In Febraury last year, a special meeting of NRM Members of Parliament was held in Kyakwanzi where they signed a resolution endorsing the sole candidature of President Yoweri Museveni. However, this did not go well with some people in the NRM who think that such moves impede on internal competition. Eagleonline takes a sneak peek at the three cadres who have openly attempted to compete with Museveni from within the NRM.
Felix Okot Ogong
In 2006, Felix Okot Ogong attempted to contest for the Chairmanship of the National Resistance Movement, in order to compete for the presidential elections. He said he would seek the endorsement of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) to become NRM’s Presidential candidate.
Ogong argued that President Museveni should have not stood again in 2006 for the good of the party and the nation. “Now is the time for President Museveni to rest. Even if people still love him he should be principled like Nelson Mandela who realized that it was necessary for him to step down even when South Africans still needed him,” he observed.
However in a surprising move he made a u-turn and withdrew his aspirations leaving Museveni unopposed.
Who is Felix Okot Ogong?
Better known for his child rights advocacy, Felix Okot Ogong, is the Member of Parliament representing Dokolo County. An Economist, he graduated from Makerere University in 1991 with a Bachelors Arts degree (Economics and Geography). Between 2003 and 2006 the 50-year old served as Minister for Youth and Child Affairs and later Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. He is married and was recently in the news when creditors wanted to auction his multi-billion home in Mutungo, an upscale Kampala suburb. He was bailed out by President Museveni and has since gone quiet about his presidential aspirations.
Capt. Daudi Ruhinda Maguru
Captain (rtd) Daudi Ruhinda Maguru attempted to contest against Museveni in Namboole for the 2011 elections. He came to national limelight in 2010 when he filed case HCC No. 214 before the High Court, seeking an order to set aside the election of the Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement, Yoweri Museveni, who was also its presidential flag bearer.
In his petition, the retired soldier alleged that Museveni could not have been elected unopposed yet he had also been duly nominated to contest for that post at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
Subsequently, a team led by NRM legal guru and local government Minister Adolf Mwesige was formed to chart a way forward, resulting in consensus that Maguru be paid money to withdraw his petition.
However, the drama continued, when NRM youth League boss, Denis Namara later dragged Maguru to court, alleging that ‘without the consent, authority or approval of any authority the latter unlawfully and irregularly entered into the consent judgment with the NRM under the false pretext that he was a Chairman of the Legal Committee, a non-existent organ of the National Resistance Movement’. The case was to be dismissed with costs by Justice Eldad Mwangusya on June 7, 2013.
In December 2014, Maguru, through the High Court, sought to block the party’s delegate’s conference which was slated for December 15, arguing that details of the consent he entered into with the NRM had not been respected.
However, his wish was not granted and Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe ruled the case in favour of the party and the Delegates Conference was held.
Who is Capt Ruhinda Maguru?
A lawyer, Capt Ruhinda Maguru has served as an aide at the top level, starting as a youthful bodyguard to Museveni in the then Presidential Protection Unit (PPU). He has also worked as an aide/Special Assistant to Mbabazi, when the latter was Minister of Defence. Having joined the army as a young man (kadogo) Ruhinda was later to go back to school, first at the Law Development Centre (LDC), where he studied for a certificate. He was later to enroll for a law degree at Makerere University,
John Patrick Amama Mbabazi
Mr.John Patrick Amama Mbabazi is the latest NRM insider to declare his intention to contest for the post of party chairman and flag bearer in the forthcoming Presidential elections. According to Mbabazi, he is so far alone to have declared before others as neither Museveni nor any other member has declared his or her interest in the position.
Mr Mbabazi, a longtime ally of President Museveni and one of his most trusted lieutenants has held several lucrative government postings including being the first full Cabinet Minister for Defense which was previously a preserve of the president. He has also had stints first at the External Security Organisation where he was the Director General after 1986; Foreign Affairs/Regional Cooperation and at the Ministry for the Presidency. Lately, he also served as Minister for Security, Prime Minister and Secretary General for the Party, both positions which he lost last year.
However, Mbabazi’s declaration has not gone well with many NRM bigwigs including the President himself. Immediately after he learnt of Mbabazi’s intentions, he addressed a press conference where he attacked Mbabazi and warned him of early electioneering. He later summoned him for a meeting which took place in the presence of the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
But a recalcitrant Mbabazi emerged from the meeting seemingly re-energised and announced that he would be going around the country to carry out consultative meetings ahead of the NRM National Delegates meeting. However, the police were on hand to thwart Mbabazi’s first ‘consultative meeting’ in Mbale, saying his party had not cleared him.
An exchange of letters between his lawyers, the Electoral Commission and police were to follow, with Mbabazi’s lawyers Severino Twinobusingye and Fred Muwema arguing that Mbabazi is an aspiring candidate in the NRM party and that for that matter, there is need for him to consult members of NRM to sell his candidature. They also argued that the police have no powers get concerned with the internal issues of any political party.
Who is Amama Mbabazi?
A lawyer, the 66-year old Mbabazi has been engaged with Ugandan politics since his student days at Makerere University during the Iddi Amin regime. Together with Yoweri Museveni, he is one of the founding members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), a likely offshoot of the Front for National salvation (FRONASA), a political/military outfit led by Museveni that participated in the 1979 ouster of the Iddi Amin regime.
Mr Mbabazi, the MP for Kinkiizi West and immediate former Prime Minister is married to Jacqueline Mbabazi Ruhindi and together they have four children, two boys and two girls.
Interestingly, both Mbabazi’s daughters Lenina and Rachel and their mother Jacqueline are deeply involved in politics and have been at his side as he fell from grace to grass.