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The end game is imminent

Ramathan Ggoobi

The end game is imminent

President Museveni and former Prime minister Amama Mbabazi

President Museveni and former Prime minister Amama Mbabazi

Mr. President, how did we get here? Mbabazi to talk ill against you! State agencies to harass their immediate former boss! Unbelievable but unsurprising

On October 18, > 2013, I tweeted my article thus, “NRM supporters; what are you still resisting?” My good friend, David Mpanga, responded with a simple answer, “Time”. A couple of days later, Hon. Amama Mbabazi, then Prime Minister and also NRM Secretary General chipped in with a tweet, “No! NRM runs with the time! It resists the obstacles to change.” David quickly responded to Mbabazi’s tweet, “So the NRM has abandoned ‘No Change’? That is very important news.”

That is how fast Mbabazi let the world know that things were not the same anymore within the ruling NRM party. For years now, since the beginning of the debate to remove term limits from the 1995 Constitution, the NRM party has been in a self-destruction mode.

The debate to remove the two term limit clause for the President started in May 2003. The Movement Parliamentary Caucus, as it used to be called then, met at Kampala International Conference Centre to plot the “third term project”. At the meeting, former Local Government Minister, Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, talked passionately in opposition of opening up the presidency to endless terms. “Who are you Bidandi? You are just a mere spoke in the wheel. You can go,” he was blasted openly.

Indeed a few months later, Bidandi, and a number of other senior NRM members who were opposed to the amendment of the project, were purged out of government and the NRM. The others included Eria Kategaya (RIP), Amanya Mushega, Miria Matembe, John Kazoora, Augustine Ruzindana, and Sarah Kiyingi.

Those who prevailed over the process of their removal from the party were later also kicked out. Gilbert Bukenya, one of the architects of the third term project, experienced the worst humiliation a man can face; moving from the office of Vice President direct to Luzira Prison. Now it is Mbabazi turn.

Running out of excuses

Mr. President, my gut feeling is that in Mbabazi you are going to face a challenge that will force you to play your last card. Soon it will be game over! It is very unfortunate for us the young generation, born during or slightly before the NRM ascendency to power, to see our hitherto heroic leaders publicly undressing themselves. This is not what our heroes promised us. But how did we get here?

Mr. President, in February 2013, I wrote a piece in these very pages entitled, “

Ramathan Ggoobi is Policy Analyst, and Researcher. He lecturers economics at Makerere University Business School (MUBS) and has co-authored several studies on Uganda's economy. For the past ten years, he has published a weekly column 'Are You Listening Mr. President' in The Sunrise Newspaper, Uganda's Leading Weekly

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