Museveni fails to end Kadaga, Mbabazi differences again


Ms Kadaga and PM Mbabazi.

President Museveni failed for the second time to end the feud between Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi at a meeting that ended prematurely at State House on Friday.

The President had summoned the Parliamentary Commission to discuss the quarrel between the Speaker and the Leader of Government Business in Parliament among others issues. But sources close to State House told Sunday Monitor that the President felt uncomfortable discussing the matter after realising that the Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Nandala Mafabi, was part of the contingent from Parliament.

“The meeting ended prematurely because the principals began accusing each other,” a source said. “The President had wanted to know the cause of the disagreements between the Speaker and the Prime Minister but nobody wanted to take responsibility.”

Mafabi’s take on feud
Mr Mafabi also reportedly accused Mr Mbabazi of failing to bring Bills/business to the House as a tactic to depict the Speaker as a non-performer. Since May last year, the Executive has brought only one Bill – The Public Order Management Bill, 2011 and at one time Ms Kadaga had to send MPs on a “forced” recess because there was no business to handle.

Before the meeting began, the President asked Ms Kadaga to explain why Mr Mafabi had accompanied the delegation. Ms Kadaga told the President that Mr Mafabi was a member of the Parliamentary Commission. Kasilo MP Elijah Okupa (FDC) and Dr Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkizi East) were also part of this meeting.

According to sources, Ms Kadaga told the President that Mr Mbabazi was using his friends in Parliament to bring her down, a claim Mr Mbabazi insistently denied. In his response, Mr Mbabazi reportedly told the President that he did not know why Ms Kadaga was fighting him. Ms Kadaga has previously accused Mr Mbabazi of using politicians from Busoga to destroy her political base.

According to sources Mr Mafabi told the President that it was Mr Mbabazi who took Parliament to court through his voter, a move that further dented the once harmonious working relationship between the Executive and Parliament. The President was told that the case awaits judgment.

Mr Mbabazi was asked to step aside together with Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek on allegations that they pocketed bribes from foreign oil companies. While Mr Mbabazi and Eng. Onek remain defiant, Mr Kutesa has since agreed to step aside.

An ad hoc committee of Parliament which was investigating ministers’ actions was recently nipped in the bud after Sevino Twinobusingye, a High Court advocate and voter from Kanungu District, petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the oil committee probe against his MP, Mr Mbabazi, and other ministers.
Sources told Sunday Monitor that Mr Museveni wants this case to be settled out of court.

Realising that he was not making progress, the President adjourned the meeting to February 2. In October last year, Mr Museveni tried to reconcile the two political giants but without success. Mr Mbabazi blames Ms Kadaga for mishandling the oil debate and allowing forged oil documents to be tabled on the floor.
The two presidential spokespersons were unavailable for comment.

By Yasiin Mugerwa, Daily Monitor

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