Recording reveals new details about the extent of Prime Minister Mbabazi’s strength among lower-level party cadres
As tensions between President Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi persist, it has emerged that police chief Kale Kayihura met with an NRM youth leader and encouraged him to spy on the premier.
The Observer has listened to an audio recording of a meeting between Gen Kayihura and Alex Kasirivu, an NRM youth mobiliser.
It paints an intriguing picture of how grounded Mbabazi has become as a party leader in touch with grassroots cadres of the party.
Kasirivu, the youth mobiliser, says in the March audio recording, that Mbabazi, with the help of his wife, Jacqueline built a vast mobilization network to strengthen his leadership position within the party and the government.
This is the recording Jacqueline Mbabazi, alluded to in an interview with The Sunday Monitor of March 30. She said the recording would provide proof that Gen Kayihura was coaching some youths to accuse her family of mobilising politically against Museveni.
“I have recorded him. In this recording which I am going to make publicly available, the IGP and one Sebina were coaching a youth called Kasirivu from Kayunga,” Jacqueline told Sunday Monitor.
The recording, which runs for one hour and 29 minutes, captured three voices of Kale Kayihura, Sebina Sekitoleko and Kasirivu Alex who appeared to be in an introductory meeting for Kasirivu. In the recording, Kasirivu narrates to Kayihura and Sebina how financial troubles pushed him to work for the Mbabazis.
He says he first worked as Mbabazi’s mobiliser in Kayunga when the premier stood for the post of NRM secretary general in 2005. Later, he claims the Mbabazis abandoned him and the next time he heard from the family was last year, when Jacqueline and Nina, her daughter, allegedly paid him a surprise visit. They reportedly told him that they wanted to work with him on “the new mission.”
“It was last year 2013, and they had come to apologize to me because I was one of those who solicited for signatures to bring Hon Mbabazi for his other term as Secretary General in 2005. They told me they were sorry -- that I may be annoyed at them …and I said ‘yes’,” Kasirivu says.
In one meeting, Kasirivu alleges, Mbabazi told him that Museveni was not very dependable and trustworthy. Kasirivu claims they were accompanied by Adam Luzindana, the NRM youth chairperson for Kampala, who was this week released from Luzira.
In the recording, Kasirivu’s voice sounds shaky, probably a sign of nervousness. He constantly pleads with Kayihura to trust him.
Kasirivu confesses: “I wouldn’t’ leave the other side but Afande, the president has promised me a lot. This government has given us peace. I have been chairman in this previous term. I can’t go against him. When things go bizarre tomorrow, will my children survive this?”
Kasirivu claims that the Mbabazis have infiltrated all the important institutions in the country, including the police. He claims that some of the youths Kayihura works with are double agents. During the day, he says, they work for the police chief and in the evening they take information about Kayihura to “madam” [Jacqueline].
Kasirivu names one such youth (name withheld), who, he says, is very close to Kayihura and Jacqueline. He says the youth sometimes wears a watch that can take a memory card for audio recordings. Kayihura, in the recording, admits interacting with the said youth and facilitating him but denies knowing that he was working for Jacqueline.
Kasirivu urges Kayihura to have confidence in him. He says the Mbabazis pay handsomely if one does good work for them. He says some mobilisers can get up to Shs 20m for an assignment. In some parts of the recording, Kasirivu sounds incoherent while in others he bungles up the facts.
In the recording, Kayihura says very little. He only occasionally interjects to seek clarification. Kayihura also assures Kasirivu that once he switches sides, he will give him all the protection. He tells him to get more information from the Mbabazis and to lure other youths.
Kayihura, however, warns Kasirivu to tread carefully since he has planned to switch sides. Kasirivu is heard asking Kayihura to provide him with two policemen at his residence in Kayunga, a request the police boss rejects.
In any case, Kayihura says “Jacqueline will know.”
As they part ways, the police boss instructs an aide to give Kasirivu Shs 1 million as facilitation.
“Thank you Afande. We shall be working together,” Kasirivu says.