Ruling party youth leaders who have declared their backing for Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday addressed a joint press briefing with elements from the Opposition but refused to say whether this in anyway symbolised the forming of an alliance between them ahead of the 2016 general election.
Addressing journalists at Makerere University Guesthouse where they accused the police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura, of framing charges against citizens opposed to President Museveni’s continued rule, the FDC and NRM youth leaders skirted the subject of a potential alliance, saying they are wary of offending an ongoing court process where NRM youths are facing corruption charges.
Mr Omodo Omodo (NRM Youth League vice chairperson for northern region), Mr Brian Ochieng (NRM youth league member) and FDC youth activists Francis Mwijukye and Sam Mugumya represented the two parties.
Mr Gerald Karuhanga, the Western Uganda Youth MP, who warms up to the Opposition, also attended the briefing.
“I do not want to say much because our matters are in court. Whatever people are saying will be proved. I am a Ugandan and I cannot fear going through a trial. I am waiting for the trial to end. I know we are going to win and those who are saying those things will be ashamed,”Mr Omodo responded to charges made by the police chief, Gen Kale Kayihura.
Pressed for a comment, Mr Mwijukye cryptically said: “We are here as concerned Ugandans and we cannot tell you what we are planning next,”
On Wednesday, the police chief told a parliamentary committee that police acted on information which implicated Mr Omodo and Mr Adam Luzindana (NRM Youth League chair for Kampala) in suspected acts of terrorist.
The two youth leaders were arrested last week and arraigned at the Anti-Corruption Court on charges of abuses of office and bribery.
Yesterday, Mr John Kikonyogo, the FDC spokesman, said Mr Mbabazi has not clearly indicated his position in the NRM, making it tough for the Opposition to consider him an ally in the bid to remove Mr Museveni.
The Prime Minister is the focus of a suspected leadership contest which has thrown the NRM into a tumult, forcing a flurry of meetings at State House between the President and MPs. Mr Mbabazi insists that party organs, contrary to the ruling party MPs’ resolution to back Mr Museveni as a sole candidate during their February retreat in Kyankwanzi, will decide who their flagbearer will be in 2016. He has, however, also publicly said he will not run against President Museveni, the current NRM chairman.
“As we stand now, we do not Mbabazi’s position because he is still insisting that he is still in NRM but we welcome anybody who can help us to remove Mr Museveni as long as he does not come with dirt,”Mr Kikonyogo said.
At their press briefing, the youth leaders said the police are on the record for having previously preferred charges like rape, treason and terrorism against regime opponents only for the Force to back down when asked for evidence.