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Battle to save PM Mbabazi turns ethnic

When General Elly Tumwine said in Parliament during the fiery oil bribery debate recently, that “there is no smoke without fire”, many people were surprised that this senior army officer, known to be fiercely loyal to the establishment, could court controversy on this matter.

But what is even more surprising now is that despite remarks by President Museveni that the documents on which Parliament based its call for the resignation of his ministers were forged, Tumwine insists the accused should step aside for an investigation.

“The President should listen to Ugandans and give these people leave letters as a sign of respect to the agenda of the government on zero tolerance to corruption,” Tumwine told The Observer last week.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, and Internal Affairs minister, Hilary Onek, are alleged to have taken bribes to influence the award of contracts to oil companies.

A special session of Parliament considered the allegations made by Youth MP (Western), Gerald Karuhanga, and passed a resolution creating an ad hoc probe committee, while asking the accused to step aside.

However, during a retreat of NRM MPs at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi recently, President Museveni persuaded the legislators to rescind the resolution on resignation, insisting that the documents Karuhanga presented were forged.

Indeed, the ministers have refused to step aside, apart from Sam Kutesa, who did so in relation to a separate investigation regarding the 2007 Commonwealth meeting (CHOGM) expenditure. Not convinced, Gen Tumwine, a former army commander, who has lately taken to fighting corruption, insists that the President should hand the accused ministers leave letters.

“I can’t believe all this [the bribery allegations] has come without a source,” he said.

During the NRM Parliament caucus meeting at State House Entebbe last Monday, the President insisted that Mbabazi would not step aside. He even threatened to call a referendum on the matter, according to a source that attended.

The President had earlier told MPs during the NRM retreat that some individuals are probably using the oil allegations to fight Mbabazi on political grounds.

However, Tumwine says there is no ill motive against Mbabazi, although, like many people, he wonders why it’s always Mbabazi’s name that comes up in such questionable transactions.

“Why smoke on him all the time? The Rugundas [Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, minister of ICT] are there, but we have never heard any scandal about them. Why them [the three accused ministers]?” Tumwine asked.

Despite enjoying a squeaky clean reputation for a long time, Mbabazi’s name has recently been dragged in controversial transactions, including the sale of his land at Temangalo, near Kampala, to NSSF a few years ago, under circumstances that later became a subject of parliamentary investigation.

Mbabazi was also cited in questionable CHOGM expenditures. In all these cases, however, the President has come out to defend his man. General Tumwine, who is reputed for firing the first bullet that launched the guerrilla war that brought the NRM to power in 1986 after five years of fighting, says politicians should emulate the army.

“If in the army, our generals can go to the dock, why not these individuals?” he said, pointing out the late former army commander, James Kazini and former intelligence chief, Brig Henry Tumukunde, both of whom were jailed at one time.

“These individuals should have the conscience and follow the international principles,” Tumwine said.
But in a media briefing at Parliament last week, Mbabazi said whoever is telling him to step aside should think again.

“If anyone was thinking about resigning, they should check again. I am firm in my position,” Mbabazi said.

Succession battle

As the oil bribery saga gets nastier, sources close to Mbabazi have told us they believe some Bahima in government are fighting him to kill off his chances of succeeding President Museveni. The President is a Muhima, while Mbabazi is a Mukiga.

“These people are the ones behind this group calling him to step aside,” said the source.

Mbabazi, who is evidently the President’s trusted man, is believed to be the best placed individual to take over from Museveni in case he decided to quit.

Commenting on a separate issue, the  70,000 bicycles meant for LC-1 chairpersons that were never delivered even after the government spent close to Shs 4 billion, Tumwine said the individuals involved should be in prison.

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0 #1 Kaheru 2011-10-30 20:50
Why all along the tribe story is coming out now?? Where were the so called Bahima when Mbabazi was appointed for premiership?? How comes they didn't fight him then???

0 #2 Grace 2011-10-30 21:19
To Musseveni and his cartel of Mafia the word bribe is not a dirty word rather is an act of kindness.

It is not being coward to kill thievies and dictator the Gaddafi way, it is nationalism and patriotism of highest degree demonstrated against such who tend to think that they own nations and it is their right to steal.

Soon their right to steal will be violated by Ugandans the same way phone and boda boda thieves are burnt.

The real people who sabotage government developmental are not Ssekikubi or Nsereko rather are the Mbambazi, Kutesa, Otafire and other thieves who sit in cabinet with the president and advise him draft laws against demonstrators.

When people are fedup of injustice they resort to mob justice and i see and feel it coming in Uganda.
0 #3 Kalooli Muzzukulu wa Nkali 2011-10-30 21:58
It is being the president's trusted man in keeping a secret as the conspiracy theorists once are said. This man knows all the evil M7 has done and M7 is hand tied.

