Museveni’s guidance on NRM primaries stirs mixed reactions

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President Yoweri Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party members have expressed mixed reactions to President Yoweri Museveni’s guidelines on today’s party primaries. 

On Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni, in his capacity as the NRM National Chairperson issued guidelines in which he instructed that all party members including those that are not in the register be allowed to participate in today’s primary elections.

Mr Museveni noted that he has continued to receive complaints of the non-existence of registers in some village and the exclusion from the registered of a significant number of party members. However the Masaka District NRM party Chairperson Peter Ssenkungu expressed fear that the new guidelines could lead to confusion in the election process.

Ssenkungu who also doubles as the patron of the NRM district chairperson in greater Masaka sub-region noted that some leaders have not had adequate time to understand or consult about the guidelines.

Katongole Kitikyamuwogo, an NRM party member from Rubaga division in Kampala welcomes the guidelines. He explains that some contestants deliberately deleted the supporters of their rivals. 

Jennifer Namuyangu, the Minister of State for Local Government and a contestant in Kibuku district says the district NRM party leaders who championed the removal of names from the register did it purposely to win the positions they are vying for. Namuyangu says that Museveni’s guidelines will avoid confusion and violence in the primaries. 

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In February, the NRM secretariat conducted a process of updating their membership register, but the process was eventually interfered by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Mathias Kasamba the NRM’s Mobilization Director who has been deployed to oversee the election process in Masaka sub-region says that the guidelines have given an opportunity to members who had been disfranchised of their rights to participate in the elections.   

The primaries will take place in 68,733 villages across the country.