By Kevin Patrice
There was a mixture of excitement and anxiety as former NRM Secretary General and also Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi made an unexpected appearance at State House Entebbe during the national prayers organised by President Museveni and the First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni.
Mbabazi, who made his first appearance since early February at the NRM deligates’ conference at Namboole and the UPDF’s Tarahesita celebrations in Nakaseke District, was accompanied by his wife at the Saturday function.
The visit has reignited a debate among his enthusiastic supporters and haters a like,with some concluding that the former Museveni blue eyed man’s eminent return to Government is indeed here.
Mbabazi, arguably the most decorated Museveni political ally having served in all major Ministerial dockets parted ways with his former bush war comrade in 2015, when he was axed from cabinet and as NRM Secretary General and replaced by Ruhakana Ruhunda and Justine Kasule Lumumba respectively. He went on to challenge Museveni for the presidency in the 2016 general elections which he miserably lost.
Mbabazi went into political hibernation with no public major appearances since unsuccessfully challenging the results of the desputed polls in thevourtsof law, save for an Introduction ceremony of her daughter who married to the family of South African President Cecil Ramaphosa in 2018.
In late 2019 however, President Museveni released photos of himself with the former ally at his country farm in Kisozi, Gomba District, which sparked off reports that the former supper Minister was on his way back into the system.
After months of disappearance from the public however, Mbabazi’s appearance at a time when his youthhood comrade is facing a political storm with the Kadagaled legislature threatening to swallow him a live will unsurprisingly be treated with relief owing to his unmatched expertise at fixing such situations in the past.
Under the current political and health crisis which has seen Museveni standing a lone, as evidenced during his regular public addresses,the need for a political fixer like Mbabazi on his side is a Paramount one. No wonder, the gesture at State House on Saturday 9 was received with excitement of optimism from the regime loyalists.