“A power struggle is raging at the heart of Yoweri Museveni’s presidency, as more of the president’s close comrades and war-time heroes realise that NRM party politics is now a Museveni family matter,” writes Dr Vincent Magombe, an ally to Gen David Sejusa.
Magombe, the head of Free Uganda Media Team was responding to an article published by The Observer, on August 3, 2015, in which Major Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, the NRM vice chairperson for western Uganda, plans to petition the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC), after Odrek Rwabwogo moved to unseat him.
Kyaligonza, also Uganda’s envoy to Burundi, is a veteran of the bush war that shot President Museveni into power in 1986, while Rwabwogo is married to Museveni’s daughter Patience.
Kyaligonza told The Observer that Rwabwogo’s challenge against him would set a dangerous precedent in NRM as “people who want to cause chaos may use it”.
Kyaligonza ruled out approaching the president saying he (Museveni) would be an interested party because this is a person who is a member of his family, “I am complaining about”.
He promised to bring Rwabwogo’s bid to the attention of the party organs if an opportune time comes.
Rwabwogo on the other hand, says he is able to perform as NRM vice chairman Western region.
But Kyaligonza insists Rwabwogo’s methods of work are even worse that those of Amama Mbabazi.
Yet, Museveni’s senior advisor on media matters, Tamale Mirundi, believes the first family including the First Lady, Janet Museveni, First son, Brig Muhoozi Kainerugaba, as well as an in-law like Rwabwogo are “free to stand for elective positions”.
Mirundi says if Kyaligonza is afraid of standing against Rwabwogo, it’s a question of “cowardice” not that he belongs to the first family.
According to Magombe, Kyaligonza’s complaint is a realisation of the “personalisation of power and Ugandan and the transformation of state power and NRM party politics in general into a one-man family affair”.
He says while Kyaligonza may be issuing soft-warnings that he is in the process of approaching the Central Executive Committee to reverse this elaborate Museveni family plot, the enraged war-time Comrade of Mr Museveni, “is consulting with other senior ‘Comrades’ inside and outside the NRM government with the view to opening up a new anti-regime front that would, once and for-all, disable and dismantle Museveni’s personalisation of power and the transformation of political leadership within NRM and the broader national politi-sphere into one man’s family business”.
“In the meantime, several other NRM grandees are thought to be secretly consulting with other dissenting voices within and outside of the NRM about what they see as the need for a ‘progressive revolt’ within the NRM party and government against Mr Museveni in order to make possible a peaceful political transition in the country.”
He says that what worries Museveni Comrades more “is the growing possibility of an all-out mass revolt against Museveni, given the fast deteriorating political situation in the country, and the total inability of Museveni to stay in control – choosing instead to hit out, like a wounded lion, at even his closest friends, as he is doing to former premier and NRM secretary general Amama Mbabazi”.
“Even state house has not been spared by the live or let-die battles that are now raging wild fires in full public view. Instead of anyone who is of any consequence inside state house, focusing on supporting Mr Museveni in the face of the haunting challenges he is facing on a daily-basis, the gentlemen and ladies of state house have turned their swords against each other and are engaged in such blood-letting and self-preservation battles that even the most unbelieving Ugandan is now starting to believe that Museveni’s presidency is facing an existential threat and is in transitioning into a sure state of free fall.”
According to him, the NRM insider rebellion is also being counted upon as something that could help the country to avoid a bloody and utterly violent political transition – the likes of which Ugandans are too familiar with.
With NRM insiders joining the evolving People’s freedom struggle, continues Magombe, it is possible to actualise a peaceful transition, as Mr Museveni will be forced to realised the futility of fighting a lone war against an entirely unified country all Ugandans from across the political, ethnic, cultural, gender, generational and all other divides.
“The onus is now squarely on all Ugandan citizens to cast their fear aside and instead master the courage to make their individual and collective contributions towards the creation of a better Motherland without Museveni and dark legacy of his rule.”