There is heightened excitement in town. The military, the Parliament, and the political parties – all are abuzz with political chatter. I like it because clarity about a few things is already emerging.
In the military, the much-whispered-about bad blood between some of the generals is no longer mere rumour. Thank you Gen. David Sejusa (read Tinyefuza). Reports that President Museveni is grooming his son, Brig. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, to succeed him have worsened the divisions. High-calibre revolvers may be drawn sooner.
In his leaked missive to one of his subordinates, Gen. Sejusa, who is reportedly conveniently outside the country, takes swipes at Gen. Kale Kayihura, the head of the police, and Gen. Salim Saleh. He wants them investigated for allegedly being behind a sinister plot to do in prominent people “perceived” to be anti-“Project Muhoozi”.
Those biggies include himself, Chief of Defence Forces Aronda Nyakairima and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. Gen. Sejusa’s use of the word “perceived” is intriguing. May the courageous officer tell us whether, in his opinion, there is a Project Muhoozi? And if there is, is he for it or is he against it. We don’t want to traffic in perceptions, afande.
Gen. Sejusa is the same officer who delivered arguably the most bravura of performances in Parliament when he appeared before the Sessional Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs on November 28, 1996. I was there as a young reporter. The officer offered a double-barrelled denunciation of the military’s prosecution of the anti-Kony war. For that the Big Man made him swallow hot coals.
Then he went quiet, got rehabilitated and returned to the fold. Until now, Gen. Sejusa has caused such a stir that, as of this writing, a statement from the Minister of Defence is awaited.
It may not confirm the active implementation of Project Muhoozi, or even its existence, but it will yet be another important national document. In any event, time will tell whether President Muhoozi will materialise.
In the meantime, we have to be happy with the juicy revelations. For example, that intelligence is investigating Gen. Sejusa, he who is the coordinator of the intelligence services.
What shadowy role did he play in egging on MPs who gave the Big Man grief over the death of their colleague Cerinah Nebanda? When in October last year he wrote in the Daily Monitor of a potential backlash because of the “lawlessness, impunity, arrogance and insensitive behaviour” among “some actors who manage the affairs of the state” – evidently referring to KCCA and the police – what did he actually mean?
Besides, the man holds a big-sounding job that, my sources in intelligence say, has been rendered irrelevant, further irking the general. He supervises nobody and has no access to the Big Man. That means no influence, and no access to piles of cash as well.
Moving on resolutely toward 2106.The sniping and angling for advantage ahead of the general elections is fully underway beyond Project Muhoozi and its discontents. In DP, President General Norbert Mao has been quite busy. Some of the youth of the party are striking out on their own, thumbing their noses at the party boss.
Mr Mao says he knows who is causing him of trouble, or to use his colourful language, who the dog owner is. Dr Kizza Besigye, the former president of FDC, is the spoiler. He is allegedly giving goodies to DP youth wingers, most from Buganda, to ditch their party and support him so he can win big in Buganda in 2016.
The youth would also benefit, like the Ssubi gang did in 2011, by riding into Parliament on his coat tails. Where does Dr Besigye’s fourth run for President of the Republic leave FDC president Mugisha Muntu? Yes, the party constitution says the party president need not be the flag-bearer in the national elections, but even then shouldn’t the present chief be the candidate? Well, FDC biggies such as spokesman Wafula Oguttu are actively floating a Dr Besigye run. There is no easier way to split FDC down the middle and kill its chances of taking power than shunting Gen. Muntu aside.
And did I just hear that part of the warring between Dr Besigye and Mr Mao is because if the former runs again that would kill the idea of a joint Muntu-Mao ticket – a prospect very much favoured by various elites, most especially in civil society?
Over in Parliament, the NRM party, so intent on scoring some vindictive points against four expelled party MPs, has made itself a thing of ridicule in insisting those members be kicked out of Parliament as well.
Every constitutional lawyer who passed exams thinks the NRM leadership has taken leave of its brain. That is sad. Kind of.
Mr Tabaire is a media consultant with the African Centre for Media Excellence. firstname.lastname@example.org