Presidential aspirant, Amama Mbabazi, has refused to meet NRM party senior officials chosen by President Yoweri Museveni to convince the Kinkizi West legislator to drop his presidential bid.
The four-man NRM Central Executive Committee (CEC) team was set up at the close of the week to meet Mbabazi and talk him out of his presidential dreams.
The team includes; Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, Mike Mukula, NRM vice-chairman for central region, Hajji Abdu Naduli and Matia Kyaligonza.
It was set up after Mbabazi petitioned the party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni, protesting the Shs 20m he was asked to pay by Tanga Odoi, the NRM electoral commission chairman, before giving him forms.
The team then sent out an invitation to Amama for cordial talks on his presidential candidature and looking for a way how to rescind undemocratic NRM electoral rules which has been set by the party.
According to State House sources, the team was set to meet Mbabazi at 1:00pm today.
However, Rugunda and his team waited “all day” but Amama never showed up.
Mbabazi is said to have told Museveni who had earlier sent out the invitation to him, that he was no longer comfortable attending meetings at State House, but was ready to attend at any other venue.
The sources say the meeting has been shifted to Rugunda’s home on Friday.
Museveni will reportedly not attend but will delegate Kigongo to chair it.
Mbabazi says he will not engage in a dialogue whose spirit is to stifle his right to contest for leadership and serve the country in the highest office in the land.
He insists the electoral rules we challenged first be withdrawn.
“If they cannot be withdrawn, then NRM and Museveni should simply declare they have overthrown the Constitution of Uganda and the current legal order so we cross-check what remedy the Constitution offers citizens.”
Meanwhile, Tom Voltaire Okwalinga, an online political intelligence reporter says “After harassing opponents for decades using police, the army and cadre judicial officers, [President Yoweri] Museveni has now designed a new method of weakening those who oppose his life presidency”.
According to the popular social media critic, the new tactic is to try and paint the picture that these potential opponents are actually moles working for him and thus create a sense of mistrust among the population, who in the end may not accept these people so easily.
“The manner in which Museveni is not clamping down on [Gen. David] Sejusa is just part of this tactic.”
He says the several behind closed door meetings that Museveni holds at State [House] with Amama Mbabazi and [Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana] Rugunda these days, are meant to [instill] doubt among potential supporters of Amama Mbabazi that he may be having a secret deal with Museveni.
“Even the decision to put up a commission supposedly to talk Mbabazi out of “rebellion” is meant to further plant doubt among Amama’s supporters and throw them in some sense of [uncertainty] as he (Museveni) consolidates his tricks,” writes TVO.
This perhaps explains why Mbabazi refused to attend the State House meeting and suggested another venue.