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NRM to Expel Members who Contest for Seats after Losing Party Primaries

Speaking at the NRM National Delegates’ Conference-President Yoweri Museveni who is also the party chairman said that there will not be any justifiable reason why anyone would stand as an independent candidate, now that the party was moving towards having more transparent elections.
25 Jan 2020 18:22
The National Resistance Movement-NRM will expel all its members who defy the party and contest as independent candidates after losing party primaries.

Speaking at the NRM National Delegates’ Conference-President Yoweri Museveni who is also the party chairman said that there will not be any justifiable reason why anyone would stand as an independent candidate, now that the party was moving towards having more transparent elections.

“Lining up behind candidates is transparent and definitive. NRM will not tolerate such members that in the past we used not to expel. Now it will be easier because it will be clear who won, This will bring discipline in the party,” Museveni said, moments before the party Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba readout a National Executive Council resolution that recommended that voting be conducted by lining up behind candidates.

The resolution was debated and endorsed by the National Executive Council and in effect, elections shall be conducted by way of lining up behind the candidates nominated for the office or their representatives, portraits or symbols.

Museveni who chaired the session allowed nine people to debate for and against the motion that was seconded by Kabula County MP James Kakooza. The MP famous for championing the removal of presidential term limits in 2005, said lining up is cost-effective as it will save the candidate money that is badly needed in the general election that normally follows the party primaries.

Of the nine people who debated the motion, six supported it with varying reasons but mainly rotating around previous irregularities that have punctuated NRM primaries such as voter bribery, outright rigging, ballot stuffing, and violence among others. 

“We want to take charge of our election, not the party Electoral Commission,” said Harriet Busingye Mugenyi, the Hoima district woman MP.

However, those who opposed the motion maintained that it was archaic and not consistent with the 21 century. They added that it will increase animosity in homes especially where the couple supports different candidates.

After about 20 minutes of debate, the motion was put to an oral vote. The voices of those in favour seemed to overwhelm those against although on listening properly it seemed like the intensity was the same. This forced Museveni to put the vote again. In the end, the ayes had it.

Meanwhile, Justine Kasule Lumumba earlier had a hard time addressing the 14,000-strong congregation as she was incessantly booed. It took the intervention of Museveni to allow her to speak.  In a statement, Rogers Mulindwa, the spokesperson of the NRM secretariat said the booing was the handiwork of those opposed to her leadership.

“The attempt to interrupt the speech of the Secretary-General…was a big shame to its plotters before our National Chairman and the Foreign Delegations. The act did not, however, take some of us by surprise since the mobilization started a day before and we can proudly say, the faces of those behind this move are well known to us,” Mulindwa’s statement read in part.

In other developments, Museveni disclosed that his party had purchased the building on Plot 10 Kyadondo road that currently houses the NRM secretariat, at a tune of USD 1.9 million. He said soon they will start developing the area to give the party decent structures.

Although NRM has been in power, for now, 34-years, it did not own its party headquarters. This is contrary to FDC which is only 15 years and not in power but owns its party headquarters.     

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