Amama Mbabazi
Amama Mbabazi
Amama Mbabazi

In what appears as the latest and clearest indicator of former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s political roadmap, his diehard sister-in-law Hope Mwesigye Ruhindi today, June 10 attended a meeting convened by the opposition to hammer out modalities of selecting a joint flag bearer for the 2016 elections.

Sources that attended the meeting intimated to the eagleonline that Ms Mwesigye, the fiery former Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, represented Mr Mbabazi at the meeting.

Mr Mbabazi has until now not come out openly to discuss his future political plans after he was relieved of his powerful posts both in government and the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement.

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Last September Mr Mbabazi was sacked from the post of Prime Minister, following accusations by some NRM supporters that he was nurturing presidential ambitions. Later in December Mr Mbabazi, a long-time ally of NRM chairman Yoweri Museveni was also relieved of his duties as the party Secretary General. This move prompted questions from Mr Mbabazi’s supporters and also created anxiety in the general public as to the former premier’s next political move.

The ‘Mbabazi Question’ first sprung to national attention last February at a party retreat in Kyankwanzi, when he belatedly endorsed the sole candidature of President Yoweri Museveni as the NRM flag bearer. Since then there has been talk of his ambition to become president, but the man from Kinkiizi has kept the cards close to his chest, leaving many Ugandans anxious.

And, now with election temperatures rising even before the Electoral Commission declares the beginning of campaigns, his ‘representative’ Ms Mwesigye and officials from seven opposition political parties, civil society organisations and political activists convened at Hotel Africana in upscale Kampala under a new loose coalition dubbed the ‘Democratic Alliance’, to deliberate on how to oust the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government from power in next year’s elections.

 The Democratic Alliance meeting drew officials from the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and the Conservative Party (CP), Justice, Education, Economic Revitalization, Morality and African Unity (JEEMA), the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) of former NRM Minister Jaberi Bidandi Ssali and sources said the individuals would reconvene to concretise their political deliberations at a later date.

Others who attended the meeting included former Vice President Professor Gilbert Balibaseeka Bukenya, former NRM stalwart Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, who represented pressure group Ssuubi, and political activists Godber Tumushabe and retired Anglican bishop Zac Niringiye.

This development comes in the wake of another meeting convened in Nairobi, Kenya early last week, where leading opposition figures met for the umpteenth time to chart ways of fielding a joint presidential candidate.

Efforts to get further details from Bishop Niringiye were futile, but a source that attended said the Hotel Africana meeting was a follow-up of the one in Nairobi where, the opposition stalwarts also reportedly deliberated on how to strengthen the push for political reforms ahead of the 2016 elections.