While several Ugandans are still wondering why Amama Mbabazi signed a motion backing President Yoweri Museveni to seek another term in office despite his widely published presidential ambitions, Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa East MP says he is not surprised. Last week, Mbabazi and many other NRM legislators endorsed a motion tabled by Evelyn Anite, the Northern Uganda Youth MP to have Museveni contest as the NRM candidate in the 2016 elections.
Prior to the NRM caucus retreat in Kyakwanzi there were reports indicating that Mbabazi was readying himself to contest for presidency in the 2016 polls. But Niwagaba argues that Mbabazi cannot challenge Museveni. The MP who was expelled from the ruling National Resistance Movement for going against the party position says Mbabazi is only a politician when he is escorting and appeasing Museveni.
He describes Mbabazi as a person who has always walked in the shadow of Museveni and cannot stand on his own. Niwagaba says that whatever has been reported about Mbabazi’s intention to challenge Museveni must have been a sheer rumor adding that, someone who has presidential ambitions can’t endorse a life presidency.
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But Fredrick Golooba Mutebi, a political analyst believes Mbabazi is acting smartly and prudently and is living to fight another day. He disagrees with Niwagaba arguing that by Mbabazi refusing to step down as the NRM Secretary General as Museveni demanded of him is challenging enough.
Golooba says that much as Museveni was convinced that two big roles were too much for Mbabazi, he failed to cow him into relinquishing the position of the secretary general. He believes that Mbabazi held onto the position to further his political ambitions. He also says that the stories about Mbabazi galvanizing support among the party members could not have been a hoax adding that, it could have been what prompted that motion as Museveni wanted to disarm him.
Despite securing the support of NRM MPs, Museveni has win a vote in the National Executive Council, the supreme body of the NRM to qualify as the party candidate. Unlike the Caucus, which has a fewer people, NEC is comprised of NRM delegates right from the district to the national level. Whether or not Museveni becomes the official party candidate is dependent on the final decision of NEC.