LET US ACT GROWN UP ABOUT THIS. YOU DO NOT WANT ME TO SHARE NEWS ABOUT MBABAZI, THEN ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT TO SHUT DOWN THE NEWSPAPERS BECAUSE ALL THEY ARE PRINTING IS JPAM. If you had even paid attention when I was talking, I said very clearly that attacks on him would back fire big time. Thank you for not paying attention so now all the attention is on him. The only way you can cut back on this is stopping attacking him and arresting his supporters. I have no idea what you were thinking but I am of the opinion that you were not thinking at all. That man has never paid me a cent but this is pure Market Course training in any Business degree at Bach level. You never see Coca Cola attacking Mountain Dew and yet you all felt that you should. Consequently, everyone is curious and the media are running it so hard you must be sleepless. I do situation analysis, social media and advertising analysis and on this one, damn!
KAMPALA- A showdown looms ever closer in the 2016 presidential race with former prime minister Amama Mbabazi yesterday saying he would proceed with nationwide consultation meetings hours after the police said he wouldn’t be allowed to do so.
The former premier pointed out that the police position is premised on a false claim by the ruling party that he has told the EC he will be consulting as an aspiring candidate on the NRM ticket.
Addressing journalists, the former premier’s counsel, who said they were speaking on his behalf, dismissed both the ruling party and police warning as being “out of touch with the law, false, inaccurate and only deserving of use for comedy, literature or storytelling but not the law”.
“He will continue with his programme because he has not broken any law and will do everything humanely possible to market his presidential bid within the law,” Mr Fred Muwema, one of Mbabazi’s counsels, told Daily Monitor.
“Not even the police warning can stop him because it is premised on a heavy dose of Lumumba’s misleading letter which is out of touch with their own party constitution and is a violation of the Presidential Elections Act and the Constitution of Uganda”.
Mr Mbabazi revealed he will ignore NRM secretary general, Ms Kasule Lumumba’s letter to Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura, which labelled his presidential aspirations illegal and speculative since the NRM had not endorsed them.
Over the weekend, Ms Lumumba wrote to Gen Kayihura saying, “Amama Mbabazi is not an aspirant sponsored by the NRM political organisation within the meaning of the NRM constitution and the law” and therefore “he has no locus standi to hold public meetings as a prospective presidential flag bearer of the NRM.”
Consequently, it emerged yesterday that the police chief had put Mr Mbabazi on notice that he cannot proceed with the nationwide consultations since the NRM has not endorsed him. This position, however, is being contested by Mr Mbabazi’s counsel in a letter to the Electoral Commission, copied to the Attorney General, Gen Kayihura and Ms Lumumba.
The lawyers point out that: “Both the NRM Constitution (Article 13(3) and the Presidential Elections Act Section 3(1), 2 and (3) do not require a presidential aspirant to be nominated in order to qualify as an aspirant.”
The five-page letter also notes that the NRM electoral body primary elections regulations do not expressly or by implication bar a party member from expressing his intention, let alone from carrying out consultations.
Mbabazi BBC interview
In any case, they argue, Mr Mbabazi, who told the BBC in an interview last week he was so far unopposed in the NRM, “did not introduce himself as an NRM flag bearer as is falsely stated by the NRM secretary general”.
In his June 16 communication to EC chairman Badru Kiggundu, Mr Mbabazi stated: “This is to introduce myself as an aspiring candidate for President for the 2016 general elections.”
Under the NRM constitution, a presidential candidate for the NRM, “shall be selected by the National Conference from a candidate recommended to the National Conference by the National Executive Council pursuant to Article 12(3) of this constitution.”
The former PM, who was hounded out of his job as party secretary general last year, insists that he is not yet a candidate but an aspirant, an interpretation of the law which essentially insulates him from what NRM deputy spokesman Ofwono Opondo said was being a ‘hold out.’
“Our client doesn’t require sponsorship of any political party to promote his aspirations and his notice to the EC is neither speculative nor illegal in so far as it complies with the spirit and letter of the Presidential Elections Act,” yesterday’s letter to the EC adds.
The lawyers conclude that any attempt by police or the NRM to stop him from holding consultative meetings would be, “illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to the principles of good governance and the rule of law under the current political dispensation”.
Mr Muwema said: “Possibly Ms Lumumba is afraid that one of their own party members is interested in the presidency but the law allows her and NRM to go to court if they have any grievance. We can meet there but she cannot take the law into her own hands and misinterpret her own constitution.”
Mr Mbabazi also tasked his lawyers to remind the Electoral Commission to “ignore the NRM and police warnings because the NRM doesn’t supervise the EC”.
Ms Lumumba letter’s tone, their client contended, “was directory and supervisory to the EC yet the NRM is participating in the process regulated by the EC. The Constitution mandates the EC to be independent and not to work under anyone’s directives or pressure”.
NRM lawyer Kiryowa Kiwanuka said Mr Mbabazi’s lawyers were simply indulging in semantics and reading the law like an English novel.
He said it is not factual to say Mr Mbabazi committed to the EC to carry out his consultations as only an aspirant as he attached a statement that reveals he intends to stand as an NRM flag bearer.
“I read the SG’s letter and entirely agree with her, it is the correct position of the law… When the SG says he is not an aspirant, he is not an aspirant as per the Presidential Elections Act.
The word aspirant is a legal word, it spells out what you can do and cannot do,” he said.
“If you say he is an aspirant, what is the purpose of the consultation? Section 3 talks of ‘for the purpose of nomination’. Can Mbabazi be said to be preparing for nomination as an NRM candidate? If he wants to stand as an independent, he should go ahead but if he wants to stand under the NRM, he has to play by the rules so he cannot go and prepare for nominations without the party endorsing him. Section 3 allows consultations for purpose of nomination so if you want to consult as an NRM aspirant you have to be known by the law and that is what they want him to clarify.”