President Museveni has extended invitations to eminent members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), who had deserted the ruling establishment to attend the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, in an attempt to mend fences ahead of the 2021 general election.
Mr Museveni is the national chairperson of the NRM party since its foundation in 2004.
Invited are former Prime Minister and party secretary general Amama Mbabazi, who challenged President Museveni in the 2016 polls, former Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya and former Member of Parliament for Kampala Central Francis Babu.
Prof Bukenya announced he had quit the NRM party in 2012
The two just like Mr Mbabazi had parted ways with the party’s inner dealings with arguments that it had deviated from the core of democracy and embraced a one-man-rule.
Prof Bukenya went ahead to form a non-aligned political pressure group called the Pressure for National Unity.
On his part, Mr Babu who has maintained a bitter public tongue against the NRM internal politics went against the party rules in 2015 and contested as an independent against the official flag bearer for the Kampala mayoral seat.
The party’s Secretary General, Ms Kasule Lumumba, said Mr Museveni listed the three among the set of five “special guests” for the party’s NEC meeting slated for today at State House Entebbe.
Others invited are former Vice President Dr Specioza Wandera Kazibwe and ex-Prime Minister Kintu Musoke.
Mr Musoke handed the mantle to the late Prof Apollo Nsibambi in 1999. He was at one time named a presidential adviser before disappearing from public domain.
Early this year, Mr Moses Byaruhanga, a senior presidential adviser on political affairs told Daily Monitor that the President was playing “a good shepherd, to bring together all his flock.”
Ms Lumumba said Article 12(2)P of the NRM party constitution “gives the national chairman the right to invite not more than five individuals who have made special contribution to the struggle to attend the NEC meeting.”
Attempts by Daily Monitor to get comments from the “invited guests” remain futile except for Mr Musoke who confirmed the development.
“It is true I have been invited and I will attend,” Mr Musoke said.
Meanwhile, political analysts have viewed the President’s move as a mature political undertaking by a party riddled by internal bickery.
Prof Sabiiti Makara, a senior lecturer of political science at Makerere University told Daily Monitor yesterday that “the President was trying to put together people who had parted ways.”
“I think it is good for the party and the country; you know Mr Museveni believes that in politics, there are no permanent friends and permanent enemies,” he said.