Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi

In a statement released yesterday, the director, media and communications in Mbabazi?s camp, Josephine Mayanja-Nkangi stated that the former Premier has suspended his tours due to the death of his brother, Enock Bahemerwabusha Bagwowabo who passed away on Thursday.

?New dates will be given to the Electoral Commission as soon as they are available. We ask that he and his family be allowed time to grieve,? Nkangi said in the statement.

In a social media message, Mbabazi said, ?I will be taking time off this weekend to bury my beloved brother and in many ways, my mentor Enock Bahemerwabusha.

It saddened me to hear of his demise yesterday evening. His life was well spent in service to Country and family and we will miss him dearly?.

The former Premier in his statement issued by his office also thanked the people of Mbale who withstood extreme provocation as a result of his expected visit to the area on Thursday.

?Amama would like his supporters to know that he is still resolute about following the law and was not found to have committed any crime, as indicated by the lack of any charges being proffered against him or his daughter. His lawyers will be handling this matter further in the courts of law,? the statement noted.

Earlier on Mbabazi granted an interview to a foreign media outlet the BBC in which he insisted that he ?will not back down? in his preparations for a presidential bid, despite his arrest on Thursday

However police warned former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi that they would effectively restrain him from moving outside his compound should he insist on continuing with the consultations.

?We are going to effectively restrain him from moving out,? police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.

Asked to explain what he meant, Enanga said the police would on his insistence treat the former Premier the way the handle former Forum for Democratic Change leader, Kizza Besigye.

?We will come out with strict measures against him and once we get intelligence that he is moving out, we will get more serious,? Enanga said.

He did not rule out police placing spikes at the former Premiers home and deploying officers at his gate permanently should there be need.

He also said the police would get more serious with the case files they had against Mbabazi and his team.

In the BBC interview, Mbabazi said he held President Museveni directly responsible for his arrest.

However the Presidency Minister, Frank Tumwebaze told Mbabazi to carry his own burden.

?Blame the President for what. Is the President the law enforcement officer? As I said earlier, he is trying to invest his efforts in that comic drama with the police to remain visible and relevant since his earlier message and pronouncements had failed to reverberate sustainably around the country. He has to resort to those antics for visibility,? Tumwebaze said.

Tumwebaze warned however that his antics would soon run out.

?The more he continues to play to the gallery, the more Ugandans discern him easily. If media publicity from police was serious political capital to talk of, then Besigye ratings would have grown leaps,? the Presidency Minister added.

On Friday, lawyers representing Mbabazi also insisted that come rain or shine their client will go on with the consultations which he had started on Thursday before Police stopped him.

?It doesn?t matter what degree of intimidation and where it comes from, Mbabazi will continue with the consultations because they are legal,? said Saverino Twinobusingye one of the senior lawyers on Mbabazi legal team.

Mbabazi was set to start the consultations on Thursday but on his way to the eastern district of Mbale where he was to hold the first consultation, Police blocked him at Njeru over 70km away from Kampala.

The former NRM Secretary General was later arrested and herded back to Kampala before he was detained at Kira Police Station where he spent the rest of his day.

Before kicking off the consultations, Mbabazi had released a country wide programme which he copied to the Electoral Commission (EC).

But the Commission, Police and the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) to which Mbabazi subscribes protested against the programme.

EC said it was not the right time for Mbabazi to kick-start the consultations while NRM said the party had not cleared him.

Responding to the letters from EC and NRM, Police chief Kale Kayihura vowed to block Mbabazi?s consultations until when he was officially cleared by the party.

By Charles Etukuri and John Semakula, The New Vision


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