By Spy Uganda
Bukedi: Disgruntled NRM candidates who participated and lost in the recently concluded party primary elections in Bukedi region have trashed the party’s reconciliation meetings saying it’s a wastage of time and resources since they have already been nominated as independents.
The reconciliation team has over the weekend been conversing the entire Bukedi region in district’s of Budaka, Butebo, and Pallisa trying to collect views and to sow seeds of harmony among the divided party members move that has hit a dead end.
In addition, irritated independents in the region vehemently rejected the plea from the party for them to step down and rally behind the flag bearers so as to consolidate party cohesion.
Mr. Samuel Mulomi, the Budaka district chairman who lost to a malwa seller Emanuel Pajje and nearly punched him during the meeting said NRM Organized a saga of selection and not a free and fair election.
The members further wondered how a party in power for 35 years can fail to organize a secret ballot election and opted for bogus lining up. Most of the independents proposed that when they emerge victorious in the general election next year they should automatically be given party flags.
“Mr. Gidudu (the NRM Chairman Elders League) go and tell Museveni that we Bagwere are tired of his lies, what we need is an affirmative action, we want appointments, we have been loyal to the party but we have been taken for granted as Mzei (Museveni) rewards those who are opposing him.” Samuel Mulomi said.
In the same vein, Mugoda Richard from Butebo added that the youth have lost interest in the party as the president has perpetually lied to meet the youth in Bukedi which he has not done despite several reminders.
Tom Olinga another contestant accused the party of failing to instil discipline and set a basic academic qualification and number of those who should participate in party primaries adding that the percentages given to the President are cooked as it doesn’t reflect what’s on the ground.
Micheal Okurut the Pallisa district chairperson who equally lost and came as independent said despite supporting the party 98% the region has been marginalized.
“Ever since the death of Malinga may his soul rest in peace, the region has not got any cabinet minister, now for us independents from this region we have resolved that the President comes to meet us in person before elections, he gives us appointments, the party refunds our money, short of that we can still campaign for him and we shall remain leaning NRM independents,” he said
On the independents’ request, Mr. Gidudu said he will forward them to the president but expressed scepticism that the president may not be able to meet the independent in a near future following his busy state scheduled.
Its worth noting that as political parties face a possible internal revolt, the concept of individual merit is also taking shape, with the surge of independent candidates in some areas, almost doubling the total number of parliamentary contenders ahead of the 2021 general elections.
Similarly in Kampala, one of the heavily and hotly contested political areas, out of the 96 nominated candidates for parliamentary seats, 43 are standing on independent tickets.
Some political analysts argue that the almost predatory nature of independents, which has also eaten into the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s fold following the nomination of several ministers as independents, largely stems from the unclear process of resolving internal party contradictions and the inherent fluid nature of political parties.