BUKENYA FOR PRESIDENCY! Fired NRM Rebel MPs Now Plot to Front Prof. Gilbert Bukenya for 2016 Presidential Race as Fallout between President Museveni and his Former Twice and Buddy Gets Personal
By Fred Daka Kamwada 29th, April 2013
Appearing on the weekly talk show popularly known as The Capital Gang that is aired every Saturday on Capital FM, the now expelled MP Wilfred Nuwagaba revealed that by the time they were expelled by the NRM CEC early this month, they were plotting to anoint a direct successor to President Museveni to contest against him in the hastily approaching 2016 presidential elections.
Speaking with the tongue-in-cheek mode, the brainy and articulate Nuwagaba said they had reached advanced stages of the man-hunt for a venerable person who would give President Museveni a bloody nose during the NRM delegates’ conference slated for 2015.
It’s widely believed that the plot to oust Museveni had been laid strategically in such a way that was going to be very difficult to reverse. But it was nipped in the bud when the CEC chaired by President Museveni himself, expelled the four errant MPs from the party.
And although Hon Nuwagaba did not mention the names of the person they were plotting to front as Museveni fitting rival, information has leaked to us that it’s Professor Gilbert Baalibaseka Bukenya, the former Vice President whom, Nuwagaba was referring to.
The Grand Plot
Prior to the sacking of the rebellious four, the rebel-MP phenomenon had started emerging some years ago and had been advanced surreptitiously, and at times openly to attract more daring MPs to join what they regarded as a ‘patriotic duty’ to oversee a peaceful transition from president Museveni to another leader.
Prof Bukenya’s name had been a subject of discussion as a potential president in NRM circles years ago when he was still vice president. And indeed there were efforts by some radical MPs who tried to market him as presidential material immediately after the 2006 elections.
At that time, these drastic MPs used to invite the former VP to their constituencies in the guise of promoting upland rice. It later emerged that the big plot was to introduce him as their suitable candidate to replace Museveni as President of this country.
And indeed during those plots and sub-plots, the then rebel MPs called Hon Henry Banyenzaki invited Bukenya to Kabale where they over indulged themselves in speeches hinting at transition of power (obviously from president Museveni to someone else ).
But Banyenzaki’s games were roundly exposed and he was almost purged from the NRM Party. But instead of dismissal, the NRM made a U-turn and opted to drop him and Dr. Sam Lyomoki as vice-chairpersons of the budget committee and social services committee respectively.
At that time (2007), the NRM took advantage of the move by the two MPs daring decision to oppose the High Court siege by the military in 2007 and relieved them of chairing those respective committees.
Breach of Rules
Rule 168 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament says chairpersons and deputies are removed by members of their respective committees on a motion supported by two-thirds for incompetence misconduct, misbehavior or failure to execute committee work without justifiable reason.
The motion must be served to the Speaker after a 14 day notice, and the person to be removed is entitled during debate to defend self. But Banyenzaki and Lyomoki never got the opportunity to defend selves and were summarily sacked without notice in 2007.
While the Ping-Pong of the rebel MP phenomenon went on, President Museveni shocked the country when he recalled Banyenzaki from the limbo and appointed him State Minister for Economic Monitoring. The President also clipped the growing wings of professor Bukenya by sacking him from the vice presidency, replacing him with the more loyal and submissive Edward Ssekandi in May 2011.
The struggle to oppose Museveni and overthrow him from within had seemed to have been defeated. But it then took another shape when a new group of rebel MPs led by Theodore Ssekikubo and Barnabas Tinkasiimire replaced erstwhile rebel leaders Lyomoki and Banyenzaki in their quest to democratically oust president Museveni.
The daring duo was later joined by Wilfred Nuwagaba, and Mohammed Nsereko at the forefront while the likes of the late Hon Cerinah Nebanda , Vincent Kyamadidi, Mike Mukula, Emmanuel Dombo, and Chris Baryomunsi played the behind the scenes role.
All the above mentioned MPs have been spreading the gospel of peaceful transition of power from Museveni. For instance Mukula was quoted in the wikileaks reports authored by Julian Asanje as having told the American ambassador that President Museveni was grooming his son Muhoozi Kainerugaba to succeed him.
On his part, Tinkasiimire went comical when he paraded the story of Zakayo the a 47 year old chimpanzee that handed over power to its 15 year old successor in bid to portray president Museveni as someone who was clinging onto power for longer than necessary. It’s believed at first President Museveni never took the MP rebel threats seriously as he thought they were just trying to reap cheap popularity or just being cheeky.
President Museveni is said to have kept on ignoring intelligence reports that were warning him about a serious regime change plot from Parliament. Museveni never expected Parliament to overthrow his regime because he thought his numbers were enough to cushion any potential threats.
He only ‘woke’ up to the realities of the coup when plotters accused him of allegedly killing one of their own, Hon Cerinah Nebanda. This blackmail shocked the unsuspecting and unassuming Museveni that he lost his temper and called his accusers idiots and fools. The game had reached a point of no return.
On their part the plotters thought that by killing Nebanda, the regime had started clamping down on their sinister group. That’s why they all came out in unison and accused the NRM government for being behind the death of the youthful lady MP.
A visibly disturbed President Museveni then gave an emotional speech in which he promised to deal with all those who were accusing him of killing Nebanda. He was only saved when facts of the passing of HON CERINA unfolded with the capture of the boyfriend responsible for administering the drugs that killed Nebanda and thus exonerated the NRM party leader of any wrong doing.
That was the time when President Museveni got the chance (as the chairman of the Central Executive Committee) to crack the whip and clamp down on the four rebel MPs culminating into their recent expulsion from the NRM party.
The Bukenya Factor
Meanwhile Prof Bukenya who had all along been the supposed beneficiary of the dissident actions of the rebel MPs also started exposing his frustrations with his former boss Museveni by behaving like a jilted lover. At the height of the fallout, Prof Bukenya openly told journalists that he couldn’t honor any more invitations from President Museveni because he was tired of being invited for tea-taking sessions.
Efforts by President Museveni to court Bukenya have since been futile. For instance when Bukenya lost his mother, the President sent a condolence message and Shs10m. But when President Museveni lost his father Amos Kaguta, Prof Bukenya neither returned the favor nor did he send any condolence message to his Party Chairman.
Recently when Bukenya held the last funeral rites of his mother, there were loud talks about the visible absence of President Museveni, either in person or in representation and or through a message. There was talk that the political fallout between both men had reached a point of no return. Now the former VP is believed to be in talks with the expelled MPs to advance a front that would oppose Museveni in the 2016 elections.
And indeed Hon Wilfred Nuwagaba openly revealed that they have something in the pipeline in as far as the 2016 elections were concerned. You shouldn’t be surprised if you see Hon Bukenya jumping off the NRM ship before the 2016. Watch this space for more