EXCLUSIVE: Top NRM Shots Front Bukenya for Mbabazi's Job

pharmacy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Bukenya is being fronted by top NRM officials who believe Mbabazi will continue to use the influential position to mobilise grassroot support to bolster his presidential ambitions.

Already, Mbabazi is being accused of covertly working to undermine Museveni’s presidency ahead of the 2016 polls, a charge the Premier denies.

The reports are likely to renew rivalry between Bukenya and Mbabazi.

The Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo on Saturday said a team of party members has been selected “to meet Prof Gilbert Bukenya on Tuesday over party policy and programs performance.”

Sources say Bukenya was determined to stand for President in 2016 until he was convinced by a group of Ministers including Frank Tumwebaze “not to stab Museveni in the back.”

Meetings have been underway to ensure Bukenya returns to NRM promising him Mbabazi’s job.

Bukenya has as well been promised unlimited support in terms of resources and mobilisation at the grassroots level to ensure he defeats takes the SG post.

The former ‘number two’ will be expected to tone down on his criticism of Museveni and declare an end to his 2016 presidential ambitions.


Mbabazi in 2010 floored Bukenya and Kahinda Otafiire in the hotly-contested SG elections.

The duo would later accuse Mbabazi of rigging the polls, a charge the Premier dismissed as untrue.

In a recent article, Bukenya described as “laughable” reports that Mbabazi and his people brag so much about that he won as Secretary General at Namboole with a landslide.

“The fact that myself as well as Hon Otafiire who contested for Secretary General then with him, chose not to speak against the shameful and glaring fraud at Namboole, didn’t mean all was well or even fair,” said Otafiire.

“Not at all. We chose to keep quiet, concede all that had taken place for the sake of our party and the circumstances of electioneering we were in. We didn’t want whatsoever to divide our supporters as we entered the general elections. We took a line that could unite us for a common and bigger cause than divide us at that moment.” He added.

“How can Hon Amama Mbabazi without shame then brag of a land slide in an election that was organized and directly manned by his daughter? “


Bukenya and Mbabazi are publicly known enemies.

At one time, Bukenya accused Mbabazi and sister-in-law Hope Mwesigye of lying to President Museveni that he was secretly conniving with the Catholic Church to remove the President from office. Bukenya described the rival group as a mafia.

Bukenya last month said he was “very happy” that Jacqueline Mbabazi and her husband are “beginning to reap from their very own dirty handworks of misusing intelligence structures to engineer and doctor maligning reports against their opponents (real and perceived) to the President.”

He was reacting to a press statement by Ms Mbabazi who said NRM was being torn apart by “acts of fascism”.

The former VP noted: “For her to cry foul of how the President was getting doctored intelligence reports and recordings against their alleged clandestine mobilisation against him, was the most interesting of all, and it exposed their extreme hypocrisy. Why call them doctored now, yet the same were used not many years ago, by her husband’s security apparatus, to malign some of us and falsely tell of how we were mobilising Baganda army officers, Cardinal, clergy and entire Catholic flock to build power bases against the President? “

He added:” I watched in utmost disbelief, Hon Hope Mwesigye and Hon Mbabazi both boldly tell blatant and cooked up lies to the President in my presence. Fortunately, President Museveni listens and does so patiently without panic and emotion. Otherwise, he would have sealed off my fate there and then as a treason suspect.”

Bukenya further said that unlike Mbabazi, he was ready to relinquish his position of Vice President upon being elected Vice President.

“Personally, I offered myself to run as Secretary General well aware that I was doing so at the risk of losing my “big job” of Vice President (as my supporters called it). In fact I told some people who were convincing me to opt out of the race for Secretary General so as to keep my “my big number two” Job that it’s okay I was ready to become Secretary General of the party and forfeit other jobs for the sake of devoting my time and mobilization skills to the party,” said Bukenya.

“There was a general concern over the way the party was being handled with party structures totally neglected and only remembered during campaigns. I felt I could cure this if elected. All of us contenders for the Secretary General post knew that. I find it therefore once again hypocritical on the part of Hon Amama and his wife to claim that this was targeting Mbabazi as a person. That is totally false.”

Mbabazi speaks out

On his part, Mbabazi has laboured to explain that he is not dying to remain the Secretary General and that he would quit if proper procedures were followed to replace him. These include convening the NRM Delegates’ Conference.

Interacting with social media enthusiasts recently, Mbabazi explained: “I am the Secretary General (SG) of NRM by a process. I was elected by delegates. I got 6,000 votes. My being a SG is a result of a democratic process and this is not disputed.”

He added: “Even in 2005, we talked about it in NEC and with the president. The position of SG especially in circumstances where the structure of secretariat is not full constituted, a lot of his time is required for bureaucratic work of the party.”

“The President and I have no difference. A Secretary General, as the position is, who performs democratic functions of the party, would have little time to do other things – which is true,” he noted.

Mbabazi said NRM can adopt another option of South Africa’s Africa National Congress (ANC) where the SG is a paid as bureaucrat to do the work of the party.

“But the SG of NRM is not like that. What we need to do is to revisit this position as NRM. Do we need an SG who is political or a bureaucratic one? If we choose to have a bureaucratic one we need to change constitution, have elections and even appoint fully paid bureaucrats for the secretariat like directors for mobilization, information, administration, finance, cadre identification and recruitment.”

This SG, according to Mbabazi, would devote time to the party work.

Mbabazi maintained that if NRM was to win an election in 2016, the NRM would have to deliver public services with perfection.

“NRM was elected on a manifesto and promised service delivery. We shall be implementing its pledges. The PM does the work of coordination, monitoring and evaluation. It’s a full time job that needs a lot of attention. I am not dying to have both.”

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