Uganda: FDC, NRM Lawmakers to Nominate Mbabazi

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Uganda's Security Minister Amama Mbabazi meets with Russia's counterpart Sergey Lavrov, not pictured, in Moscow on Thursday, March 31, 2011. (AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Kampala — In what looks like a move to tap into the support of the two leading political parties, team Go Forward has looked to the ruling NRM and opposition FDC to get Mr Amama Mbabazi’s nominator and seconders.

FDC’s Beatrice Anywar and NRM’s Abdil Chemaswet are the two cross party politicians who have been lined up to second Amama’s nomination.

Explaining her decision, MP Anywar said seconding Amama does not mean she has left FDC.

“I was the representative of reform agenda from Kitgum. No one should doubt where I stand. I second Hon Amama Mbbazi as an FDC member because TDA people do not have to relinquish their parties,” she said.

Ms Anywar further said she has chosen to nominate Mr Amama because of Besigye’s lack of democratic principles and truth.

“Col Kizza Besigye should leave FDC to grow unlike coming back.

We founded FDC on democratic basis and we should walk the talk of democracy. If FDC signed the protocol and agreed to the summit coming out with a single candidate… and out of the nine candidates in TDA, seven chose Amama, why are we denying him a chance?” she asked.

Although Mr Chemaswet could not be got by press time to give reasons for his decision, he has earlier in the day sent a message saying, “Yes it is true, I will be there.”

By press time, though, there was mixed communication over who, between Ms Anywar and Ms Rosette Nsonga, will be the main nominator.

While Mr Mbabazi’s spokesperson Justin Mayanja Nkanji said the official communication is that the nominator will be Ms Anywar and the proposer Ms Nsonga, a grassroots community mobiliser in Jinja, Ms Anywar maintains she is just a seconder.

Mr Mbabazi is set to be nominated today at 11am. Thereafter, there will be a procession from Spear Motors Jinja Road to Nakivubo Stadium where he will be unveiled to the public and also make his inaugural address.

The nomination will be witnessed by a knit group of 20, who, it is expected, will comprise his daughter, Rachel Mbabazi, DP’s Nobert Mao, UPC’s Olara Otunnu, SDP’s Michael Mabikke, Jeema’s Asuman Basalirwa, his lead lawyers – Fred Muwema and Severino Twinobusingye and other eminent persons.

Mr Mabikke, who is spokesperson for the Go Forward-TDA negotiating team, said they are aware of a plan by the rival NRM camp to dress hooligans in Go Forward tee shirts in a bid to paint the party supporters as unruly.

“They want to bring the so-called crime preventers to posture as our supporters while causing chaos. However, we are calling on all pro-change Ugandans to come and join our procession in an orderly and peaceful manner,” he said.

He further warned the inspector general of police against participating in partisan politics. In particular, he referred to the recent attempt, by the police, to block Amama’s procession on the pretext that he had not got police approval.

“After exerting a lot of pressure on Uganda police to justify their earlier communication, preparations are now in high gear.

“All the authorities have been notified and we have received a letter from the IGP permitting our rally but it was after exerting a lot of pressure on the police to justify their earlier letter declaring our rally illegal,” he said.

FDC spokesperson Semujju Nganda says there is no need for Ms Anywar to insult her party.

“She has a right to support any candidate of her choice but she should not insult FDC members or her colleagues and we wish her luck. She has chosen to nominate a person who was or still is in NRM and FDC is not a prison.”

Efforts to get a comment from NRM on the allegations of planning to dress people in Go Forward T-shirts were futile as cellphone numbers of the party’s spokes people were off.