After going through turbulent processes of conducting primary elections, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party is embarking on a reconciliation and healing process before launching campaigns for the 2021 General Election.
President Museveni, who is also the NRM national chairman, ordered the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) to first deliver justice to members disgruntled with the outcome of the internal polls before dealing with the healing process.
We learnt that a team of eminent cadres and also all members of the CEC have been commissioned by Mr Museveni to spearhead the reconciliation process.
Each of the 47 cadres has been given not less than three districts to camp in and chair reconciliation meetings aimed at convincing members who have been nominated as Independent candidates to withdraw and support the flag bearers.
The primaries, especially for parliamentary elections flag bearers. were marred with violence and irregularities in some parts of the country.
The Election Disputes Tribunal which comprised 20 lawyers handled more than 400 petitions challenging the results of the elections in some of the parts of the country.
Due to decisions of the Tribunal, some flag bearers had their results upheld whereas in some places, there were residual or fresh elections to determine the actual winner of the elections. Advertisement
In Nyabushozi County, fresh elections to determine the flag bearer between incumbent Col (Rtd) Fred Mwesigye and his rival Mr Wilson Kajwengye were conducted on October 13 the first day of nomination for candidates.
Meanwhile, for Mawogola North in Sembabule District, the party decided not to have a flag bearer after the CEC was caught up by time to act on the Tribunal recommendation.
Mr Enoch Barata on October 11 recommended to CEC to decide the flag bearer between the President’s brother Godfrey Aine Kaguta, aka Sodo, and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa’s daughter Shartsi Musherure Kutesa.
Ms Kutesa, who lost to Mr Sodo in last month’s election which was held late after the party’s Electoral Commission postponed the exercise of September 4, petitioned the tribunal which upheld her claim that some of the villages did not vote.
Capt Mike Mukula, the NRM Vice chairperson for Eastern Uganda, told Sunday Monitor yesterday that CEC is optimistic that the reconciliation meetings will help to return harmony to the ruling party.
“…CEC under the guidance of the President directed that a team of eminent people in the party, including CEC members, go and meet people around the country to find a solution,” Capt Mukula said yesterday.
The exercise that starts today is expected to last for at least one week with a view that common ground will have been reached in all the areas before Mr Museveni is nominated as a presidential candidate on November 2. That is the same day when the party will be officially launching the campaigns.
“The party manifesto should be approved at the next CEC meeting and we expect to launch it on November 2 when we officially start campaigns for our Presidential flag bearer. What I can say is that by then we will have solved these issues and bring harmony because parties involved are very strong cadres,” Capt Mukula added.
This newspaper has seen a circular by Ms Rose Namayanja, the National Treasurer, to all CEC members and selected eminent cadres selected to handle the reconciliation process, highlighting the logistics that will be involved and the number of people to attend these meetings.
“For effective coordination of this effort, the exercise shall be conducted in each district and a town hall meeting of 100 people shall be organised. Provision for 150 people has been made in the districts with cities” the October 21 letter reads in part.
Ms Namayanja revealed that each selected participant will receive Shs100,000 honorarium while at least Shs1.7m will be spent on other logistics to ensure success of each meeting.
The reconciliation meetings will be attended by members of NRM district mainstream committee, flag bearers for, MP, city mayors, city division mayors, municipal mayor and LC 5 chairperson.
Other party members who lost to the above flag bearers in the primary elections; up to 10 opinion leaders; and, the leadership of district security committees.
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