Prof Kajabago Karusoke sums up presidential aspirant, Amama Mbabazi, in say four words: “a selfish political lunatic”.
Prof Karusoke, a ruling party ideologue, lectures at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi.
He was on Friday speaking at Fairway hotel in Kampala where the people’s parliament had gathered to pay tribute to the late Internal Affairs minister, Gen Aronda Nyakairima.
Karusoke said while President Yoweri Museveni has recorded tremendous achievements ever since he took power in 1986, those standing against him are not suggesting any alternatives.
“Others [presidential aspirants] have not given any programmes or convinced us as to why they want to be presidents,” the Professor pointed out.
“Imagine a boy like Mbabazi…” he started, only to be quickly interrupted by the moderator of the Pan-African Pyramid, Andrew Irumba.
Irumba reminded the professor that Mbabazi is actually 66 years old and can’t be thus reduced to a “mere boy”.
“Okay, that old boy Mbabazi,” the professor insisted, asking why Amama was not talking about something new he has for the country apart from recycling NRM’s 10-point programme.
“He [Mbabazi] doesn’t talk about what he will do differently,” Kasusoke continued.
“Mbabazi should show us the programme he has and how he plans to run the state. Let him tell us how is prepared to change what he thinks is wrong.”
Karusoke said Amama has been with Museveni for a long-time [30 years] and that if he thinks nothing was achieved in that time frame, he too is to blame.
“The two [Museveni and Mbabazi] should go together.”
Kasuroke quickly pointed out that Museveni’s programme was academically ahead of Mbabazi because it involves everyone for the common good.
Karusoke observed that when Mbabazi disagreed with the ruling party, he appealed to the judiciary for help.
“Can you imagine? The judiciary is a component of state apparatus. How can you go to them?” the professor took off time to give his characteristic cynical laugh.
The audience picked it too and let the round of laughter move across the room.
“If you disagree with the party, you leave the party,” Karusoke said presently.
He added: “You can see the kind of political lunacy that Mbabazi has.”
Selfish-interested in private enterprise
In what he termed as “private enterprise”, the NRM ideologue said whatever Mbabazi does is for his personal selfish gains.
“Mbabazi wants the presidency for own gains. He has no programme for running the state.”
He cited the Temangalo saga that came to light in July 2008, when reports emerged that then security minister and Prime Minister Mbabazi and Amos Nzeyi had been paid Shs 11bn by the Fund for 414 acres of land, with each acre going for Shs 24m.
The Parliamentary probe found that Mbabazi [and Ezra Suruma] used his influence as security minister to force National Social Security Fund [NSSF] to purchase his land.
Karusoke further cited the Chogm 2007 scam where several ministers, including former Vice-President, Gilbert Bukenya, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and former state minister for works and transport, John Byabagambi, were implicated in the mismanagement of billions of public funds meant for the 2007 CHOGM summit.
Others implicated were ministers John Nasasira, Mwesigwa Rukutana and Isaac Musumba; although Parliament allocated Shs 270bn to the summit, the Auditor General discovered that more than Shs 370bn was spent.
The probe, commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni, found out that money was lost in irregular procurement of the CHOGM cars, road construction and repairs, and the renovation of Entebbe Airport, among other ventures.
The untiring Karusoke also pointed out the OPM 2012 scandal; the principal accountant in the Prime Minister’s Office, Geoffrey Kazinda, was remanded to Luzira Prison in connection with the disappearance of Shs 5bn.
The money, meant for the Peace Recovery and Development Plan for Northern Uganda, was reportedly transferred to the Crisis Management and Recovery account, from where it was siphoned.
“You can now see the person am talking about,” Karusoke reminded his audience.
“A leader who inflates the prices of land in the Temangalo scandal to cheat his own people.”
“He is spiritually wrong. He is only interested in private enterprise.”
In a recent interview with The Observer, Henry Banyenzaki, the state minister for economic monitoring in the office of the president, accused Mbabazi of conniving in the exiling of renegades, Col Samson Mande and Colonel Anthony Kyakabale.
“He [Mbabazi] is the one who made Colonel Kyakabale, Colonel Mande flee to exile and caused most of his comrades to go out of NRM because he was scheming against them,” Banyenzaki said.
The two renegades were charged with treason and concealment of treason in 2003, in connection with the rebel group’s operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), upon which they rushed to Rwanda and then connected to Sweden.
Kyakabale, returned home in March 2015 and apologised to Museveni while Mande is yet to return.
Banyenzaki says Mbabazi not only schemed against these fierce commanders but for many years has been “scheming against his colleagues, scheming against his comrades” like former Vice President, Gilbert Bukenya.
He added: “But even Kizza Besigye knows that part of his being in exile [in South Africa before 2006 elections] was because of Mbabazi. If it was not for the benevolence of President Museveni, Mbabazi who was the minister for security then caused all the havoc, which happened [against] Besigye. Mbabazi was in charge.”
“So, if you want a real dictatorship or tyranny, you [Ugandans] vote Mbabazi in power, you will see a tyrant and a dictator who was orchestrating the sending away of his colleagues from the NRM.”