Nobody is going to speak with Mbabazi. I am tired of this nonsense!”-Museveni – UMUSEKE – News indeed
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President Museveni has for the first time expressed his displeasure at the frosty relationship and impasse in negotiations with his former political confidant John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, telling the ruling party’s Central Executive Committee, that not much can be achieved.

President Museveni says that he is tired of the Mbabazi's  nonsense
President Museveni says that he is tired of the Mbabazi’s nonsense

Sources that attended the ruling party’s last Thursday meeting in which the former NRM party secretary general was top on the agenda told Daily Monitor that Mr Museveni advised during deliberations chaired by party vice chairman Moses Kigongo that forming a committee to speak to Mr Mbabazi would not bear much fruit.

However, Mr Kigongo still proceeded to form a negotiation committee headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to manage the deadlock.

By press time, the meeting that was due on Sunday had not taken place.

Meeting rescheduled

NRM secretary general Justine Lumumba told this newspaper that when they reached out to Mr Mbabazi, he said he was engaged but would be glad to meet with the sub-committee. According to Ms Lumumba, the meeting with Mr Mbaabzi and former vice president Gilbert Bukenya was rescheduled to Friday this week.

Last Thursday, the NRM’s CEC, chaired by President Museveni, appointed a team to invite Mr Mbabazi and Prof Bukenya and other dissenting party members for talks.

Sources quote Mr Museveni saying: “Mbabazi? No, no, no! Nobody is going to speak with Mbabazi. I am tired of this nonsense!”

Mr Museveni has twice met with Mr Mbabazi ever since the former premier announced his 2016 presidential aspirations on June 15. Mr Mbabazi declined to back down in both meetings, insisting he will challenge Mr Museveni for presidency.

The newly selected committee was also tasked to speak to Prof Bukenya, another high ranking NRM official, who has since broken ranks and challenged the status quo.

During the meeting, it is reported that Information minister Jim Muhwezi proposed that Mr Mbabazi face the NRM Disciplinary Committee and be expelled for making “NRM suffer” because of his activities. However, Dr Rugunda opposed the propositions.

Mr Muhwezi was reportedly supported by Kenneth Omona, and a host of CEC members, including Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and the party’s deputy secretary general Richard Todwong.

When reached for comment Mr Todwong cited a proverb, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.

Mr Todwong charged that Mr Mbabazi should even face double punishment more than what the expelled rebel MPs got, because, he is a senior party member and founder, who is abusing the traditions and rules of the party.

Dr Rugunda said NRM and Uganda’s image has suffered because of police’s action of arresting Mr Mbabazi.

The premier was supported by Mr Fred Mukisa, who said NRM needed to demonstrate internal democracy.

Despite President Museveni’s stance, Hajj Kigongo, who said Mr Mbabazi cannot be handled on the same level like previous NRM members who were sent to the disciplinary committee, proceeded to form the committee with a task to convince Mr Mbabazi and Prof Bukenya to harmonise their ambitions with the NRM lines.

Meanwhile, yesterday other senior government officials said Mr Mbabazi’s condition for talks were fruitless efforts of “a sinking man, clutching at straws”.

Minister for the Presidency Frank Tumwebaze told Daily Monitor that the rules will not be withdrawn.
“For Mbabazi and his lawyers to set conditions for talks is to misunderstand the context of the CEC decision. With or without Mbabazi the talks can still go on.

In fact, imagining that the President is begging Amama for talks is laughable. Why beg him? Those are the illusions of their inflated ego and cheap propaganda trying to remain relevant,” Mr Tumwebaza said.

Citing Article 39(10)(d) of the NRM Constitution, Mr Tumwebaze said the law provides for the process of making internal regulations for polls. He said the power to draft and approve the regulations is given to the NRM Electoral Commission and CEC respectively.

Sunday Monitor reported that Mr Mbabazi had set conditions for the talks with NRM. Communicating his client’s position, Mr Severino Twinobusingye, one of Mr Mbabazi’s lawyers, told Sunday Monitor after the former premier was denied the nomination forms last week, they scrutinised the NRM primary elections regulations 2015 and wrote to the President in his capacity as chairman of CEC, asking him to rescind and withdraw those rules that contravene every law of the land, adding that Mr Museveni “must first address those issues before any meaningful discussion can go on”.
Mr Twinobusingye reiterated that Mr Mbabazi will not engage in a dialogue whose spirit is to stifle his right to contest for leadership and serve the country in the highest office in the land.

They said

“Mbabazi has to dance to the tune of the party. We cannot allow indiscipline from a senior party member. We have not even finalised the manifesto, and he is talking about consultations. Our party candidate markets the NRM manifesto, not his personal ideas,” richard todwong, nrm deputy secretary general

“I wasn’t there in the CEC meeting so I am not in position to comment authoritatively. It is difficult to assess the President’s frustration because we haven’t heard Mr Mbabazi’s side of the story but I know he is a principled man who keeps his word and Museveni knows that best,” Benjamin Alipanga, Mbabazi’s campaign spokesperson

“Mbabazi can’t write his own regulations and cannot compel the party chairman to withdraw the rules. He simply wants attention and is desperately trying to finda scapegoat early that will justify his imminent defeat,” frank tumwebaze, minister for presidency.

The Monitor

UM– USEKE.RW

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