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US embassy denies claims State Department is backing Kadaga to stand for president

President Museveni last Monday launched a scathing attack against the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, in an act many NRM insiders believe was inimical to cow her out of her presidential ambitions.

“A speaker isn’t supposed to be in dance halls, jumping up and down. A speaker should wear her wig and keep silent until something that needs her guidance comes up,” Museveni reportedly said in the full gallery of ruling party lawmakers during the NRM caucus meeting at State House, Entebbe.

Highly placed sources have told us that the fallout between Museveni and Kadaga reached fever-pitch after he was informed that the United States State Department is covertly courting Kadaga as a possible successor to the President. We have been made to understand that Kadaga would get the backing of the United States if she threw her hat in the presidential ring come 2016.

Our sources claim that this plan has been dovetailed with the support of the State Department, which also supports the campaign to restore term limits. If the term limits are restored, claims the source, Museveni would not be eligible to run for another term in office, leaving Kadaga as the favourite NRM candidate.

Other sources claim some US emissaries have met lawmakers to hammer out the finer details of this plan. President Museveni, on March 29, 2012, while meeting a UN delegation at State House Entebbe, warned western embassies against recruiting Ugandans as spies.

“We have reports that they invite our young Members of Parliament, give them funds which are not reported either in Parliament or the ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is corruption if they get money that they don’t declare. If it is to help our country, it should be reported. If it is not reported, it is looked at as some of our partners recruiting agents or spies in our country,” the President said.

On Thursday, the US embassy publicist, Daniel Travis, quashed talk of US drumming up support for Kadaga.

“The information you received is wrong. The United States is not involved in the internal politics of any political party in Uganda, and supports President Museveni as the democratically elected president of Uganda,” Travis wrote in an e-mail.
The speaker’s phone was switched off when we tried to contact her, as she was reportedly held up in meetings.

Building power base

But of more concern are fears that barely two years into her role as speaker, Kadaga’s profile in the high octane rough and tumble of elective politics continues to grow. Sources have revealed that the problem between the speaker and the President first emerged last year when intelligence bosses penned a dossier alleging that Kadaga was building a power base across the country.

As part of the evidence, recordings were brought in during a Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting. Museveni asked his senior presidential advisor, Brig Proscovia Nalweyiso, to play back the recordings after Kadaga had made some statements that were aired on some FM stations in Busoga.

In one of the recordings, Kadaga was asked whether she was interested in the presidency. Although she had avoided the subject earlier on, she later put in her two cents. She said: “Who said the Basoga shall always be bridesmaids, and who said leaders should only come from one region?”

Otherwise, Kadaga has often brushed aside plans to succeed Museveni, saying she still backs the party chairman’s visionary leadership.

Frequent trips

Other sources have told us that security agents are investigating Kadaga’s frequent foreign trips, her contacts in the Diaspora and her robust network across the grassroots. A group of MPs loyal to Kadaga is said to be working with district chairpersons to reach out to members of NRM’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

“Every region has a leader who is going to head the mobilisation,” said a source, who did not want to be named.

This, according to insiders in the camp, will reach out to the grassroots if Kadaga decides to stand for the primaries of the ruling party presidential flag-bearer in 2015. Others believe Kadaga will use her political gravitas and support across the political spectrum to form a new party, which will endorse her as flag-bearer in 2015 in case her bid is resisted internally.

The exponents of this view plan to woo some members of the opposition in case their candidate does not win the presidency, reasoning that at least the new party should send the majority of lawmakers to the next Parliament.

“This can weaken the President, especially because he will not have a majority in the House,” said one MP.

Another source has told The Observer that although most of the plans for the Kadaga presidency remain under wraps, she has been aggressive in seeking rapport with the international community. Kadaga, who is the current president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), has reportedly used this position to reach out to influential leaders outside Uganda.

The Observer has learnt the President has received intelligence briefings, indicating that Kadaga’s frequent travels abroad are to solicit for support for her presidential bid. Among the travels that have created suspicion is a trip Kadaga made to Turkey last month. The speaker is also expected to travel to Canada for IPU-related activities.

Amongst those backing her ambition, says a source, is the influential Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), some cultural leaders and women organisations like the Association of Uganda Women Lawyers (FIDA). In an interview with The Observer, Ndorwa East MP, Wilfred Niwagaba, said that Kadaga has presidential ambitions but fears to be frustrated by a mafia cartel in the NRM.

