The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has banned rebel lawmakers from appearing at the upcoming party caucus at the National Leadership Institute–Kyankwanzi, noting that the group has become too rebellious to be allowed to take part in any party activities.
Margaret Muhangi, the NRM Caucus Spokesperson made the revelation today while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre ahead of the party caucus that slated to run from 13th to 20th March 2019.
Responding to question from journalists on whether the rebel MPs have been extended the invite, Muhanga said the six including Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Barnabas Tinkasimiire (Buyaga West), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman), Nambeshe John Baptist Manjiya County), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County) and Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda North) are no longer considered NRM Members.
“They have been counseled to stop the aggressiveness with which they have been handling issues of the party. They have been seen on so many forums talking so many shocking things about NRM, even lack of patriotism for their own country,” Muhanga said.
She added: “The MPs who haven’t been working with us and have been giving us hard time; they come clad in red ballets yet they are NRM members like We don’t know about People Power, the People Power that we know is NRM has the power in each village you go to, you find at least 30 NRM supporters. I don’t know of any party with more numbers than NRM.”
Muhanga argued that the party top organ has been analyzing the conduct of the members and their conduct was found wanting, so they thought it fit to leave the rebel MPs out of the retreat because they wouldn’t be helpful and neither would they contribute anything but just join the caucus to oppose and bring mayhem during the meeting.
Questioned why the party has chosen to take the tough stand against those with dissenting views instead of reaching common ground, Muhanga said that the party did everything in its powers to redeem the souls of these members, but the rebels were found to be beyond redemption.
Muhanga explained: “We went through the process and realized these people will never listen to us, we even hired counselor to counsel them, you know they are 28 NRM MPs who voted against the scrapping off of the Presidential Age limit, but they will be joining us for the retreat, but these ones have kept on fighting even after the session. You see each thing that the opposition calls for, they join; can you really say they are still in NRM?”
Asked further why the Party should continue deducting salaries of the rebel MPs if they feel they aren’t members of the NRM, Muhanga first referred the question to Parliament Accounts team, to which Solomon Silwany, Deputy Spokesperson NRM Caucus chimed in saying the rebel team can stop making contributions to the party since they aren’t under constitutional obligation to do so.
He explained; “The contribution to the caucus is voluntary, that isn’t an issue, it is a voluntary thing done by the person at any time, any member can say that I am no longer contributing, there is no constitutional obligation that you must pay. It is just a contribution to the party, like some of us contribute more than others.”
Muhanga also denied reports that endorsing President Yoweri Museveni as sole candidate ahead of the 2021 general elections will be part of the agenda whose theme will be ‘industrialization for job creation and shared prosperity’, where the members will also review the progress made under the second National Development Plan.
“I have told you our agenda, the issue of saying we are going to endorse President Museveni isn’t part of the agenda. But if the Caucus members find out that there are some things we have forgotten in the agenda and introduce them in the caucus, we shall discuss them during the retreat and have a vote over the matter,” said Muhanga.
Meanwhile, the Kassanda North MP, Patrick Nsamba has said that the rebel MPs will not miss the NRM Caucus retreat at Kyankwanzi, saying all matters they agreed to deal with like corruption and embezzlement have all increased and Ugandans shouldn’t expect anything new from the retreat.
“Many of us thought it wasn’t necessary because the last time we went to Kyankwanzi, we agreed on many things like dealing with corruption, dealing with embezzlement, but the question is, what did they do after they left Kyankwanzi? Nothing was done, after Kyankwanzi, the corruption continued, actually doubled,” Nsamba said in a telephone interview.
He added: “So we have no reason of going to Kyankwanzi because we know the best that can come out of Kyankwanzi is to say that Museveni forever, we don’t expect anything meaningful for the people of Uganda that will come out of Kyankwanzi.”