President Museveni has reacted to former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s presidential bid calling it ‘bad conduct and premature’.
Mr Museveni, in a recorded statement circulated to the media last night, hit back at Mr Mbabazi, saying he served the system whose weaknesses he seeks to solve.
“…our method of work does not involve that kind of conduct; neither the party nor the electoral commission has announced the dates of elections. I therefore do not think it is proper for the Rt Hon Mbabazi to waste your time with that premature electioneering,” Mr Museveni said.
Responding to Mr Mbabazi’s eight-point programme, should he be elected, the President said Mbabazi was given a chance to serve as Prime Minister and he did not effect those programmes.
That forged document it was suspected that it was either authored or distributed by certain people some of whom have been arrested.
Since the name of Rt. Hon Mbabazi, my young brother has been featuring in some of these stories, I decided to invite him together with the Rt Hon Prime Minister Ruhankana Rugunda for a meeting of today (Monday) at 6 O’clock so that I ask him whether himself or people associated with him were involved in distributing these seditious, sectarian documents.
We are due to have that meeting in the next one hour or so. However, when I was coming from South Africa today, I was informed that the Rt Hon Mbabazi had put out on the social media some other story of how he wants to present himself for election as flag bearer of NRM and how he wants to present himself for president of Uganda in the next elections.
Well, those are his decisions and I have nothing to do with those. However, our method of work does not involve that kind of conduct. Neither the party nor the electoral commission has announced the dates of elections.
I, therefore, do not think it is proper for the Rt Hon Mbabazi to waste his time with that premature electioneering. Those are issues that should be handled in NRM at the right time when the Electoral Commission of NRM has arranged for those elections. I think that method of work is wrong.
More importantly, however, is the issue of the substance of what the Rt. Hon Mbabazi has said.
My young people brought me that recording and I watched. He made a number of points that I would like to answer.
First he talked about working for everybody. Well, that is what NRM has been doing all the time. When we said education for all UPE, USE that is what we meant, we meant working for everybody and that is what we have been doing.
He talks of democratic principles. Well, I must salute him, he could not escape some facts. He talked of increased prosperity. He talked of more respect for Uganda by the international community. I’m glad he couldn’t conceal those facts.
However, he said somewhere else that the country is tired. Rt Hon Mbabazi has been at the centre of our system all these years. He was in the security services, parliament, minister of security for a long time, secretary general of the party and eventually he was prime minister.
The weaknesses that are there, I am one of those who is always criticising those weaknesses. For instance, the weaknesses of school charges inspite of UPE. These are weaknesses which should be supervised by the Prime minister and other leaders. The issue of some sectors which are tired, the issue of corruption and all the other weaknesses I know very well, like restoring the NRM, the Rt. Hon is the one who can tell us more of those weaknesses.
Yes, the NRM is not that organised as it should be but Rt. Hon Mbabazi was our secretary general for more than 10 years and that is why I moved that we should amend the [party] constitution and we have a full time secretary general.
On the issue of monitoring the government system and reinvigorating it, that is the job of the prime minister; a position he occupied for some years. But even when he was the minister of security and later when he was the secretary general. Again, those are positions one could use to monitor what is going on and rectify mistakes.
Where we put capable people for instance in URA, the performance is excellent. I don’t think Rt Hon Mbabazi can say URA is tired. KCCA where we put Jenifer Musisi who was fought by so many people, you can see the impact the lady has had there.
Yes, there is tiredness, corruption, lack of commitment in executing programmes but that is because the people who are supposed to monitor don’t and I think the Rt.Hon Mbabazi will owe you some explanations in those fields.
Then I saw in the picture the Rt Hon Mbabazi speaking about some scholastic materials including mathematical sets and how he is going to distribute them to students.
Well, I made some calculations, I was informed that the mathematical set is at Shs3500 and I assumed that we may be able to give them to 4 million children from primary five to secondary schools. At the price of Shs3500 that would need Shs14 billion. The budget of the ministry of education is Shs2.3 trillion.
So, when the Rt Hon Mbabazi was supervising the whole government not just one sector, the ministry of education was receiving Shs2.3 trillion. I think Rt Hon Mbabazi owes you an explanation why he didn’t do it when he was Prime Minister and he is thinking of doing it now when he is in his new position.
Just to refresh your minds, as far as education is concerned, in 1986 we had 40,000 classrooms, we now have 149,591 classrooms.
These new schools which we have just finished building are 569 like this one I am showing you here.
Nevertheless, I am going to meet Rt Hon Mbabazi to talk about the reactionary methods that are being used like the seditious documents that are being circulated and the false stories being told.
Now regarding these false statements of his, they are easy to answer because if there is anybody who could be questioned about the weakness, Rt Hon Mbabazi is one of them. We could have achieved more. I always tell you the people I hold accountable and when we get good cadres, we get very good results.
I thought I should clarify on these issues as they come along. I thank you very much.