UPDF OFFICERS SALUTE MBABAZI AS EX-PREMIER MEETS MUSEVENI AGAIN
By Mulengera Reporters
Officers of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) on Thursday saluted former powerful Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on his third meeting with President Yoweri Museveni since the duo fell out in 2014.
Mbabazi, who unsuccessfully challenged Museveni in the 2016 presidential election, has lately been getting closer to his former bush war comrade, sparking off rumors that the former Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) could be closer to returning to the party and government.
Photos of Museveni and Mbabazi, a huge parcel in hand, were published on the president’s social media pages after the two seasoned politicians, allies-turned-foes, met at the longtime leader’s Kisozi Ranch in Gomba District.
Mbabazi was expected to attend NRM events, including the Delegates Conference, held last month but he was no show. His successor Party Secretary General Kasule Lumumba said Mbabazi had been invited. Photos of the former NRM strongman at a birthday party surfaced online days later.
But on Thursday, Mbabazi surprised many when he appeared for the Tarehe Sita celebrations – held every February 6 in to commemorate the start of the National Resistance Army (NRA) war in 1981 – at Butalangu in Nakaseke District.
It was this war that catapulted Museveni to government in 1986. He has since been in power. Mbabazi, who was part of the NRA struggle, enjoyed a rousing welcome from the locals gathered in the playground as well as the heads of the forces such as Chief of Defense Forces Gen David Muhoozi, Deputy Police Chief IGP Sabiti Muzeeyi and Chief Jailer Johnson Byabashaija.
Officers in uniform also saluted Mbabazi who smiled broadly in response.
Speculation that Mbabazi could be on his way back to government has been rife, with some predicting he could be appointed to the post of either Prime Minister or Vice President as a way of preparing him to succeed Museveni.