Wednesday February 19 2014

MPs attack youth wing over Prime Minister

By Yasiin Mugerwa

As the contest to become the ruling party’s flag-bearer in the 2016 election persists, senior members of the NRM House caucus yesterday attacked leaders of its youth wing for backing Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi against the President.

At a morning press briefing, the leaders appeared dismayed that their informal endorsement of President Museveni as the sole candidate appears to have run into trouble.

They questioned why the youth leaders have backed the PM yet Mr Mbabazi last week publicly accepted to rally behind the incumbent.
NRM’s parliamentary caucus at its just-ended week-long retreat held in the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi, thought it had settled the candidacy question when it resolved to recommend Mr Museveni as a sole candidate to the coming National Delegates Conference.

Under internal rules, the caucus is, however, not formally described as an organ of the party and does not enjoy legal mandate to endorse a candidate for President.
Clearly upset, caucus treasurer, Ms Robinah Nabbanja (Kibaale District) yesterday said: “If Mr Mbabazi did not sign the motion, let him come out and say so and he can even withdraw his signature before we take the document to the Central Executive Committee and the delegates’ conference,” she said.

Party whip, Kasule Lumumba also told journalists at the same briefing that “those who support Mbabazi were not in Kyankwanzi, but they should know that the Prime Minister signed the motion and he is No 202,” a reference to the PM’s position on a list attached to the Evelyn Anite motion under which MPs committed their support to Mr Museveni.

“In any case, on that day, he was not drunk and it was in broad daylight. Nobody forced him to sign the pro-Museveni motion. Mr Mbabazi even stood and made a case for President’s sole candidature” Ms Lumumba said. The comments on the PM were a response to the youths’ denouncing of a Museveni sole candidature.