9 March 2014

Uganda: Statement By PM Amama Mbabazi's Wife Aka Jacqueline Mbabazi

Photo: Capital FM
Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

"At a meeting held at State House Nakasero on the 25th February, 2014, between myself and His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, we had cordial discussions about the following under-listed issues. This meeting arose out of what the President described as intelligence reports received concerning;

1. A list of Party leaders in my own handwriting which was in his possession.

2. Invitation of some NRM mobilisers to my parents thanksgiving function two years ago.

3. Mobilising for my husband for President 2016.

4. A recording of myself talking to two youths.

5. My alleged meetings with various opinion leaders, political leaders and influential personalities in different districts.

This is the meeting that His Excellency was talking about during the 3rd March, 2014 sitting of NRM parliamentary caucus, where I was not in attendance.

First of all, I would like to state that I have been in the struggle for the liberation of Uganda since the 1970s. I have been a loyal member to the principles of the Movement and remain so. I find the entire spirit of that sitting of the NRM parliamentary caucus to have contravened the NRM Constitution that requires us to farther the principles of transparency, accountability, integrity and consensus building.

As a member of the highest party organ Central Executive Committee (CEC), we have our own channel of communication and therefore this matter should not have found its way to the parliamentary caucus whose only function in the NRM Constitution is to discuss matters concerning Parliament.

I would like to make the following statement to clarify on these issues that have since been raised in the caucus.

With regard to mobilization for Mbabazi retention as Secretary General, the President presented a list in my handwriting which he said was proof of my activities. This list, I explained, was in relation to the Secretary General issue in which he openly opposed the idea of my husband holding the Secretary General seat. My position has been that we should not be selective and single out Hon. Amama Mbabazi as the only one to relinquish his position as Secretary General. Why him when other members of the Central Executive Committee are holding two or more posts? President Museveni assured me that he had intended to retain Mbabazi in the CEC, in one way or other.

In my view, to add a Prime Minister to the Central Executive Committee required a constitutional amendment which was never proposed. I took his view then as an effort to push an elected Secretary General out of the leadership of the Party.

President Museveni further accused me of taking mobilisers to my parents' thanksgiving event. To this, I responded that there is nothing wrong with inviting friends to our family functions as it is the normal practice among members of the NRM.

On 2016 bid

There was also the matter of a petition that was circulating nationwide asking Hon Mbabazi to stand for President in 2016. I explained that I was not the originator of that document, but I had seen it.

President Museveni proceeded to play a recording which he said was of me abusing him that he has involved his family in politics. The recording I heard did not have any of this. Rather my recollection of the recording is that it was made at two different times, the first during the Zac Niringiye conference in Mbarara on January 25th this year and the second at my residence.

To put this in proper context regarding the alleged recording, I know of only that one that the President played for me. I admitted that it was my voice at the end of the recording but that the recording was doctored.

The first part of the tape is of a youth leader, speaking at the Niringiye conference, and the second half which should have been a separate recording of the conversation between myself and Mr Kawonawo obviously was added as a continuation. This I believe was done to imply that they were recorded on the same day at the same venue.

Mr Kawonawo explained that the youth had passed a resolution that stated that they thought Hon Mbabazi should lead the country come 2016. I warned him that Afande Teargas (General Kale Kayihura) would attack them with teargas if they organised the next conference in Kampala. True to form, the police through Felix Kaweesi have made a partisan statement this week so my concern about a teargas attack on the youth therefore could not be far from the truth.

For the record and emphasis, I did not attend that youth conference, rather it was Mr. Isaac Kawonawo (former Kabale district Youth League chairman) who came to me to inform me of another conference. He sat at my private residence balcony and he was carrying a recorder.

I am reliably informed that no recordings were played at the NRM parliamentary caucus meeting even though the media keeps alluding to this.

With regard to meeting various influential leaders, I gave the President the analogy of the stories told about him during the era of the bush days. This was when it was alleged that he would appear as a cat in one place, a veiled lady in another, etc. I commented that "Now I am afraid, I am the cat". These stories were overrated and false intelligence. We agreed that we would have a follow up meeting to this and I am still waiting for this meeting.

I would like to say though of the NRM Kyankwanzi retreat and these last two NRM parliamentary caucus meetings that they have exposed fascist tendencies within the NRM party. What is obvious is that Hon Mbabazi is a target of orchestrated cliques and groups. Whereas they make an effort to make it appear like a spontaneous attack, it is blatantly obvious that it is not. I would therefore like to state quite clearly, that I will continue to defend Mbabazi, especially when I feel he is being unfairly targeted.

Jacqueline Mbabazi

Chairperson NRM Women's League

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