" Those against Mbabazi are after me" M7 growled.
Those close to M7 know it surely as this general seems to imply. One notable is none as than the M7 long time privated secretary as the debate was ragging on in the parliament, the now MP Amelia Kyambadde's body language spoke volumes.

To trust or not trust Mbabazi that is the trauma question put to M7 and he is really a very uncomfortable position.
0 #4 Olok S. 2011-10-30 23:37
Yes, here we go again. Someone else high up in the NRM/A has now decided that enough is enough, and we should now fight this corruption plague.

What, after over 25 years in power, now is when you suddenly wake up to this epidemic that is fast sinking the country? You clearly are terrible at keeping up-to-date on the state of the nation. Where on earth have you been all this time, General? Deep asleep, enjoying yourself, I suspect.

I also had to laugh when I read the General's statement that 'politicians should emulate the army', in handling corrupt officials: “If in the army, our generals can go to the dock, why not these individuals?” he said'.

OK, so what happened to the junk choppers scandal? Was this scandal ever fully resolved? Was Salim Saleh ever put on the dock? I don't see the army as any better than the politicians at all. These people seem just to be at each other's throats for their own personal reasons.

They are all part of the problems that are dragging Uganda further and further down into the abyss. They have absolutely no answers to Uganda's ever-increasing problems.
0 #5 Nyunguyamawe 2011-10-31 01:27
For the last 25 yrs, it seems the Life-President is always the one that sabotages completion of the corruption investigations.

It seems he is the one that protects the most corrupt. I can't understand why he's protecting Amama. I can't understand why he does not want a corruption-free Uganda. Good thing is that most Ugandans are in deep sleep and do not have any idea what is going on, and how it affects them over the long run.

They can't relate it to the reasons why we have lousy roads, lousy schools, bad hospital, dirty water, poorly paid teachers, doctors, etc.
0 #6 col mana 2011-10-31 04:53
When i read what is going on in Uganda i really see that ugandans are sleeping.Brothers and sisters wake up.There is astrong reason as to why m7 is too protective of some people .

he knows all can be wrong and can easily submit to opposition because they have not benefitted much from public coffers but mbabazi being a lawyer in quotation he is too tricky and knows all about the law.

Kutesa is alawyer knows all about law if i may be right so what so ever they do they do it knowing very well that they are wrong but they try to manupulate the others and m7 being the head of the state he uses them to get what he wants coz he knows if matters are to go to the worst he has shock absovers.

You wont get shocked at the end of his regime to hear he has trillions of dollars on account and mbabazi has billions and his colleaugue kutesa has trillions and gold all from uganda .If he really wants to fight corruption why doesnt he give them up for investigation and he keeps shielding them.

they share the loot and at times these poor chaps the so called ministers are always cought off guard and their names come up in light.But every time they mention about m7 names he will call for state union to address because he does not want international bodies to know his among the looters.

and when mbabazi comes up he has to protect coz mbabazi may spill the beans which he fears Gaddafi had Jets ,money and all he wanted at his exposure he had no fear for international community but when his days came to the end all went wrong after the 42 years in power he is now (RIP) and the $200 billion dollars estimated where of no help he died like arat .

arrogant as he was coz of his riches from public coffers where of no use so lets wait just one thing will spark M7 end regime and he will be cought off guard like the fallen brothers in the arab world long live uganda i remain (son of the soil)
0 #7 ugandan radio dotcom 2011-10-31 05:20
Atlast Uganda's problem is Museveni and not NRM, so my worst enemy museveni should get ready for this battle for the fittest if he doesnot discontinue Mbabazi and company.
0 #8 Lugie 2011-10-31 06:35
Mzee Amama!
tribal talk is sooooooo cheap of you!!!!
Did the bahima send u to rip NSSF of its stock??Di they send u to buy communication gadgets for CHOGM???

Do u have to come out now espaecially when the true Amama has come to be identified with theft??
Twakoowa abafere!!
0 #9 Ntandayarwe 2011-10-31 06:37
It seems Mbabazi is the keeper of Museveni's Dirty work including stealing from Govenment. That is a good reason for the President to fight desperately to protect Mbabazi. If he lets go of Mbabazi he will be naked and his filthy work will be exposed.
0 #10 Ntandayarwe 2011-10-31 06:45
Why go for the Ministers when we can Impeach the man himself, the President. We are going thru all these problems because Museveni brought back thieves in his cabinet well knowing that they were sensured eg KUTESA.

