Former Ugandan premier writes to Museveni over presidential bid

Amama Mbabazi has formerly announced he will challenge President Yoweri Museveni for NRM presidential nomination

Amama Mbabazi has formerly announced he will challenge President Yoweri Museveni for NRM presidential nomination

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has formally written to President Yoweri Museveni informing him of his intention to contest for the Presidency.

Amama‘s communication was sent through a three page letter addressed to President Museveni in his capacity as the Chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement party. The letter written on 13 June, 2015 was received by the Office of the President on 15 June, 2015.

In the letter, Mbabazi stresses points made in his initial declaration that his ambition aims at helping the NRM to meet the demands of a 21st century.

With scathing remarks, Mbabazi points out that the leadership of the NRM needs to look towards the ‘quality of their leadership and not the quantity it has delivered’.

“While we have done many great things, we now need to look not at the quantity but the quality of our product,” the letter reads.  He adds that NRM leaders have turned into ‘fortune hunters’ that ‘reject various 21st century facts that are vital to effective leadership and administration.

The letter, signed by Mbabazi, also states that the coming election in 2016 requires not just a change of leaders but a change in systems for this generation and generations to come.

Mbabazi declared his intention to contest for the presidency on Monday. In response, President Museveni said Mbabazi was part of his government and owes Ugandans an explanation for the failures.

Mbabazi who is reported to have met President Museveni on Monday night, says, “I have outlined the entire contents of my bid in a letter to the chairman, I see no reason for a meeting.”

The meeting was to seek clarification from Mbabazi on what President Museveni termed as seditious materials that were circulating through social media.

Speaking to the press, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the meeting with President Museveni over the matter was, “candid and cordial.”

Meanwhile, Police have set up joint roadblocks with the army along major routes in Eastern Uganda to crack down on the supporters of ex-prime minister Amama Mbabazi.

The roadblocks have been established along Mbale-Tororo, Mbale-Sironko, Mbale-Soroti, Sironko-Kapchorwa, Tororo-Malaba, Tororo-Iganga, Mbale-Bududa and Manafwa-Lwakahaka road.

Between four and five plain clothed and uniformed personnel are manning each of the road blocks. The security officials are screening vehicles before they let them through.

Diana Nandawula, the Elgon Regional Police Spokesperson says the roadblocks are intended to crackdown on those who are distributing Mbabazi’s electioneering materials.

Nandawula says they have received intelligence that several Mbabazi’s teams have dispatched campaign materials such as posters, T-shirts and books to the region, which she says is illegal. According to Nandawula, they have not yet made  any arrests or impounded any materials since they set up the checkpoints.

A security officer who spoke to this website on condition of anonymity said they are trailing about 300 NRM youth in Elgon zone allied to Mbabazi. The youths are believed to be in possession of Mbabazi’s campaign material and are planning to distribute it.

However, some of the youth allied to Mbabazi in the region say they are not deterred by the crackdown.

Kenneth Wenani, the Elgon Zone Mbabazi Youth Coordinator says they have done nothing illegal. “ The security crackdown is a clandestine move by the NRM party government to silence any potential challenger to President Yoweri Museveni, no amount of intimidation or harassment by the state will deter us from supporting Mbabazi from taking over the governance of the country,” he added.

While responding to Mbabazi’s declaration on Monday evening, Museveni noted that it was premature for his former ally to involve himself in electioneering before the party or the Electoral Commission launch the exercise.