SUCCESSION POLITICS: Mbabazi Hosts Telecom Tycoons At State House Banquet
President Yoweri Museveni is making it crystal clear to all and sundry that his preferred successor is Premier Amama Mbabazi.
Shortly after sending Mbabazi on a special mission to Israel last Sunday, Museveni on Tuesday asked the Prime Minister to stand in for him at a State dinner hosted in honour of delegates attending the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) Africa Regional Conference in Kampala.
Museveni has in the past avoided the sensitive topic but actions speak louder than words.
Knowledgeable State House sources say the succession battle is seriously raging on with dozens of government officials working round the clock to impress the President for his anointment.
Museveni’s closest aides say he prefers Mbabazi for his brilliance, reliability, discipline, loyalty, trust and dedication to serve the nation.
This has not gone down well with some UPDF generals who believe Museveni should be succeeded by one the NRA combatants.
Authoritative information indicates Museveni has adamantly refused to accept this logic, observing that Mbabazi played a significant role not only in mobilizing funds for the NRA but enabling the guerilla army to consolidate its hold on power for over two decades.
Mbabazi told guests at the Entebbe State House dinner that government embraces modern payment methods because of their efficiency in delivery of government services. He cited the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) systems.
At least 350 delegates from over 30 countries are attending the three-day conference at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
“I wish to commend SWIFT, which is a member-owned cooperative, for the provision of worldwide financial messaging network for business operations with speed, security, certainty and confidence,” Mbabazi said.
He noted that such initiatives impacted positively on the growth of financial traffic volumes across the African continent. He said this growth was particularly strong in the securities and payments traffic.
The SWIFT Chief Executive Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Alain Raes said the organization supports the financial market to facilitate infrastructural development.
He revealed that operations in member countries would be standardized in the next three years.
Bank of Uganda governor Prof. Tumusiime Mutebile said by selecting Uganda to host the conference, SWIFT sent a vote-of-confidence in the country’s financial regime and development outlook.
Mbabazi advised African countries to explore potential value for local communities leveraging their investment.
He urged them to come up with ideas aimed at bringing their total cost of ownership down, saying this would enable them to reap benefits on their investment.
“Money is the oil of industry and development and, therefore, we must give it due weight even in dinner conversations,” he said. He invited delegates to take time off and visit Uganda’s countryside to experience the beauty of the country’s natural environment and hospitality.
Mbabazi hailed SWIFT for fostering regional integration and monetary cooperation, especially through harmonization of payment systems.
According to Mbabazi's press secretary Kyetume Kasanga, the premier noted that most regional projects involving the transfer of monetary value use SWIFT as a backbone infrastructure.
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Updated on 2013-06-04 10:39
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