Museveni noticed that Mrs. Mbabazi was not at the high table, pulled a chair, like a gentleman, and invited Jacqueline to take it
By David Lumu and Enock Kakande
JACQUELINE Mbabazi, the NRM women’s league chairperson, arrived at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala at 10:00am and sat quietly at the reception near the hall where the NRM women’s meeting was taking place.
When the security attempted to verify whether she had a tag for the event, Jacqueline, who is also the wife of the former prime minister and ex-NRM secretary general, Amama Mbabazi, reminded them how she is the chairperson of the women’s league of the ruling party.
“And in any case, I am the chairperson of the NRM women’s league in the country,” she told security in a soft and not-so-bothered humble reply.
She added that she was waiting for President Yoweri Museveni. Indeed, when Museveni arrived, Mbabazi was allowed into the meeting convened on Tuesday to debate, among other things, the role of women in the NRM party structures and also forge ways of improving grassroot structures, 11 months to the 2016 general elections.
Once she entered, Jacqueline stood in the queue of NRM women league leaders, alongside Richard Todwong, the deputy secretary general of NRM, ready to usher in Museveni.
Inside the hall, Jacqueline was not allocated at the high-table, but was given a chair to seat together with other women leaders. After the national anthem was played, Museveni noticed that Mrs. Mbabazi was not at the high table. He walked towards Susan Muhwezi and asked her to leave the chair for Jacqueline.
Then Museveni pulled it, like a gentleman, and invited Jacqueline to take it. At that point, ushers brought another chair for Suzan Muhwezi.
When journalists later asked Susan Muhwezi why she had not formally invited Jacqueline, she said: “How do you send an invitation to the chairperson of the league?”
Jacqueline told journalists how she had turned up at the meeting although some of her friends had advised her to stay away.
“I decided not to leave because I am a leader with responsibility. I represent women out there who elected me to serve them,” Jacqueline said.
She blamed Susan, the vice chairperson of the NRM women’s league for not inviting her to the event.
Jacqueline has been having differences with other leaders of the NRM women’s league since her husband, Amama Mbabazi, lost his positions as NRM secretary general and prime minister.
In his speech, Museveni advised the women to avoid sterile politics and instead listen to his advice of wealth creation, which he said will improve household income.
“Because of arrogance, some of you do not take my advice. Now that the army has solved the problem of security, I want you, the women’s league, to sensitise people about household income. I want you to be the example of wealth creation,” Museveni said.
Meanwhile, the Special Forces Command denied that it had tried to stop Jacqueline from accessing the meeting.
Chris Magezi, the Special Forces Command spokesperson, said: “Jacqueline was one of those who welcomed the President. There are many guests; security was simply, like for everybody else, verifying those supposed to attend the meeting, one at a time.”
Gentleman Museveni ''saves'' Mrs Mbabazi