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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 #31 Otim Ben 2011-10-31 15:27
Will Museveni any longer have the morals to talk about corruption in this country after all that boldness he has portrayed in defending the icons of bribery, corruption and theft in Uganda. “Mr. President”, do Ugandans owe anything to these people?

Or Ugandans have to even sacrifice the last drop of their blood for you to appease the tyrants who gave you a hand when achieving your dreams. It is a pity Mr. Museveni that the more you will coerce Ugandans to satisfy yourself and your family the faster you will be moving towards the end of your long time friend Gaddafi.

The General needs to understand that his master has for decades nurtured corruption in this country. If Mbabazi is dreaming of succeeding the old man, I feel sorry for him because his own greed has deprived him of the chances.
0 #32 Kent Mawa 2011-10-31 15:34
" NRA (National Resistance Army) did not take revenge against opposing forces. They should have arraigned Col. Gadaffi in court,” Museveni said" Dictator Museveni

Can dictator Museveni repeat this to Dr. Kayiira´s children ?

I don´t think so, neither would Major Kagata Namiti if he still was alive .

To which court did the 3 Officers who were accused of killing one RPF General taken ?
0 #33 wodgot 2011-10-31 17:33
Tumwine has eventually emerged out of his cocoon and seems to be talking fluent Democracy. People should not take Tumwine for fun because he's been in the bush himself and known for firing the first gun shot which brought this gov't to power 26 years ago.

lost of an eye to him in the struggle does not mean lost of vision over a painful liberation. I salute you Sir!

People should emulate Tumwine in confronting the President. Tumwine is telling Ugandans that you don't need to eat a whole lion or drink its milk if you want to challenge Museveni on national issue.
0 #34 DD 2011-10-31 21:23
I get sick f these so called freedom fighters who say they fought for our freedoms. What freedoms? Stop veiling your murderous savagery inflicted on the Baganda in Luwero,the Acholi in the IDP camps, the Congolese in the CONGO jungles. The list goes on. If that is freedom. i don't know what tyranny looks like.
0 #35 samantha 2011-11-01 08:17
Great Respect for Gen.Tumwine for all sacrifices he has done to NRM and Ugandans as whole.

But its time you retire and not clinging to power by being an MP for the army.

Democratically speaking that seat is un-elected seat so you have no right to be in parliament.

Secondly untill when will Ugandans have an Army seat in parliament?The Army has no business in the August house -go back to the baracks where you belong.

Thirdly where in the world have you seen an Army representative in parliament?

This is mockery to the August HOUSE.
0 #36 naki 2011-11-01 10:27
It's true! These guys have, for the longest time denied creating the Chwezi Dynasty. Ugandans wake up!! Years ago a plan was drawn up to annex Uganda to Rwanda and create a powerful Chwezi Dynasty!

As if the Rwanda and now Libya mess was not bad enough! Why do people believe that they are invicible????Wh y cant African leaders never aspire for peace? Only kings and queens have successors. The rest are just forcedin or voted for.
0 #37 Jaggadish 2011-11-01 15:08
Shame on you all of you sons and daughters of a b***h. All you say is nosense, all we need is CHANGE.
0 #38 Charles 2011-11-01 15:27
The President is on record defending Mbabazi.Iam not certain that he will take action.He might have been acting on his behalf. Otherwise how do you bathe in mud and pretend to be clean
0 #39 Jenipher Twebaze Musoke 2011-11-01 15:34
I think it is important for discussants on this debate to appreciate the use of facts. If every time rumours come around about people without any facts and they are asked to step down, and they do, then we shall not move an inch in our work but instead we shall be going down to the dogs!

Take an example of the Vice Chancellor of Makerere University. Do you remember he also made news sometime back for about a month! That he raped a certain woman. What came out as facts before he was even asked to step down!

Investigations later revealed that actually there were people who bribed that girl just to 'defame' him and he loses his job.

Fellow Ugandans, let us be mature in handling issues. Why cant MPs who raised those bribery issues come out and hold press conferences to reveal such and defend their documents. It is because in Parliament, they have parliament protection that they can not be charged even if they are saying lies!

I think this should be changed. We under a process of modernising our country thus developing. It implies many policies, issues, everything will be changed or improved slowly, so let us do the same for parliament.

According to Karl Marx, development is a result of conflict ie thesis and anti-thesis = synthesis and usually positive (no space and time elaborate). This is real not ideal.

Let the Ministers retain thier positions, we wait for facts, the Ad hoc Committee will present, and action be taken then. This is what has been done for the case of the former VP. He was named in the CHOGM mismanagement of funds, he was not asked to step aside. Investigations took place and this did not hinder court to do its work. Isnt he serving his actions!

Let us be patient. Three months is not a long time.

Long live Uganda.
0 #40 Susan Asiimwe 2011-11-01 17:20
Indeed why should there be an Army seat in parliament? What the hell for? I thought that Uganda's army had highly educated Officers ... how come they cannot use their brains and put a wrong right?

The NRM government continues to be a laughing stock. Why waste taxpayers money paying members of parliament when what we actually have in the parliament are just pure imbeciles, so to describe them!
0 #41 Josef Stalin 2011-11-01 17:51
Gen.Tumwine, Are you fighting Mbabazi because he is not a Muhima? I pity people like you.
Don't you think your sons & daughters might face Gadafi's or Saddam's fate if still have those backward beliefs that Uganda must always be ruled by a MUHIMA? I find you so disgusting! Mbabazi may be bad but aren't any better, he is better than all of you combined.
0 #42 Cache 2011-11-01 19:18
Looking at all the mess that Uganda as whole has gone through since colonial times and after, kindly gentlemen vacate all the public position and give chance to women lead the nation.

We do appreciate your contribution but Ugandans need good governance.
0 #43 mpeirwe 2011-11-02 07:32
am amazed on how the bahima think they should rule uganda forever we non bahima ugandans should moblize to get prepared for the final battle to see them gone for ever
wake up ugandans
0 #44 naki 2011-11-02 10:55
When "internals" start talking tribal.....I smell a spill over from 1994 Rwanda bloodshed to Uganda!!Kitalo nyo!!

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