President Yoweri Museveni has for the first time spoken about the relationship with former Prime Minister, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, saying the two great friends are in talks for reconciliation.
“…. even with Rt.Hon. Mbabazi, recently we have been having meetings. I think you have been seeing us meeting ,”Museveni said on Tuesday.
Museveni made the comments on Tuesday while meeting NRM leaders from Lamwo, Agago, Pader and Kitgum districts on Tuesday NRM leaders from Lamwo, Agago, Pader and Kitgum districts after he was told there was infighting among the party leaders in Acholi sub -region.
Mbabazi fell out with Museveni a few years to the 2016 general election prompting the former to be sacked as Prime Minister in September 2014 and two months later ousted as NRM Secretary General.
Mbabazi later stood against President Museveni in the 2016 general election but lost miserably.
He has of late been seen at functions held at State House as well as visiting President Museveni at his personal farm in Kisozi, prompting many to claim the former powerful minister is set to return to government.
On Tuesday, President Museveni said in the past, a some of his fellow NRA bush war heroes have have taken what he termed as unfair decisions but noted he has always asked them to come back for reconciliation.
Museveni cited the former as National Political Commissar with whom they fell out when he opposed moves to have the Constitution amended to remove presidential term limits noting that they later reconciled.
“Eriya Kategaya took some decisions which were really unfair in my opinion but after the 2006 election, I invited him and I said do you still support our ideas ? He said yes. I said lets go ahead since you are supporting unity of East Africa, you become the minister of east African affairs and he had no problem with that,”Museveni said.
“His problem( with me) was that I should go home but you want me go home without finishing the job? You think you will do it better alone than when we are together? I didn’t agree with what they were saying but because we shared the ultimate goal, they were able to come back.”
He said cadres can get problems but if they repent, they remain good people to the party.
“This is how organisations are built up. They are not built up by perfect people because there are no perfect people but the ability by people who remain committed even if they have problems. Even if he makes a mistake, he realizes it and reforms.”
Poaching from other parties
Museveni has in the past poached from other parties in the opposition including Betty Kamya(Uganda Federal Alliance) , Beatrice Anywar(FDC) Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi(DP) and Sarah Kanyike(DP).
However, a number of these politicians poached from other parties have gone ahead to get big positions in government, a move that has always not augured well with NRM party members.
Museveni on Tuesday commented about the same, saying that sometimes, are more committed than the original members.
“In some of the other parties like Beti Kamya, we are after aims and not individual issues. Like my sister Anywar(Beatrice) , though I locked her up , when she came out, she is very committed though she may be rigid on some issues but that’s her character. I said you come and put your rigidness here. You become a guided but not unguided missile. Even if you disagree, don’t forget the aim. Welcome new people, don’t resent them.”
Museveni cited the Bible Saul who persecuted believers in Jesus was later converted to become Paul and a preacher of the gospel.
“Saul of Tarsus who was hunting the church. When he changed, he did more work for the Church than the original and that’s how he became St.Paul. He served more than the other disciples.”
He noted that the infights within the ruling party should stop but members should only aim at a common goal .