By By Cyprian Musoke, Joyce Namutebi & Paul Kiwuuwa
President Yoweri Museveni has told NRM leaders, who are reportedly engaged in underground campaigns, that it is not yet time for politicking, but for completing the implementation of government programmes.
Addressing the NRM caucus meeting at State House, Entebbe yesterday, a reportedly tough-talking Museveni told the MPs on
their second day of the meeting that they were confusing Ugandans by starting campaigns early before the 2011 election pledges are fulfilled.
“We agreed on consolidating party cohesion by enhancing the party’s ability to handle the petty issues that were cropping
up. Some issues are arising from some members starting campaigns by meeting rural folks and collecting signatures for this or that purpose.
"We are supposed to be working now and not campaigning,” Museveni reportedly said, adding that those politicking are confusing the people who voted NRM for a five-year term of office.
One MP reportedly sought clarification from the President about reports that State House has deployed spies to snoop on MPs and ascertain those deemed not loyal to the President, a thing the MP reportedly said has caused panic among some MPs.
President Museveni and the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, addressed the caucus, with each talking about their political
Museveni, according to sources, said they have been friends since 1974, while Mbabazi said the cause they were fighting for started in 1972.
Sources said the President also presented to the caucus some recorded evidence that allegedly showed that Mbabazi was engaged in politicking.
According to sources, this was the basis of discussions yesterday with some members suggesting that Mbabazi steps down. It was, however, later resolved that they stop politicking and focus on reviving the party’s structures as well as implementing the NRM manifesto.
Yesterday’s meeting, chaired by Kasule Lumumba, the Government Chief Whip, was a follow-up of the Monday meeting.
The MPs also agreed that early campaigns (both presidential and parliamentary) should stop and wait for the right time.
Sources said the meeting discussed ways of strengthening the party’s secretary general’s office.
It was suggested that minister Richard Todwong should be assigned some duties to support Mbabazi.
There were also reports that during the meeting, some members asked for clarification about reports in the media that some people were continuing to campaign for Mbabazi to be the party’s flag-bearer in 2016 “even after he had clearly stated that he will not stand”.