It is high time the Impeachment motion was tabled. We cannot miss a man who spends alot of Taxi payers money on useless and expensive fighter jets while Rwanda is buy Passenger Airliners.
0 #11 mbaziira 2011-10-31 06:53
it very sad that the so called president who fought bad government has learn t nothing and forget nothing, he should learn from north African nations who mobilized age nest there leaders bse of the same issues of corruption, i wish if museveni can dismiss his ministers to the save our party NRM for future critism .
0 #12 Poor Kapere 2011-10-31 07:29
Its now a Bahima issue because Gen Tumwine has commented but again a Muhima praised a Mukiga( Ndugu Rugunda) for being a clean man.Does that mean there are no clean Bahima's Gen Tumwina would have used as a reference????......Coruption is bad whether commited by an Ocholi,Mutoro,m ukiga etc
0 #13 jim kammezza 2011-10-31 08:08
The whole world is asking for Amama's head , why cant the demented dictator see it ? time is running out for NRM and its useless leadership
0 #14 ? 2011-10-31 08:09
To adhoc Committe selected to investigate Kutesa, Onek, Mbabazi and Mussevine. I would like to let you know that a Chinese oil company made several money transfer to Mbabazi's a/c in Shanghai btn 2009-2010.

This A/c is managed by his son who lives here in Shanghai but hiden under Mbabazi's son's wife .
Please follow this line too in your investigations.
0 #15 Andy Moore 2011-10-31 08:17
Bahima!!! What????Interesting. Like any drawning person seeking a helping hand from the same water waves,M7's boat is sinking.
0 #16 Nicholas 2011-10-31 08:21
I challenge whoever said that Mbabazi is being fought because he is of a different ethnic tribe. Which tribe is corruption or Oil?

Because some people's minds are shallow or only want to create tension among ugandans, anything that happens is linked certain tribes to divide people.

IT SHOULD STOP. Even news editors should take caution.
0 #17 Susan Asiimwe, Imperial College, UK 2011-10-31 08:35
Come off it, Ugandans please!!!! When will we ever learn? CORRUPTION HAS NO TRIBE, COLOUR OR RELIGION. It is just an EVIL ACT pure and simple and this stupidity of bringing in Bahima / Bakiga crap should be despised by every Ugandan.

Regardless of one's tribe, the law of Uganda should be allowed to take its course without presidential interference. Personally, I THINK THAT IT IS HIGH TIME MY FELLOW WESTERNERS STOP PLAYING THIS TRIBAL CARD.

Ugandans, I am pretty sure, are sick and tired of it. WHY CAN'T WE ADDRESS OUR COUNTRY'S PROBLEMS AS UGANDANS FOR A CHANGE? Mbabazi, Bukenya or all NRM mafioses involved in milking our country, I do not care what tribe they are.

All that matters is for them to face the law of the land and let the judiciary do its work without the executive poking its noses in the judiciary process. Come on you, Ugandans smarter please.

Do not allow tribal cards hide the magnitude of rampant corruption practiced and encouraged by the NRM government. They are all the same, regardless of their tribes. I do not deny the fact that more Westerners have been involved in corruption scandals ( and I despise them for that) but the truth is that the majority of NRM camp from all tribes are dishonest, corrupt and a disgrace to our nation.
0 #18 Benjamin Nimbimanya 2011-10-31 08:42
Let us not lose diverted by these Political and myopic diversionaries citing suceession. Uganda is a Republic and the people shall fight for its Political Status quo and elect democratically another leader.

I read in the Uganda papers of Monday,31.10.2011, where our "ruler" has been condemning the Libyan NTC fighters for killing the 42 year dictator Gadaffi. I would wish to admonish M7 that he will fall like Gadaffi and his fall might follow a bigger carnage than that of the Libyan despot.

There is no doubt that M7 is sheltering Mbabazi because they both share the loot. And remember during the Temangalo saga, Mbabazi warned his mentor M7 that if he does not protect him, thus falling, M7 would equally fall with him. Actually M7 is a Prisoner of Mbabazi.The reason he is stedfastly standing at his side, because both of them are culpable.
0 #19 Benjamin Nimbimanya 2011-10-31 08:50
Sorry for my brother Gen. Elli Tumwine,one of the legendary 27 NRA fighters for losing his eye in the struggle for the people of Uganda,he is lucky he could have vainly lost his life, and the same people whom he helped come to power are the same people causing havock to the Nantion.

We are told Mbabazi, the PM, the karya sausagee was outside enjoying the delicacies and came to further enjoy them now relentlessly. Kubiribwa ababikoora tibikahweire...the banyankole say.
0 #20 Wambede Jimmy 2011-10-31 08:52
There was a time when Amama Mbabazi was referred to as "Mr. Clean" by sections of the media; this was before the NSSF-Temangalo saga. When Mbabazi grew tired of waiting in the presidential succession queue, he opted for an informal power-sharing arrangement with President Museveni.

This arrangement gives Mbabazi to have his share of presidential privileges: financial, security, immunity from prosecution, etc. Mbabazi is some kind of co-president who feels entitled to his position, not withstanding his corruption, and since President Museveni is likely stand again in 2016, Mbabazi cannot step down. Museveni has an obligation to protect/defend Mbabazi - his co-president.

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