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Battle to Conquer Mbarara Intensifies


Former Prime Minister and presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi on Thursday morning stopped short of announcing his 2016 presidential bid, check telling a group of the NRM Youth members that he will never “abandon” the “struggle” to liberate Ugandans from poverty and abuse of human rights.

“I have been in the struggle for a long time to improve the well being of people and it’s a life time commitment, viagra dosage ” said Mbabazi.

“I will never go on holiday with my commitment for the struggle. I don’t want anyone’s permission,” said the former NRM Secretary General who was toppled by party delegates during a conference in Kampala in December 2013.

Mbabazi expressed shock upon being informed by NRM Poor Youth Group that they were reportedly being harassed by the establishment for supporting his perceived presidential ambitions.

“Intimidation is not right. You can intimidate or eliminate individuals but their ideas will stand,” said Mbabazi in a calm but assertive tone.

At around 6:00am today, a group of NRM Poor Youth led by a one Isa Kato, gathered in Kololo before walking to Mbabazi’s plush storeyed residence.

In the spotless clean gardens, the youth sat on chairs as they waited patiently for Mbabazi to emerge from the beautiful residence.

After about five minutes, Mbabazi joined his visitors for the meeting.

Mbabazi meeting the youth in his compound

Mbabazi meeting the youth in his compound

Isa who led the NRM Poor Youth Group started off by introducing his colleagues before pulling out a document which the described as an “endorsement certificate,” urging Mbabazi to firmly stand against Museveni in the 2016 presidential race.

“We endorse you as our president because we know you will win,” said Kato, adding, “We need a leader who is concerned about his people.”

He also revealed that, “The President (Museveni) has fought us but he can’t manage us because we sent you to save us.”

Several members of the NRM splinter youth group have been arrested and others jailed for holding pro-Mbabazi protests in Kampala.

Police says political assemblies in the heart of the city disrupt traffic flow and business.

Isa told Mbabazi that the latter had worked with Museveni for a long time thus accumulating enough political “experience to take us forward.”

He added: “We looked around and saw you have the record to lead us come 2016″.

Mbabazi's wife Jacqueline and some of the youth in the group photo

Mbabazi’s wife Jacqueline and some of the youth in the group photo

Mbabazi stance

In his introductory remarks, Mbabazi said he got a “message that poor youth were coming by but I didn’t know who was coming. You didn’t need any invitation to come but when you come without notice you find us unprepared.”

Mbabazi said he had not been “commenting on those issues (seeking presidency). I have made a few comments but chosen not to speak about them because when I speak I want to be purposeful.”

He further maintained his stance that as a “strong member of NRM, I subscribes to what party says. I believe in organisation if you are to succeed.”

Mbabazi stressed that it would be “inappropriate to declare my position now. There is a song that speed kills. Don’t rush things.”

Perhaps realising that his visitors were slowly getting disappointed, Mbabazi tactfully changed his tone.

He expressed his pleasure at the preparedness and organisation of the youth group which had even mobilised journalists to cover the function.

The once powerful NRM functionary said the youth should “organise so that when time for action comes, you are well prepared.”


Mbabazi welcomes his guests in Kololo

Mbabazi welcomes his guests in Kololo

He also spoke out on youth calling him ‘Your Excellency’, saying, “I don’t think we have rules on who to be called which title.”

Mbabazi further disclosed to his guests that, “I am available to play any role to promote the rights of our people”, in response to calls to stand for president. He said he was impressed “by your confidence in me.”

Mbabazi urged the youth to refrain from acts of violence, saying, “When you are fighting for rights do so in accordance with the law. When I do act, I follow the law.

“Rights not fought for are rights not achieved,” he emphasised.

Mbabazi and Jacqueline exchange pleasantries with the youth

Mbabazi and Jacqueline exchange pleasantries with the youth

Mbabazi, who participated in the NRA war that saw Museveni seize power in 1986, also tackled the issue of poverty, insisting “it’s the responsibility of government to address high poverty levels in Uganda. It is a problem we must fight.”

He admitted that poverty has hit the “crisis level” in Uganda.

Isa’s team included Siraje Kaisaka, Benjamin Cheimo, Steven Okwaimungu, Ben Ssebuguzi, Bashir Kazibwe and Reagan Barigye.
All is set for the season opening Mbarara Rally that gets underway on February 28th and has already attracted the entries of Arthur Blick, price Wycliff ‘Roll Master’ Bukenya, recipe Unison Bakunda and Fred Busulwa among others.

Next weekend’s rally has also has sucked in top Rwandan driver Christakis Fitidis and his co-driver Eric Nzamwita. The duo has been impressive in their recent Mbarara participation finishing every rally and on podium.

Th Belgian born driver is confident this will be his year in Mbarara asserting to ChimpReports; “There’s nothing new for me in Ugandan rally because I have competed against them before; that’s why I’m returning,” Fitidis says.

Semi retired driver Desh Kananura is set to be the biggest attract in Mbarara after his Subaru Impreza arrived at Entebbe International Airport on Tuesday night and has confirmed his burning desire to race the machine.

Unfortunately, Jon Consta will not race his Evo 9 which he claims is still being furnished but will register an alternative N10 Subaru which almost beat everyone in the first morning sections 2014 edition before encountering mechanical faults.

2013 National rally champion Jas Mangat is a big doubt and his participating will depend on the mechanical

condition of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X that he is going to use in the Kisumu rally of Kenya this weekend.

The race organized by Mbarara Motor Club will like usually start with a super special stage at Pine Ridge double track circuit in Masaka on Saturday and on Sunday competitors will cover five sections in Busheny, Shema and Mbarara districts.

After the special stage, cars will head to Lake View Hotel in Mbarara where they will be flagged off on Sunday morning.Competitors will then cover five sections in Bushenyi, Shema and Mbarara districts.

The number of entrants this year is set to shot over the roof after aspiring rally drivers, previously barred from competitive events because of inability to acquire works machines, will finally live their cockpit dreams after local motorsport ruling body FMU cleared special-purpose vehicles (SPVs) to score championship points this year. FMU’s competitions committee members unanimously approved the rule allowing SPVs to score NRC points. SPVs include such cars as pickup trucks, Pajeros, Prados and other off-road cars, which are commonly referred to as street cars, but conditioned and prepared mechanically in local garages to withstand tough conditions in rally routes.

The other key change in the regulations restricts the Clubman Rally Championship (CRC) to only first-time drivers in competitive rallying. In addition, CRC competitors must have two-wheel-cars with engine capacity of not more than 1800cc.

Previously, debutant drivers were allowed to compete in any kind of car as long as they presented a driving permit and the competition license.


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