M7 FINALLY CONVINCES KADAGA TO ACCEPT VP JOB REPLACING SEKANDI
By Mulengera Reporters
President Museveni has once again extended an olive branch to former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga hours after being bruised in the ballot box by Jacob Oulanyah. The two competed for the position of Speakership, which ended with Oulanyah winning 310 votes against Kadaga’s 197. Impeccable State House sources say that Gen Museveni, who on Tuesday reached out through a phone call, has been enthused by the restraint with which Kadaga has gone about things since the Monday vote at Kololo where she was politically humiliated and subdued like never before.
Many expected her to go to the media and rant saying all manner of nasty things against Gen Museveni and the NRM, which never happened. “Mzee is very encouraged by the fact that she has been quiet without making controversial statements that could deepen divisions in the party. He has liked the maturity she has exhibited so far,” says a source adding that the President always has a very low opinion of fellow party leaders who like washing dirty linen in the media (Full Figure style).
Indeed, when he rang Kadaga on Tuesday, Gen Museveni thanked her for the calmness and leadership she had exhibited thus far by avoiding media interviews or even calling meetings to incite her supporters into defiance approaches. The big man from Rwakitura was quoted as saying: “My sister I have been through elections and I know how painful it can be losing one. I’m calling to assure you of my full support and solidarity now that the Speakership race is behind us. I still want to work with you because you are one of the very good senior leaders we have.”
That Gen Museveni went on to offer his words of “solidarity” with Kadaga who he also assured nobody was going to subject her to any disciplinary procedures within NRM simply because she stood as an independent against a party flag bearer. The President reportedly insisted he wanted to look into the future as opposed to getting stuck into the past which is clearly behind us now.
Having verbally counseled Kadaga for one full hour, the man from Rwakitura, magnanimous to repentant foes as always, revealed to the attentively listening Kamuli Woman MP that the offer for her to become Vice President, replacing Edward Sekandi after whom she became Speaker 10 years ago, was still very much available on table. He implied it’s up to her to make up her mind and take it up. In fact, he equally implied to her that her indecisiveness on the matter is the reason he hadn’t yet unveiled his Prime Minister and VP even when the Constitutionally-permitted time is clearly running out on him.
Kadaga, who must now be regretting, had previously made public statements during a campaigning event at Hotel Africana where she disparaged the VP office as not one of those which carry much clout. In the Tuesday phone call, Gen Museveni told her he wasn’t bothered about what she could have said before about the VP job adding that what is important now is to move forward into the future.
Mulengera News impeccably understands that the Museveni phone call was unexpected and it’s something which emotionally rehabilitated Kadaga and has since expedited her emotional recovery from the electoral shock she suffered at Kololo on Monday. It’s also true that, by insisting on making Kadaga number 2, Gen Museveni has risked angering many of his powerful allies within the ruling NRM party and the veteran Generals’ fraternity. The likes of Gen Elly Tumwine are passionately very resentful of Kadaga who they say assumed a huge sense of self-importance the moment she became Speaker and ceased treating them with courtesy as fellow leaders.
They say she was to arrogant and disrespectful of them yet it was their contribution and sacrifice in the 1980s that pacified Uganda making it possible for the likes of Kadaga to scale heights, occupy national office, make money and become famous. They construed the assertiveness and combativeness with which she led Parliament for last 10 years as amounting to being ungrateful. Indeed, the woman from Mbulamuti took no prisoners as she told off whoever was perceived as standing in her way.
Even among the political class, as Ruth Nankabirwa told reporters on Monday, there are many heavyweights, including in CEC, whose view is that Kadaga deserves to be severely sanctioned rather than being massaged like Gen Museveni is doing. Nankabirwa, ostensibly speaking on behalf of many CEC members and seniors in the ruling NRM party, on Monday demanded that Kadaga publicly apologizes for standing against the party’s candidate yet she is not only a CEC member but number 3 in the national hierarchy of the party coming only after Museveni and Moses Kigongo.
“It’s very clear that by making her VP, Mzee is going to annoy many people because even in the First Family, there are some powerful people who considered Kadaga’s approach to things as Speaker to be offensive and hostile to them as relatives of the President yet being VP brings her to be part of State House and President’s office,” says a credible State House source. “That widespread hostility to Kadaga’s redeployment explains why Mzee’s original plan to make her VP with some other Ministry like Gender, to keep her busy and with some clout, may not work out because there is widespread resistance. Mzee’s idea was, that since the VP slot alone isn’t very busy, Kadaga can be VP but with some other Ministerial docket she superintends over just like Dr. Specioza Kazibwe Naigaga used to oversee the agriculture docket.”
Mulengera News has confirmed that this (making Kadaga the next VP) remains the position unless Gen Museveni gives in to the extreme pressure he is under to give it to someone else. “But it’s unlikely to change because the biggest hurdle for Mzee was getting her accept which has now been overcome because in their Tuesday phone call, Mzee got her to agree to take it up. And that simply means the Cabinet list will now be released anytime soon and that has to be this very week to avoid being caught by the strict timelines which the Constitution sets for Mzee as the appointing authority,” says a State House source privy to the impending Kadaga redeployment. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).