Former Premier John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has been keeping the country guessing about his presumed presidential bid. The foolery game must end.
In spite of Amama’s silence, we have pieced up credible circumstantial evidence which puts this longstanding issue to rest once and for all.
Is Mbabazi standing? Yes. Amama has since made up his mind about this. He will stand, barring a change of circumstances.
Rejects M7 sole candidacy
Amama has been unequivocal in opposing Museveni’s exclusive candidacy. He started doing so right from the time NRM MPs– cleared Museveni to run alone in 2016.
Although Amama succumbed later and signed the resolution, he made it categorically clear that the resolution was merely an opinion of the MPs.
Anti-sole candidacy petition
He would later sponsor a number of NRM stalwarts who denounced the resolution.
To show he was not joking, he sponsored a constitutional petition. His petition dismisses the resolution not only as unconstitutional, but an affront on the rights of NRM members desirous of running for the presidency using the NRM ticket.
Amama facilitated Benjamin Alipanga, a clinical psychologist to file the petition. His known lawyers SiverinoTwinobusingye and John Mary Mugisha are prosecuting the petition.
It’s my right
Though he has been denying talk of standing, he has been at the same time shooting himself in the foot by making it categorically clear that it is his inherent right to do so.
Amama has also been giving himself away by declaring that he would make the big pronouncement at an appropriate time.
“Now that the NRM electoral road map is out, I will soon make the pronouncement, Amama promised the last bunch of youth who visited him at his palatial Kololo home.
During the same occasion, Amama appreciated his guests’ proposal of becoming the country’s tenth president.
He left nothing to guess when he gleefully received the T-Shirt bearing number 10 in reference to the boys’ proposal.
That the journalists arrived at Amama’s residence well in advance, would suggest that the boys’ visit had been stage managed. By who? By whoever stood to gain political mileage from the stunt!
Relatedly, a number of T-shirts and campaign posters— bearing Amama’s unambiguous facial features punctuated by his smiling face– and unmistakably pleading for votes ahead of 2016 have been all over the place.
Amama has never at any one time denied printing and circulating the above campaigning materials.
What we know is that the materials in question would be distributed freely during soccer matches at which Amama to be the chief guest.
Meeting groups of people
Before Museveni sacked him and thereafter, Amama second job was and is about meeting groups of people.
Why? Your guess is as good as mine. But for the uninitiated, insiders tell us how Amama has been telling these groups of people to canvass grassroots’ support for him.
Instruments of power
While he served as Prime Minister and NRM Secretary General, Amama used to openly receive regalia in form of instruments of power from different groups of people around the country.
Even if he was still serving NRM, Amama did not find this compelling enough to politely reject those instruments of power, if only for the reason that they were signaling his readiness to contest against his party boss and president.
Refused to stop Jacqueline
When Museveni dared Amama to stop his wife and relatives from campaigning for him, Amama told him it is their right to do so.
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Merely because Amama argues he has never sponsored them to campaign for him, would not take away the fact they have been busy promoting him.
Amama has been meeting leaders of the opposition to brief them about his candidacy as well as lobbying him to let him be their torch bearer.
The opposition has confirmed all these. Yet Amama has not found it persuasive to deny seeing the opposition leaders.
Standing down for MP
But the more compelling case– as far as Amama’s presidential bid is concerned– is his pronouncement of standing down for parliamentary elections come 2016.
True he has been Kinkizi East MP for long. But the timing of his retirement—2016 as well his clear intention to stand for presidency—would ordinary leave one conclusion.
That he is retiring with an eye on the presidency.
Making up with enemies
It has been reported that Amama is meeting his former enemies, including the NRM rebel MPs. That he is lobbying them to support his candidacy and Amama has not denied it.
It is also true that Amama has gone as far as seeking blessing from the Pope to make his bid a success.
All these read together would prove only one thing that Amama is interested and is in fact going to vie against his former boss Museveni.