“When Kadaga came to Kigezi and we said that she can stand for the presidency, some people started threatening her,” Niwagaba said.

Some lawmakers, nevertheless, believe it will be a tall order destroying Kadaga’s power base.
“Her power base is natural and no one can just squash it,” argues Busiki County MP, Asupasa Mpongo.
Other lawmakers have poured pillory on Museveni’s criticism of the speaker.

“Maybe if the President is meaning something else, but attacking the speaker in the caucus was so unfortunate and I condemn it. Besides, placing her below Eriya Kategaya is unconstitutional. The President should know that she is the number three,” Niwagaba said.

In fact, we understand that the commissioners of Parliament will hold a media briefing today in which they will condemn the way Museveni spoke of Kadaga in the Monday caucus. The Busoga parliamentary caucus, which is chaired by the speaker, also met last week to discuss, among other things, the President’s attack on Kadaga.

We also understand that the President was scheduled to host Busoga MPs at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura district, yesterday, where they were expected to demand to know why he belittled Kadaga.

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+8 #1 tito kabuye 2012-06-25 02:37
you have my vote rebecca kadaga
+11 #2 Asiimwe Suzannah 2012-06-25 03:06
You do not need the support of any Western government to win the presidency of any East African country...people, please, stop being so naive.

The political jungle of East Africa doesn't work in that kind of fashion, and USA knows this very well. The suggestion therefore that United States State Department is backing Kadaga for presidency is utter arrant nonsense, it is dangerous nonsense that may put a rope across Kadaga's neck.

Any good student of international politics can write a dissertation on the 'demise of Africa's western backed politicians'. If I were Kadaga, I would pick a leaf from Kenya's politics ..that is, instead of her wasting time jumping around embassies, I would rather she spends time visiting Army barracks making friends with the Generals and having porridge with non-commissioned officers in the canteens. Such is a better investment if you have presidential ambitions in any East African country.
+6 #3 matrix 2012-06-25 03:34
I believe this lady can be a great leader just like the current presidents of Liberia and Malawi who are both female leaders and have proved to be strong capable leaders. With time she should be supported when the president leaves office.
+6 #4 kizito 2012-06-25 04:03
m7 cannot read the writing on the wall! A friend once told me of how smart m7 is but his actions or lack of does not show a bright man.he wants to go out the kadafi way! Uganda wants new leaders to address their problems
+7 #5 Kato 2012-06-25 04:28
Asiimwe Suzannah goes after the naive but fails to look in the mirror because if she did she would see the most naive person staring at her.

Western influence and medelling is well and alive and i am rather surprised that Suzannah seems not to know the role the West played in Kenya.
+2 #6 Kato 2012-06-25 04:39
Asiimwe Suzannah's advice that Kadaga should start courting UPDF Generals and other officers and not jump around embassies is misplaced.

Kadaga is not even jumping around ambassies. The UPDF will have to accept her if Ugandans want her as president. If army officers have to courted in advance the Uganda is not where we need to be politically and constitutionall y. In that case we have to contend with M7's machinations.
+1 #7 Betty Long Cap 2012-06-25 05:27
[quote name="Asiimwe Suzannah"]The suggestion therefore that United States State Department is backing Kadaga for presidency is utter arrant nonsense, it is dangerous nonsense that may put a rope across Kadaga's neck.

Guaranteed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her worldwide campaign for human rights would want to see Rebecca Kadaga elected President of Uganda.

Clinton had the same presidential ambition in 2008 and may well be looking forward to another run in 2016. The two women would break into a previously very exclusive men's club the same year.

Asiimwe point stands: a Clinton endorsement of the Speaker of Parliament comes with considerable liability. The State Department has been courting Ugandan sodomites with international speaking engagements and Kadaga may want distance from that suitor.

Never get in bed with an elephant.
0 #8 tito kabuye 2012-06-25 06:08
Kadaga is the best candidate,,has no baggage ,

of course the US will be interested in who the next leader is, but does not mean being western backed, so one way or another they will have a say,nevertherle ss its still ugandans to decide
+10 #9 Steven Nsubuga 2012-06-25 07:09
Like it or not, anyone who disregards the US's influence does it on their own peril. M7 would never have ruled this long were it not for the support of the Brits and the US.

