Minister for Presidency and KCCA, Hon Frank Tumwebaze has spoken out on the woes of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, stating that his current predicament was utterly his own making.
Amama Mbabazi, who last Friday was effectively eliminated from the top NRM leadership, Tumwebaze said, had misspent his chances and betrayed Ugandans’ trust while he was still Premier and the ruling party Secretary General.
Mr Tumwebaze went on and advised that the Mbabazi case ought to serve as an example to all the other politicians in the country.
Now known only as the Kinkiizi West Member of Parliament, Mbabazi was in September last year dropped dramatically as Prime Minister, and replaced by Health Minister Hon Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
This followed highly held beliefs that he was cooking plans to contest against President Yoweri Museveni, who the party caucus had earlier in February endorsed and urged to stand unopposed in the primaries for the 2016 General Elections.
Later in December, the NRM party unanimous booted Mbabazi as Secretary General replacing him with government chief whip, Hon Kasule Lumumba, following constitutional amendments passed at the December 15 Delegates Conference in Namboole.
While the Party Executive [CEC] chaired by President Museveni has considered retaining him therein as an ex-officio, this too was rejected in last Friday the NEC meeting at State House in Entebbe, which opted for Justice Minister Kahinda Otafiire to take his place.
Minister Tumwebaze reveled in a statement yesterday that Mbabazi, once an NRM kingpin, had himself to blame for his crumbling reputation.
“One fact is that he is not a new person from heaven, or abroad. He’s been here for long and part of government architecture and so people know his performance like they know for many others, “said Tumwebaze.
The Minister was responding, to a recent poll conducted by a French organization in partnership with a local media house, which purportedly showed Mbabazi trailing badly against Yoweri Museveni in the bid for 2016 presidential elections.
76 percent of the 2000 respondents according to the study report believed Mbabazi was an unsuitable presidential candidate, while 60 percent said the country needn’t elect a new president.
Noted Minister Tumwebaze, “This [Mbabazi’s unpopularity] should teach a lesson to all of us politicians; our different ambitions notwithstanding. Everybody will reap politically, he or she has sown. Ugandans know better who can manage and who cannot.”
The Minister appeared to make a veiled reference several scandals that blemished Mbabazi’s reign as Prime Minister in the recent years.
The former premier was a couple years ago embroiled in a major scandal that hit his office in which more than Sh 50 billion of donor money meant for a reconstruction project in Northern Uganda went missing.
The graft case was exacerbated by latter claims that some of the money [about 600 was spent on procumbent of a brand new a Mercedes Benz for the Premier.
Amid escalating tension, some donor nations announced withdraw of their funding to government of Uganda. Locally, more pressure was piling on him from parliament, civil society and the public.
Some leaders in Northern Uganda were reported claiming that Mbabazi would never be allowed to step a foot in the region if he ever became president.
In February 2008, the same man was entangled in an equally gross corruption scandal where he was accused of utilizing his position to fleece money from the national pension fund – NSSF.
Mbabazi reportedly arm-twisted NSSF management to purchase his 411.44 acres of land in Temangalo at an inflated cost of Shs 11.2 billion (Shs 24 million per acre).
He was nonetheless to be cleared of both allegations by the various investigating committees and tribunals.
Meanwhile, Minister Tumwebaze lashed out in the statement at opposition political parties in the country, whose propaganda he said, had been rejected by Ugandans.
He noted, “People know what they want. They appreciate the stability enjoyed over the years and don’t see any better alternatives from those aspiring to replace NRM and its founder Museveni.”
“Opposition will continue to suffer resounding rejection from people time and again. Their biggest undoing is that they want to sell to Ugandans what is not and so they can’t achieve any substantial following, Period.”