KABALE– The former Prime Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi, has appealed to leaders in the country to remain principled and united regardless of the political parties they belong to if they are to build national unity.
Speaking at the burial of his elder, Paul Bakebwa, 81, in Kabale Municipality at the weekend, Mr Mbabazi said the politics of intolerance is what is killing Uganda.
“Promote unity and keep trusted if we are to have strong communities for national development.
“Though I parted with President Museveni on politics, our childhood friendship shall remain forever. Even if Dr Ruhakana Rugunda joined a rebel group to fight me, I will look for him and remind him about our childhood memories as we studied together at Rwere Church School where we began our education,” said Mr Mbabazi at Kijuguta Church of Uganda in Kijuguta Village, Burambira Parish.
Bakebwa succumbed to diabetes and high blood pressure at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala.
The former secretary general of the ruling NRM party alluded to his deceased brother’s principles, arguing that whereas the latter was a UPC member and him NRM, the two respected one another.
“The fact that my elder brother Mr Paul Bakebwa remained serving the UPC party even after his retirement from public service in 1977 and I being NRM for those many years, we kept united at family level,” Mr Mbabazi said.
“Bakebwa was an exemplary leader who was tolerant and never corrupt. Despite the love for his political party, he loved the unity of the family members. President Museveni used to call me a UPC man though I never had their party card because my elder brother was a strong UPC member,” he added.
Mr Mbabazi’s remarks come days after Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu quit the opposition FDC party and announced plans to form his own party. Maj Muntu said his views of building party structures did not match with the FDC’s defiance strategy.
Several FDC leaders such as Nandala Mafabi (secretary general) and Salaamu Musumba (vice president eastern) have treated his exit with contempt, accusing him of being an NRM mole.
However, Mr Mbabazi said party leaders in Uganda should stick to their principles and values, arguing that him and his deceased brother never embraced and supported ‘wrong’, saying that it’s the reason he left the NRM party.
“It is not true that I left the NRM party for no reason,” Mr Mbabazi said.
Mr Mbabazi, who is one of the NRM historicals, quit the party after he was sacked from his position as party secretary-general before standing against President Museveni in the 2016 elections and lost. As of now, he has been in political limbo, with analysts unsure of his planned course of action.