Former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi has said despite taking a decision to leave the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, he is still good friends with its Chairman and founder, President Yoweri Museveni.
Mbabazi said yesterday that it was his “rebel instinct” that drove him out of the party he helped establish, after realizing that its leaders were diverting from its founding principles.
This instinct, he said, is still in him, even though he has no personal problems with President Museveni.
“I quit the NRM government on principle,” Mbabazi said. “I am a principled man. I worked with (President) Museveni for 45 years and we accomplished a lot together. But today we don’t have the same political beliefs, even though we are still good friends.”
Mbabazi was in September 2014 dropped by President Museveni as Prime Minister and replaced with his childhood friend Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
Mbabazi said he still treasures his friendship with the President and Prime Minister Rugunda, and that nothing will ever come between them.
The former premier was speaking Friday at St James Kijuguta Church of Uganda during the Requiem service of Elijah Paul Bakebwa, his elder brother, who was one of the strongest pillars of the opposition UPC in the Kigezi region.
Mbabazi praised his former brother for resisting political divisions in their family, despite the two belonging to rival parties.
Bakebwa passed away on Tuesday aged 82, at Nakasero Hospital where he had been admitted with high blood pressure and diabetes.
He famed a lot in this region for playing an active role in national politics, starting with the struggle for independence in the 1950s and in the post-independence political dispensation under UPC.
Bakebwa left behind his wife Margret Bangi Bakebwa, 13 children, 27 grandchildren and seven great-grandchild.
His body was later laid to rest at his home in Burambira village in Kijuguta ward in Northern Division in Kabale municipality.