Mbabazi Sacking Long Overdue - Pulkol

2101 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Former External Security Organisation director David Pulkol says Museveni wants a team that will enable him win the elections in 2016 and he long discovered that Mbabazi wasn’t on that team. But researcher and political analyst, Dr Fredrick Golooba Mutebi, disagrees saying Mbabazi is wiser and knows what has happened to people that have challenged Museveni so he wouldn’t think he would be an exception.

 
The news of Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi's sacking has left Ugandans in mixed reactions with some saying it was expected, while others think it's tactical.
 
Some observers have argued that the sacking of Mbabazi has been long overdue saying that it was unlikely that President Yoweri Museveni would continue working with someone who is a threat to his position.
 
Mbabazi was dropped and replaced by health minister Ruhakana Rugunda in a September 18 letter that Museveni wrote to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga notifying her of the new developments.
 
Former External Security Organisation director David Pulkol says what happened was predictable. He told Uganda Radio Network that what is surprising is that Museveni took this long to drop Mbabazi from his cabinet after discovering that he wants to oust him.
 
According to Pulkol, a former MP and minister, what Museveni wants now is a team that will enable him win the elections in 2016 and he long discovered that Mbabazi wasn't on that team.
 
The decision by the president to drop Mbabazi comes at a time an apparent power struggle between the two NRM allies threatens to tear the ruling party apart. Mbabazi was suspected of nursing ambitions to take on his boss in the 2016 elections, something the outgoing prime minister has always dismissed as untrue. At NRM party legislators' retreat in Kyankwanzi in February this year several MPs accused Mbabazi of undermining his party chairman and moved to sign a resolution endorsing Museveni as the only party candidate. Mbabazi, the secretary general of the NRM, was among the last MPs to sign the petition.
 
Col Samson Mande, a former army officer now living in exile in Sweden, was quoted in the media congratulating Museveni for taking the bold step of getting rid of the father of corruption and destroyer of the NRM/A revolution. Mande added that, although he took long to take the decision, it is better late than never.
 
Pulkol added that Museveni has been looking for ways of provoking Mbabazi for a fight but failed so he decided to start the fight himself.
 
But researcher and political analyst, Dr Fredrick Golooba Mutebi, disagrees with Pulkol. Golooba says he has no reason to believe that Mbabazi has been mobilising to stand against Museveni.
 
Golooba says Mbabazi is wiser and knows what has happened to people that have challenged Museveni so he wouldn't think he would be an exception.
 
He said that Museveni could have dropped Mbabazi simply because he doesn't want him to keep holding two important positions of Prime Minister and NRM Secretary General. Party members had complained that the PM has not time for party issues.
 
Mbabazi has been NRM's Secretary General since 2005.
 
Golooba said that it is possible that Museveni decided to relieve Mbabazi of the duties of one of the positions since the Kinkizi West MP has remained reluctant to relinquish either.
 
Disagreements between Museveni and his hitherto right hand man started in early 2012 when reports indicated that Mbabazi was becoming increasingly popular with in the NRM. At the Kyankwanzi retreat in in February this year, Museveni brought out evidence that showed that Mbabazi was campaigning for Presidency but Mbabazi denied the claims. There after minister without portfolio Richard Twodong was made acting NRM Secretary General as some of the reports said that Mbabazi was using party resources to popularise himself.
 
Before becoming Prime Minister, Mbabazi held several cabinet portfolios including Defence, Security, and Regional Cooperation. He also served as external security organisation director from 1986 to 1994.
 
He will however go down as the shortest serving prime minister under Museveni, having occupied the office for three years and four months.  His immediate predecessor, Professor Apollo Nsibambi was premier for 12 years until May 24, 2011, while Kintu Musoke, the man Nsibambi replaced on April 5, 1999, was in the position for four years and five months. The other occupants of the office are George Cosmas Adyebo for three years and 10 months from January 22, 1991 to November 8, 1994, and Dr Samson Kisekka, Museveni's first premier who served for five years from January 1986 to January 1991. He was later appointed vice president from 1991 until 1994.