Assessment: Lessons from NRM primaries – Michael Mabikke

If the recently concluded National Resistance Movement(NRM) primaries could be a precursor to trends in the forth coming generals elections.

Yes trends in the the ruling party and dominant political organisation in the country for 35 years may be a fore runner to the 2021election results.

6 salient and notable questions;

  1. Violence;
    The NRM elections have been bloody and violent. Competing sides have been armed to the teeth and several bloody scenes were recorded in Mawogola, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Bugiri, Namutumba etal.

And if members of the same party have meted that level of violence against each other, whats going to happen when they face the opposition?

  1. Partisan involvement of the military and security forces.

The country has been awash with images of military and security elements assisting one NRM side to the dis advantaging of the other in an unprecedented display of impunity and lawlessness.

Such is in violation of the Constitution, electoral laws and UPDF act.

If military and security elements have shown prefered choices in an internal process, who is going to stop them from doing the same at the general election?

  1. Bribery and use of money.

Information coming in indicates that the campaign cost to some candidates has been in the range of Ugx 1BN . Even after dishing this obscene amounts to voters, many still lost. The ruling party and the nations’ President could not reign in on members or even reprimand acts of voter bribery.

Will this trend not only get worse at the general election especially that stakes seem higher?

  1. Exit of long serving MPs and Ministers.

Majority of long serving MPs and Ministers have been ejected. Hon Ephraim Kamuntu, hon Okello Oryem, hon Rukuntana Mwesigwa among others lost primaries not because they are incompetent but for their over stay. Could voters be looking for new faces at the general election?

  1. Exit of crusaders of the age amendment bill

With just a few exceptions, all key architects of the age amendment bill have been ejected by party Members.

Koboko municipality MP Hon Evelyn Anite, hon Peter Ogwang, Kasanda south MP Semeo Nsubuga were beaten hands down.

Key mover Raphael Magyezi could have read the signs correctly and bowed out in time.

It is of concern though that even President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the number one beneficiary of their act could not come to the rescue of his confidants.

Could this be clear sign that majority members of the NRM did not support the move to lift the age cap and that there is still a case to answer for the pro amendment Mps at the general election?

  1. Bloated NRM register.

Common complaint nation wide has been that of a bloated register, polling materials which caused delay and in most case rigging.

After 35 years NRM cant deliver a clean, free and fair internal election, will NRM deliver to the rest of the country what it cant deliver to its entire membership?

We have time to understudy and do better.