The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Party has once again come under the spotlight for playing dirty by flouting elections rules even at the highest level of their political engagement when they were filling slots for their EALA slots recently.
Following their defeat in the primaries, the losers who included former assistant Finance Minister Henry Banyenzaki as well as Capt. Francis Babu, went on the attack accusing the party of presiding over rigging when it allowed corruption in order to knock out others.
Banyenzaki accused his party of introducing new rules on the same day of the elections. But he praised Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) for organising what he called clean elections.
“I admire the way FDC did their elections and there is no doubt NRM needs to pick a leaf from them if we want smooth and fair elections in the future,” Banyenzaki said.
Comparing with his Party, Banyenzaki conceded that the FDC’s Electoral Commission gave good time and value to the EALA election, to prepare electoral guidelines which were later discussed thoroughly and adopted by their National Executive Committee before they were presented to their MPs who form the final electoral college when the final Elections will eventually be held before the end of this month.
“But in our case (referring to the NRM) some rules were generated on that very election day and worse still, some already concluded rules were changed in the course of the elections which to me was some of the breeding grounds for the unfortunate mess that later transpired,” Banyenzaki added.
Uganda Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo however dismisses Banyenzaki’s complaints as baseless and hollow.
“The rules have always been there but there is nothing we can do for those who choose to ignore them or flout them,” Ofwono Opondo said.
Ofwono had also no kind words for Captain Francis Babu who was furious alleging that the NRM primaries were marred by corruption by which, he complains aged but experienced candidates like himself were allegedly rigged out of the race in favour of “inexperienced candidates” whom some legislators including Ssemuju Nganda and Abudu Katuntu worry, have nothing to offer to the regional legislative Assembly.
“It is not true that people making a debut to the regional Assembly can’t perform well,” Opondo said.
Referring to Abdu Katuntu (MP Bugwere north) and former member of the African Parliament, Ofwono said: ” Katuntu joined the African Parliament as one of the least experienced legislator at that level but by the time he finished his ten year service in the African Parliament, he was one of the best.”
But Banyenzaki is just one high profile NRM member to regret the mess in the party’s primaries characterized by a brawl between the Secretary General Kasule Lumumba and the Electoral Commission boss Tanga Odoi.
The Party Chairman, president Museveni has since come out and apologised for “the mess” on behalf of the NRM’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) to the NRM caucus.
NRM finally elected six candidates including Mathias Kasamba, Rose Akol, Mary Mugyenyi,Paul Musamali,George Odong and Denis Namala final elections are slated for 27th February.