In a revealing speech in Busia and Namayingo districts, Mbabazi said that he and President Museveni, the NRM flag bearer, inked an agreement before the 2011 election, on the transfer of power to a younger generation.
Museveni, he said, breached that agreement and betrayed him.
“Before the previous election , we made an agreement with President Museveni about his retirement...” Mbabazi said to loud applause on January 3 in Busia.
“We agreed that Uganda would have the opportunity of having new blood, of having new ideas; but in the course of the five years, he changed his mind,” Mbabazi said.
This is the second time in just days that Mbabazi is dropping intimate hints about his political fallout with Museveni, who sacked him as prime minister in September 2014 and two months later ousted him as secretary general of ruling NRM.
“I don’t blame him for changing his mind but when he told me that he wanted to go for another five years, and asked me to support him, I refused,” he added.
Since he announced his presidential bid in June last year, Mbabazi has touted himself as a transition candidate committed to transferring power from the older to the younger generation.
Last week in Bugisu, Mbabazi made mention of his conversation with Museveni about not extending his 30-year rule (See: Museveni never means what he says Mbabazi, The Observer, January 13).
At his rallies in Busia, Namayingo and Bugiri districts, Mbabazi said failure by Museveni to honour his pledge to retire is the reason he decided to run for president himself.
“I am speaking from a point of knowledge because I have been there all this time, the time for the transition is now,” Mbabazi said.
In Tororo on Tuesday, Mbabazi cast doubt on Museveni’s capacity to deliver on his campaign promises. “There is nothing he can do in five years that he has not done in 30 years,” he said.
Mbabazi said that by Museveni clinging onto power, he risks taking the country back to its ugly history of violent change of leadership.
“What we want is what [Nelson] Mandela [former South African president] did and what a civilized a society should do; peaceful change of leadership,” he said.
AINE ISSUE CANNOT GO AWAY
In a single day, Mbabazi traverses at least three districts and holds stopover meetings before addressing a major rally in each of the districts. He winds up the day with a radio talk-show.
Throughout the campaign, Mbabazi was asked about his missing bodyguard Christopher Aine. During his procession through Busia municipality, people told him that they were waiting for his word to “launch a hunt for Aine.”
He only smiled and waved his Go Forward sign. But demands for a solid response kept coming until he said at a rally in Namayingo that; “As a lawyer I have left the Aine issue for the court process to take its course; then we will decide what to do next.”
Two weeks ago, Mbabazi’s lawyers filed for a writ of habeas corpus to compel the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Gen Kale Kayihura and the government to produce Aine. Mbabazi also criticized the police for deploying at health facilities in all districts he visits.
This was after locals in Namayingo asked him to visit their hospital, which they said is infested with bedbugs. On Thursday, he took his campaigns back to Kamuli, the home district of Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
There, Mbabazi’s coordinators had a hard time with police. The law enforcers arrested Charles Basoga, the LC III chairman for Butansi sub-county who was mobilising for the former NRM secretary general’s rally at Namwendwa.
His arrest, according to Abubakr Basajjassubi, the Go Forward youth coordinator in the district, could have been influenced by NRM leaders in the district. Although he was released after nearly five hours and joined Mbabazi at his rally, the presidential hopeful could not hide his anger. He said those behind the arrests “were idiots.”