After a full week of social media claims by unverified persons and groups that Entrepreneur and Senior Presidential Advisor (Special Duties) Odrek Rwabwogo is going to stand for President in 2026, the calm headed First Son-in-Law has spoken out about the allegations.
In a detailed press statement, Rwabwogo rubbished the allegations, emphasizing that the country knows how he operates and should not give attention to schemes that posture him as someone wrestling for positions “as if Uganda is a monarchy or without systems.”
See detailed statement here;
Dear Friends & Colleagues
I have seen some of my old media interview videos and images mischievously and callously re-edited and distributed in increasing proportion by some elements who I suspect are intent on creating a certain line of political posturing.
In the past, I have ignored these but I am now compelled to respond given the probable import and interpretation of these images by some of you, my friends. These interviews and videos have been adulterated and presented as if they were conducted today yet they are more than six years old.
The people doing this, I presume are seeking to create the impression that there are some ‘special people’ in the Movement who are jostling for positions in the event of any form of succession and leadership in the party and/or country. They assume that if they throw my name in this melee, it makes their games appear legitimate and credible. This is wrong. Munsaanze nga ndaba, amaaso ngakanude bulungi. You will not use me or anyone I work with in this undisciplined and aimless behaviour.
For those who vend this thinking, there are two problems:
First, the people behind it know there is no election going on now and we only got out of one a few months back. I was not a participant in this election and therefore I am not petitioning for anything. Why would I or anyone project themselves in a non-existent contest now? What outcome would one be aiming at? Who is this with time on their hands for these distractive games at a time when the country is moving forward with the work of healing rifts provoked by the recent elections?
Secondly, this fruitless social media campaign has an underlying intention of driving a wedge among supporters of the Movement as if the organization has neither structures nor system to make decisions about leadership renewal. I suspect this is enemy propaganda meant to cause unnecessary strife and it should be rejected. Anyone who falls for these stunts or is casual about their negative impact, is an adversary of our stability to which many gave their lives.
This disinformation endangers the process of building institutions and undermines the very efforts we need to create certainty and predictability for Uganda’s politics. Perhaps the people behind this are unaware that institutions carry the collective hopes of a nation, marshals the strength of each individual to build a greater good and they are the only means of overcoming human limitations imposed by mortality. We should work hard to nurture and strengthen them instead of playing childishly against them.
These people who act outside a system cannot be my comrades. They should know that Uganda is neither a monarchy nor is the Movement a tree for charlatan climbers to be abused by any illegitimate interests anyhow. Legitimacy in the Movement and in any organization is a function of merit, capability and contribution. These attributes can only grow from the soil called orderliness and watered by a stream called transparency.
To you who I work with or who have seen our efforts in the past and are genuinely confused by this contrived online gimmickry in pictures, I would like to assure you that I continue to work as a volunteer for building national collective values, support efforts to wean our youth from dizzying empty politics so they can concentrate on creating their own enterprises.
Even if there might be some of you who admittedly see and appreciate something in our work, no one has come to me to consult on anything you see circulating on social media. I see these images just like many of you do and I have no hand in them. Don’t I have a right of say or to be consulted even if you wanted my opinion on these issues?
In the 2015 NRM race, I did not hide behind any social media stunts to state my position. I went to all corners of our country, reaching out to many of our elders and to thousands of young people. We worked in broad daylight. I explained the issues of our time and what we need to do in a growing country with many challenges. We showed a way to fix some of these issues. Why would I now choose to hide behind social media trolls and circulate old campaign artifacts, if I wanted to run for any office?
Anyone who has worked with us can easily surmise these are not our work methods. We always seek an honest, deeply engaging and thoughtful debate about what needs to be done. This is because we know that Leadership is not positions and titles. It is hard and thankless work and without a genuine calling, few can sustain the pain of the marathon and the loneliness of hard decision making. Therefore, anyone who falsely or deliberately positions me in this angling and elbowing for positions, really insults both our intelligence and the work we do. Leadership is a selfless and genuine internal search for purpose, meaning and contribution to an institution.
Leadership is a carefully sought out choice about who is capable among many who might often not even see a similar direction but share concerns about an institution at a given time and circumstances. It is a negotiation with nature, multifaceted interests and the future.
To many young people that I meet in our teaching sessions, I implore you to focus on the greater issues of our country especially the need for finding solutions to build an economy that, like rising waters, lifts all boats to the shore, to seek out what unites us and shun the use of underhand methods as a means of getting into leadership.
My favourite organizational management mentor, the late Peter Drucker, said “By themselves, character and integrity [in the search for leadership], do not accomplish much but their absence faults everything else”. Stay principled.
I thank you.
Farmer, Entrepreneur & Senior Presidential Advisor – Special Duties