INSIDE THE MONDAY CABINET MEETING WHERE KEY FEMALE MINISTERS FOUGHT BEFORE MUSEVEN FORCING GENERAL KATUMBA WAMALA TO INTERVENE
By Mulengera Reporters
Towards the end of the Monday cabinet meeting, Investments Minister Evelyn Anite begged the President for chance to put something right. She said there was a burning issue which had remained pending from the previous cabinet session.
In the preceding session, Anite had reported herself to the President after attacking Amelia Kyambadde on NTV where she protested her claim that incumbent MPs like herself (Amelia) had lost their MP Seats largely because voters are tired of leaders who have stayed in power for too long.
Having construed that as an attack on the President, Anite used the same NTV to furiously dismiss Amelia as a very ungrateful politician for all the great things Gen Museveni had done for her (see related reporting here https://mulengeranews.com/anite-says-amelia-kyambadde-is-a-hypocrite-because-she-says-nrm-has-become-bad-brand-to-sale/).
During this week’s Monday cabinet session, Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali sought to use the closing session to thank the President for the financial and political empowerment he prioritized for West Nile in this term which had enabled many NRM incumbents to bounce back while growing the ruling party’s electoral performance in the sub region. Gen Ali said many other things and when he finished, Anite took to the microphone saying she wanted to conclude her point on Amelia and other Ministers who were quietly grumbling and blaming their defeat on the fact that the population resents the fact that some leaders have stayed for too long.
She revealed that, much as Amelia had reached out to her after the previous cabinet meeting imploring her to leave her alone, in her view this continued to be unfinished business whose conclusion can only be agreed or arrived upon after cabinet thoroughly discussing the same. Prior to her submission and that of Gen Ali, NRM SG Kasule Lumumba had anonymously complained about “some Ministers who go on the media to say your unpopularity cost them reelection and I’m here to raise my complaint why should they talk against you like that on radios and TV?” It’s that Lumumba point that Anite referenced upon as she launched unprecedented verbal attack on Amelia Kyambadde.
Accusing Amelia of being ungrateful, Anite said the outgoing Mawokota North MP should be the last one to complain about anything against NRM because it’s Chairman YK Museveni has for decades been there for her more than for any other member of cabinet. “Amelia Kyambadde Annie should be very grateful because she was your longest serving PPS and is now a minister. And you have always empowered her?” Anite was quoted as saying.
She carried on: “I have attacked her in the media [on NTV] in order to defend you my President and I’m here to fight her back again. Let me ask all of you my dear colleagues the fellow Ministers. You can turn and look at me as I say this. Me Evelyn Anite the daughter of West Nile and Koboko will attack whoever attacks Mzee. Sir I’m here to assure you that I will attack whoever attacks you sir no matter who they are because I have personally benefited a lot from you. My family and country have equally benefited. Your [M7] war is my war and an attack on you is an attack on me.”
Museveni signaled her to hold it there and he then told the meeting: “Let me say something about this too. I hear some of you say he has overstayed but that is now behind us. The 59% of the voters have just resolved that question by saying Mr. Museveni hasn’t yet overstayed. We still need him and that is why I have just been reelected against a mere 30% who said I have overstayed.”
Gen Museveni went on to tell any cabinet member wishing to be part of the 30% who feel he has overstayed to freely abandon his government and party and go do other things or join those other political formation they might consider more popular than NRM. “If any of you is tired of being with us in the Movement because people say we have overstayed, the door is open. You are free to get out of the bus so that others can come in,” he sarcastically said as majority of the cabinet members pensively looked on.
Before Amelia Kyambadde spoke back responding to Anite’s claims, the President implored all feuding ministers to bury hatchet and unite “because you all need each other as none of you can do everything by him or herself.” Amelia said she regrets having been misunderstood by the likes of Anite and others because she was merely narrating her experience. She carried on: “The problem with this girl [Anite] is that my son Ivan is a friend of Dr. Ayume. And Mzee that is why she attacked me in the media saying all sorts of nasty things against me. She abused me and I’m tired.”
As Kyambadde submitted, Anite’s hand was up begging the H.E. to let her say something in self-defense. “You are always very impatient and that is why Dr. Ayume defeated you,” Amelia said in a bid to shut up Anite. And far from being cowed, Anite instead shot back: “But you were also defeated by a mere Hilderman. How can that be? Really.”
Gen Museveni intervened to calm down other Cabinet members like Kasule Lumumba and Janet Kataha whose hands were equally up ostensibly to give their take on what had transpired so far. Wondering why Lumumba wanted to speak again, other pro-Amelia speakers said the SG was actually a proxy fighter for Anite. “Okay about the issue of your son being a friend to Dr. Ayume and you being innocent about it, did you bother ringing Honorable Anite and you talk about this as colleagues?” Museveni inquired prompting Amelia to realize ringing Anite to explain herself would have deescalated things. “Anite is a committed cadre and if your son [Ivan] was supporting Ayume, why didn’t you call her? You should value friendship and comradeship. You should have called her to explain your son’s friendship with Dr. Ayume.”
M7 TALKS KADAGA
The President then told a story of how he himself was misunderstood for many years when he opposed Idi Amin and Obote prompting many to dismiss him as a troublesome young man. “But because I kept explaining myself, they later realized I was actually the Moses as you can see. So, don’t under estimate the importance of leaders having to explain themselves.”
Speaking broadly, Museveni said he realizes the biggest problem now in NRM is Ministers and other leaders wanting to talk a lot in the media. “In fact, that is why I told the Rt. Honorable Speaker [Kadaga] the other day too to stop talking on radio. That [the NRM lost because] there is no road in Kamuli. Why talk on the radio instead of raising it to fellow leaders internally? Is that how the party should be working talking everything in the media?” the President said sounding very bitter all of a sudden.
On seeing the trouble H.E. the President was having calming down tempers between Amelia and Anite, Works & Transport Minister Katumba Wamala stepped forward imploring colleague ministers to “end the quarrelling” without ever bashing each other on radio or TV again. “That is very good General Katumba. I will call these two Anite and Amelia for a cup of tea and I sit them down to resolve their differences,” Museveni said. The woman from Mawokota said that was very okay but urged Anite to stop using her other proxies to fight her because “that would be cliquism which isn’t good among colleagues.”
Not one to go down without having the last word, Anite shouted some distance away from where her adversary was speaking from thus: “Fine Honorable colleague but let’s learn to appreciate. How can Mzee pick you out of the 45m people to be his PPS and later Minister and you still talk about people in your area saying the NRM overstaying in power? As we move forward I guarantee you I won’t stop attacking you for as long as you say things on radio and TV which cast NRM in bad light.”
There was so much disgust against the day’s belligerence during Monday Cabinet session that a clearly disgusted Amelia simply walked towards the parking lot to locate her driver as opposed to the normal practice of signaling the drivers and bodyguards to come collect their respective boss Ministers from the waiting verandah or balcony. For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).