Opinion: Mbabazi Versus Tumukunde – A dab difference on their road to presidential aspirations

In everything I do, I will continue to embody the true objectives and identity of the NRM. But as a founding member, lawyer and patriotic citizen I will not bind myself to illegalities” – Amama Mbabazi, 31st July 2015

There are similarities in some aspects between Amama Mbabazi and Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, who both aimed at the throne and became Presidential Aspirants. However, there are some significant differences in the approach here. Which makes the one differ from the other. Also, make the latter one less sincere.

Mbabazi Brief Timeline:

Mbabazi was the Prime Minister and Secretary General in the National Resistance Movement. He resigned as Prime Minister in September 2014. However, by June 2015 he wrote in a scatting letter to the President, that he didn’t only intend to run as the Party Chairman, but also the NRM Presidential Flag-Bearer. This coming from the former SG and PM. That really showed some flex. While on the 31st July 2015, President Museveni picked his nomination forms. On the 31st July 2015, Amama Mbabazi said he would go “independent”. However, by September 2015 he was cleared as the Flag-Bearer. By 1st November 2015 President Museveni without any shock was nominated as the NRM Presidential Flag-bearer for the General Election of 2016.

However, with Lt. Gen. Tumukunde he haven’t even tried to play ball with the Party his supposed to be a part of and been representing for ages. His been a high ranking official, both in army and in cabinet. Therefore, Tumukunde knows the party and its constitution, also knows the reach and the possible approaches of these affairs. Therefore, just like the arrest of the bodyguards of Mbabazi, the same was bound to happen to Henry as well; which it did!

The last time Tumukunde held a higher office was in March 2018. The moment on Twitter, when Museveni proclaimed this: “This was President Museveni’s statement on twitter: “In exercise of powers granted to me by the Constitution, I have appointed Gen Elly Tumwine as the Security Minister. I have also appointed Mr Okoth Ochola as the Inspector-General of Police. He will be deputised by Brig Sabiiti Muzeei”” (NBS Television, 04.03.2018). Meaning that Tumukunde was sacked as the Minister of Security. Since, then he has been out of office and without power.

There was reports of him starting this in March 2019 and by later on in middle of July 2019 he was mobilizing youth and supposed to run for the office of Lord Mayor of Kampala. This was spread all over the waves, the NilePost, New Vision and everyone was running stories of it. He was even quoted: “Mark my words, I am the next Kampala lord mayor” (Nilepost, 23.07.2019).

Clearly, his pathway has changed and his motivation has as well. Even if the NRM had already handpicked Museveni as their sole candidate, which wouldn’t surprise anyone at this stage. The President was endorsed for it by early February 2019. By March 2019, there was a resolution where the party had clearly endorsed and ensured in writing that Museveni was the only Flag-Bearer for 2021. Therefore, when Tumukunde started his mobilization and the NRM was already on their way validating its chief.

However, what differs here. Is that Tumukunde was already sacked and didn’t show early on his true intention. Neither, did he like Mbabazi even try internally to challenge Museveni. He never did. No letter, no public outrage. Just a peeing on the public with consultations for a bid for Lord Mayor of Kampala.

It wasn’t until the end of February, when he sent a letter to the Electoral Commission, confessing his true desire. Tumukunde went out on a limp mobilizing for his Mayoral aspirations. However, that wasn’t his true face.

Mbabazi went out with fire, he aimed directly at the king. He didn’t take the public for a fool in that sense. He wasn’t truthful about his independent strike, as a member of NRM during his campaign. However, he was honest enough at least showing finesse in the way he went forward as a man who wanted the throne.

Tumukunde has just fired loose on all canons. Like a fishing expedition and just landed on the independent steak as a Presidential Aspirant. Which is less believable, concerning the way he went out. Sacked, didn’t even consider to question the “Sole Candidate”, because he was a supposed aspirant for Mayor. However, with time he rather wanted to be a big-shot.

Now we are seeing it all. We see the different approaches and it is only two elections in succession. Where to high ranking NRMers are aiming at the throne. Both doing it independently and on their own. However, don’t expect it bear fruits. Mbabazi has just returned back home and anticipate a sweet office later in return.

Tumukunde might think people are fools. If you really aspired for this, why did you something else just a year ago? Peace.

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