It is absurd that the NRM again lost an election - this time in an unusual quarter - at district level, more so in Rukungiri District, western Uganda. I am a former contestant in NRM primaries, who lost due to election malpractices and poor party organisation. Our party chairman, who is also the President of Uganda, has often been made to believe that he is dealing with strong cadres and popular party supporters. Perhaps they were, but are they still party diehards?
Some of these people have owned the party and they will do anything to make the chairman to believe that they are still relevant. They don’t allow other people to access the chairman and other party leaders for fear of being exposed. They have lured, lied, hoodwinked the President that they are great performers yet truth be told, they are mere party “money outlets simply out to siphon money to enrich themselves. We have often wanted to mend fences in the party but nobody seems to be interested.
Since the poorly organised NRM party primaries in 2015 in which many contestants lost due to intrigue, corruption, fraud, broad day cheating, bribery, etc, nobody has come out to address these problems. The result is that there is a sharp rift and fallout between politician and supporters. Even when consultations are done within the party, those who lost in the primaries are never recognised. They are never invited for any party activity forgetting that some of them even have more supporters than seating MPs.
Therefore, out of frustration, they either decide to keep quiet or throw their weight behind Opposition politicians.
This, coupled with factors such as relying on old and corrupt faces, who voters view as “ticks sucking blood from the party”, to canvas support for the party from largely youthful and enlightened population, will continue to disadvantage NRM flag bearers. These corrupt and old fellows think that distributing money to bribe voters and telling lies are all what is required to win an election. However, this may work, but not all the time.
Why rely on people who do not do research, who are not team members and those who merely sit in Kampala to feed the wrong information to drive the party or lie to the President? Many of these people go to the constituencies to bribe voters because they have money, not because they are popular.
Unless Mr Museveni realises this, the party will continue to post losses in elections.
Stephen Ngobi Mugabi,
Kigulu North