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Mbabazi, Museveni strike deal to discipline ruling party detractors

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By TABU BUTAGIRA

Posted  Wednesday, March 26  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Deal? PM says they have devised ways to deal with party members spreading lies of a divide between him and the President.

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Kampala.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday said allegations of his strained relationship with President Museveni were a creation of “internal detractors”, and that he and the President have agreed on how to sort them.

“Please be calm, most of what you read or hear about me are calculated lies to put a wedge between me and President Museveni,” the premier reportedly told members of his Kinkizi home district’s executives, according to a statement issued by his office.
Mr Mbabazi added: “I have said it over and over again that I have no intentions of standing against the President in the 2016 Presidential elections. It’s the reason (I) signed the NRM Caucus’ Kyankwanzi resolution in support of the President.”
The February resolution recommended Mr Museveni to the ruling party’s National Delegates Conference to be considered as NRM’s sole presidential flag bearer.

This unprecedented decision, which ordinarily is not a role of the party’s parliamentary caucus, triggered public razzmatazz that the MP Evelyn Anite motion aimed to lock out prospective aspirants and ring-fence the country’s topmost executive office for Mr Museveni.
The intra-party altercations began inflicting damage on all Ugandans when unending back-to-back NRM caucus meetings stopped sittings of Parliament, meaning otherwise important legislations and policies for the country have remained unattended.

The schedule of the legislature was interrupted further when NRM MPs resolved to move to the countryside to popularise Museveni as the sole NRM presidential candidate for the 2016 ballot.
The Caucus was yanked into action following unconfirmed reports in an intelligence dossier that Prime Minister Mbabazi and his wife, Jackline, the head of NRM’s Women League, have been using party structures to under the President and mobilise for a possible Mbabazi presidential campaign.

In his rebuttal, one of several over the past two weeks, the premier said his decision not to challenge Museveni for the coveted political seat was not influenced by public opinion, but his conviction that “the President, who led them in the (NRA/M) liberation struggle has ably offered leadership to the country in all possible aspects”.

“But like any other Ugandan, there is no law that bars me from standing for President, but I will not stand against Museveni and it is as clear as that,” he said.
NRM Caucus spokesperson Anite, who moved the Kyankwanzi motion for a Museveni-only flag bearer, told Daily Monitor last evening that she has been unwell and unaware of the latest developments in the intra-party discussions.

tbutagira@ug.nationmedia.com