Tuesday January 21 2014

I’m not in NRM queue - Bukenya

Former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya during a press conference at his office in Wakiso District last week.

Former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya during a press conference at his office in Wakiso District last week. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI. 



Former Vice President Gilbert Bukenya said yesterday he will use a pressure group he has launched within the ruling party to fight dictatorial tendencies, including reported queues.

Prof Bukenya who re-affirmed his candidature for 2016, said under multiparty system, leaders emerge and compete on merit for the party flag other than being in a queue, saying such queues were responsible for cliques tearing apart the National Resistance Movement.

“For me, I am not in any queue,” he said. “But what I am hearing and seeing means that inside them (NRM), there are organised cliques which we outsiders don’t know about. Therefore, for me I cannot be in a queue which I don’t know,” Prof Bukenya told the Daily Monitor.

He said what is causing the current bickering and queue-talk is lack of a clear plan by the party leadership to handle the party members on issues of how to manage the emerging individual egos taking centre stage at the expense of the party. He said basing on clique formation, he has launched a pressure group within NRM to fight injustices and dictatorial tendencies.

“I don’t know how I can [have] access to be in a queue and that is why I have told people that NRM belongs to certain people as for us, we are just blind supporters. I am forming a platform (internal pressure group called New Movement) to start exposing these issues of discrimination, nepotism, corruption and dictatorial tendencies within that party,” he said.

Prof Bukenya was responding to former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party president Kizza Besigye who at the weekend advised him and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to join the military if they wanted political aspiration to materialise. Dr Besigye said in the queue, there was only First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.

Prof Bukenya said with the current bickering in the NRM, where everybody wants to replace Mr Museveni, it is an indicator of overstay by those at the top while giving no room for others to emerge.

He said unlike Mr Mbabazi and Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga who are reportedly having presidential ambitions for 2016 but have remained silent, for him it is now or never.
“For example, I hear Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is already spreading his campaign bidding for presidency in 2016, the President is also bidding for presidency in 2016 and so is Bukenya the outsider also bidding for presidency. I also hear the Speaker is for presidency and this means the party has broken down in small cliques and this makes it impossible to be united. And for Ofwono Opondo [Uganda Media Centre head] if he doesn’t know these obvious issues then he is blind.”

He said the recent debate in Parliament to allow the army to intervene in South Sudan was done at a post-mortem level because the army had already been deployed. However, what made it ridiculous was the way the army leadership lied to Parliament but within less than 24 hours, the commander-in-chief revealed the opposite.

Government denies

The Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Tamale Mirundi, recently said there was no queue in the ruling party. “Where is it written that Museveni is going to be succeeded by anyone? There is no queue. The person who will succeed him will be voted by Ugandans and it will depend on how he markets himself,” he said. Mr Mirundi also said the President will stand for re-election in 2016.