The old chorus is back. But it won’t stop the tide. During the party retreat at Kyankwanzi, the NRM caucus endorsed President Museveni as the party’s flag bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.
This abrupt move was seemingly prompted by the fear that the party secretary general Amama Mbabazi had presidential ambitions for 2016. But he later came out to rule out his candidature and declared his undying support for Museveni. Whether Mbabazi did that out of fear or sincerity, only history will tell, soon.
People think the Museveni endorsement was a pre-emptive move to stop his perceived 2016 NRM rivals in their tracks.
It did not stop Paul Ssemogerere from breaking away and contesting against Museveni and
scooping 25 per cent of the vote. In 2000, similar endorsements were repeated, ostensibly to
subvert Col Kizza Besigye’s intended candidature in 2001.
As we all know, these pre-emptive manoeuvres did not deter Besigye’s ambitions. He broke
away from the NRM and stood against Museveni. These moves have been replicated in the run up
to every presidential election, but their futility has been as frequent as their occurrence.
So if Mbabazi, or any other person within the NRM, wants to stand against Museveni in 2016,
the Kyankwanzi endorsements will prevent nothing.
What is more surprising is that the 2016 NRM flag bearer issue was not even on the retreat’s
agenda. It was just smuggled in because some party members chanted Mbabazi’s name.
The NRM caucus could not even wait for the party’s delegates conference whose mandate is to
choose the flag bearer. They literally hijacked the work of the delegates conference.