The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Wolokoso - Mbabazi Names 'Heir Apparent'

As reports persist to the effect that Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is considering throwing in the towel in 2016, Wolokoso has learnt that his political assistant has been anointed the Kinkizi West successor.

Wolokoso understands that several names were fronted during one of the premier's family meetings, but James Kamwesiga, Mbabazi's assistant, stood out. Kamwesiga, said to be in his late 40s, has been Mbabazi's political assistant for a little over two decades. He has worked with Mbabazi right from the Prime Minister's days as minister of state for Defence in the 90s.

"Mbabazi suggested the names; they were all contacted and they accepted. But Kamwesiga carried the day during one of the family meetings," said a source.

In our story (Mbabazi to quit in 2016, The Observer, 0ctober 3-5, 2012), we reported that the premier told his family members that he would not seek re-election in 2016, a move that has drawn mixed reactions from political circles in the country. Some suggest that Mbabazi's alleged cold relationship with President Museveni has precipitated his abrupt exit from elective politics.

Others point to the unclear succession debate within the ruling NRM that may have prompted Mbabazi to find an early exit from the dirty game that is politics. We also reported recently that Mbabazi confirmed his exit to some of his fellow National Bank of Commerce shareholders (see: Mbabazi confirms 2016 exit reports).

Mike Mukula, Kabila ties:

Mike Mukula, Kabila tiesFormer Junior Health Minister Mike Mukula perhaps has a magic wand for making friends with leaders in the region. Already a bedfellow with Kenya's Premier Raila Odinga, Mukula is, now, also said to be close to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila.

Sources have told Wolokoso that once in Kinshasa, Mukula is given VIP treatment and chauffeured in a Mercedes Benz. Because of these ties, Mukula was recently consulted to speak to his friend after a UN report claimed that Uganda was supporting the M23 rebels who have sown mayhem in the country.

Nandala holds fete in Mbale to cap campaigns for presidency

Leader of Opposition (Lop) Nandala Mafabi, who is contesting for the FDC presidency, last Saturday held a massive rally as a climax to his campaign in eastern Uganda at Mbale SS.

Barely two weeks before the polls to replace Dr Kizza Besigye in Uganda's largest opposition party, Mafabi invited at least four delegates from each district.

But some officials from the rival camp of Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu treated the hosting of delegates with suspicion, alleging it's the archetypal bag of rigging tricks borrowed from the NRM.

Where is Odo Tayebwa?

If there is anyone whose vote is being contested for between the Nandala Mafabi and Mugisha Muntu camps, it is the recently elected MP for Bushenyi- Ishaka municipality Odo Tayebwa.

Muntu's people claim the FDC secretary for mobilization played an influential role in Tayebwa's victory against Nasser Basajjabalaba, while Mafabi's camp claims the man is theirs.

Tayebwa recently avoided being linked to any of the camps, when The Observer telephoned him. However, because the voting is by secret ballot, sources within the FDC claim that some leaders who have been openly endorsing certain candidates will secretly show their true colours at the ballot.

Well, Wolokoso just might be a fly at the voting table...

MP Ruhunda erects tower in Fort Portal:

The lawmaker for Fort Portal municipality, Alex Ruhunda, has already made a fortune through his MTN-linked company, Daj Communications, perhaps the biggest franchisee in western Uganda. But he won't stop minting money. Alongside his partners Dennis Mugarra and James Rwabuhinga, the trio is now erecting a storeyed building on Rukiidi street, where they plan to establish their headquarters.

They also own a hotel alongside other properties.

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