazi is on some records to have concretely averred that his disagreement with Museveni is real and therefore he is standing against him. This is a mouth watering development that has to be watched very closely.



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