sale http://centerforblackbelt.org/wp-includes/shortcodes.php "serif"; font-size: medium; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;”>Museveni today morning instructed his Secretary to arrange for a meeting before Friday to discuss the implications of the Parliamentary oil debate that nearly cost him three powerful ministers.
clinic "serif"; font-size: medium; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;”>Already former Energy Minister Hilary Onek has offered to step down following accusation of receiving $1m from an oil company to facilitate shoddy oil deals.
page "serif"; font-size: medium; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;”>He told press last night he would tender in his resignation to Parliament before the end of today (Wednesday).
A source in NRM says the urgency of holding a meeting followed an intelligence brief to Museveni that the army wanted Mbabazi to step down to allow investigations into bribery allegations levelled against him cleared by a judicial inquiry.
According to a source knowledgeable about the intelligence dossier received by Museveni yesterday evening, nearly all top army officers would like to see Mbabazi knifed as his corruption scandals were fanning flames of possible civil strife.
“The army told Museveni of reports that opposition is planning to resort to violence over corruption in oil sector. For security purposes and to avoid violence that can be exploited by terrorists and negative elements, UPDF want Mbabazi temporarily relieved of his duties,” a source said, quoting the intelligence report.
The source further asserted that Uganda is very fragile with flaring tempers over a shrinking economy, a situation which can easily be exploited to wreak havoc.
“We should not prepare to quell violence when we have a chance to avoid it. A pre-emptive measure is necessary. Mbabazi would spare the country violence by stepping down,” the brief read in part.
President Museveni’s senior security advisor and member of the Army Council Gen. Elly Tumwiine last night weighed in on the oil debate, saying Mbabazi must go.
He accused Mbabazi of being arrogant and at one time intimidating the Speaker of Parliament.
Tumwiine said the Premier, who has been named in three earth-shattering multi-billion corruption scandals in a period of three years, is risking a censure motion under Article 118 of the Constitution.
Tumwiine reasoned that even in the army, senior officers are told to step to allow investigations.
Tumwiine’s statements were supported by NRM MP Mohammed Nsereko who said the censure motion has already been drafted and awaiting signatures.
Insiders say Mbabazi would hardly survive if a censure motion against him was moved.
Matters were worsened by reports that he had shortlisted names for the new cabinet! Former Ministers like Aggrey Awori insisted their names were deleted from Cabinet by Mbabazi to add his loyalists.
Over 20 embittered ministers dropped in the reshuffle have for long been engaged in clandestine mobilisation to “take down” the powerful government official.
For example it’s said in official circles that Mbabazi transferred Gen. Kahinda Otafiire from Trade Ministry to Justice, just to embarrass the 1986 war hero.
The meeting at Entebbe will decide whether Mbabazi and Kutesa stay or not.
Amusingly, Mbabazi has several enemies on the army council. They include Generals Tumwiine, Otafiire and Jim Muhwezi.
A few years ago, Muhwezi told a press conference at his plush home in Kololo that Mbabazi had planned his arrest to link him to a Bank robbery scandal. Muhwezi, a former spy chief, quoted intelligence reports.
Museveni usually respects decisions of his disciplined army than Parliament. If Museveni gets the nod of his senior military officials especially Gen. Salim Saleh, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima and Gen. Ivan Koreta, Mbabazi could bid Uganda’s political scene farewell.
The leadership of the Egyptian army ordered dictator Hosni Mubarak to cede power.
However, it’s important to recall that there are factors that Museveni will consider before leaving his most-trusted man to be skinned alive by hungry political hyenas.
One of them is that Mbabazi has been his most loyal official since the 1980s.
While addressing NRM MPs at his residence in Entebbe, shortly after appointing Mbabazi premier, Museveni said the shrewd lawyer is a consistent, hardworking, loyal and intelligent revolutionary.
It would be betrayal for Museveni to let go but suicidal to keep around Mbabazi! His war against corruption would go to the dogs while at the same time giving corrupt officials a green light to “keep eating.”
The third crucial issue Museveni will consider is the authenticity of documents incriminating Mbabazi in the deals. As we reported earlier, it’s the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that handed the evidence to opposition.
“I got the documents from the US Embassy in Kampala,” said MP Gerald Karuhanga.
With truthful evidence before Uganda’s C.E.O, Mbabazi could go. During the Temangalo Scandal, Museveni said the investigation was being politicised. He argued that Mbabazi was being witch-hunted by his political rivals.
Museveni will also have to look at posterity. Saving Mbabazi against the wishes of the army and party would tantamount to political suicide. The Premier is now hugely isolated as he works round the clock to save his tainted image.
Museveni is well aware that keeping Mbabazi as Secretary General of a party, on an anti-corruption crusade, is shooting oneself in the foot.
The president is between a hard place and a rock. Life without Mbabazi could be prioritised than having a rapidly splitting party and plunging the country into chaos.
Mbabazi understands he was supposed to have stepped down as NRM SG months ago after accepting position of premier. This was agreed in the NRM caucus in Entebbe. However, he has since turned a deaf ear, fearing he could be relegated to a mere Kinkizi MP once kicked out of Cabinet!
Whether M7 will walk the talk of his anti-corruption crusade or choose to defy the army and save Mbabazi, opposition could decide to walk the oil walk!