If today the US decided that M7 must go...he would be gone regardless. If you dispute this, ask Mobutu, Gadafi, Saddam, Mubarak, Lumumba and even Idi Amin.
+2 #10 John Musisi 2012-06-25 08:10
Bravo Kadaga!!! Hope you will be able to stay the course unlike the likes of Kategaya who couldn't stand the heat. But you need to take good care because you are swimming in croc territory.
+1 #11 Cornelius Gulere 2012-06-25 08:45
Dear Sister Rebecca,
Do not listen to the voices intending to pull you from the flat you are on to an ant hill deceiving you that you are off the ground.

You are doing good speaker ship. Those people want you to fall from that office and they will use it against you in the office they claim you should fill.

The eye of the elder sees only black spots. You are lucky if you can hear and appreciate the bad comments about you and be careful about the good ones. Ndi mugezi n'omukobere.
+2 #12 jomo 2012-06-25 09:09
“Who said the Basoga shall always be bridesmaids, and who said leaders should only come from one region?" - end quote. Good logical question!

Does it portray Kadaga as having presidential ambitions? For good measure, one can substitute "Basoga" with any other nationality in Uganda. For the record, I'm not a Musoga!
+2 #13 mwanja Deo 2012-06-25 09:13
Go on lady from busoga land, you have all our support and wish you all the best
+1 #14 BEN B 2012-06-25 10:46
Time has come for us Ugandans to try out a woman President and see what we get. KADAGA definately has my vote
+5 #15 kato 2012-06-25 11:17
"We have reports that they invite our young Members of Parliament, give them funds which are not reported either in Parliament or the ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is corruption if they get money that they don’t declare"

hahahaha! nesekedeko
as if he declares the kicks he gets from the so called investors & US for his uncalled war in Somalia! you can only fool yourself Mr.
0 #16 Ninsiima Rebecca 2012-06-25 11:20
Asiimwe S,your comment does not hold water i even wonder what part of this universe you are.

USA and Britain,take it or leave it have been known as the fathers' of nations,they directly/indirectly if you want it that way, influence leardership in especially low developed countries,that is the bitter pill you must swallow this morning(we are not independent sadly in this regard).

However,still Kadaga has so far proved her self to lead this country to another level.You have my full support maama parlianment and no intimidation will stop us from fully suporting you.
+4 #17 Ngununu 2012-06-25 11:28
Mama Kadaga please don't shy away because of intimidation from the so called "NRM party intrigue" you have the mandate of many! the western region is in for you please harden, however, take care of the NRM Mafias. Remember Norbo Mayombo's death, Francis Ayume and many others unmentioned.
+1 #18 kamya 2012-06-25 11:29
I hate this "Intelligence reports so and so is seeking the presidency..." I thought qualifications were: National, 35 years, A level or equivalent.

Even Bitama and Ssenkubuge gave it a shot! Intelligence is expected to look for threats to national security, economic interests etc. Or do they do some personal political work on the side as well?
+2 #19 Nkongih lll 2012-06-25 11:35
Excellent analysis, Asiimwe Suzannah, I am impressed. How nice to see a lady juxtapose such brilliance and a grasp of East Africa's contemporary politics, in a few sentences.

Kato, your naivety is simply amazing really have no idea and no deep comprehension of Uganda's political scene. You honestly think that UPDF will have to accept Kadaga if Ugandans want her .. dream on, Kato, dream on.

Whether you, Kato and I like it or not, Uganda's political scene deeply intertwines with the military ..that is fact. Further still, today's UPDF generals and Officers are mostly graduates and post graduates which makes them EXCEEDINGLY difficult to dislodge from the political arena.

Any potential future leader is better of working with them as well suggested by Asiimwe Suzannah.
+3 #20 John 2012-06-25 11:37
Hei, Kizito, when you have the gun in your hand you will be smart.Amin ruled for 7 yrs,its common knowledge that his booklearning was lacking, but the gun got him through, then there were guns that loosened his grip from power, then more guns came in, them more guns loosened those other guns from power.

The the current guns (of which 90%) come from one region so will some body tell us where the lady speaker is going to get her guns from?

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