The NRM rebel MPs have threatened to go to Court if the 25 Central Executive Committee (CEC) members don’t withdraw their decision to endorse President Yoweri Museveni as sole candidate for ruling party in the 2021 general elections.
The six MPs led by Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga County), Sam Lyomoki (Workers MP), Monicah Amoding (Kumi Woman), Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County), Patrick Nsamba (Kassanda North)and John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya County) described the move as evil.
They made the remarks today while addressing journalists at Parliament.
Their remarks follow a pronouncement by CEC meeting that had been camped at Chobe Safari lodge in Nwoya district that endorsed President Museveni as the Party flag bearer during the coming general elections, a move that attracted ire from the rebel camp, whose members had expressed interest in challenging the Party chairman at the position.
Ssekikubo cited article 13 of the NRM constitution which he says only allows CEC to recommend to NEC NRM candidates seeking election, wondering where the organ got the powers to nominate, close and ring fence certain positions in the party.
He also pointed out that the party constitution is clear at how one gains nomination and that comes after the candidate putting in his application letter for the position of interest.
“When did President Museveni put in his application to stand for 2021? CEC is jumping the gun. Why is CEC rushing to endorse Museveni yet they’re only to endorse?” he wondered.
The Lwemiyaga County MP also argued that the Party constitution is clear on the life span of CEC which is five years, adding that by 2021, the current team’s tenure would have expired and so have no mandate to recommend, terming the organ’s recommendation as stale and illegal.
“Where are they getting the mandate to appoint and play game of Museveni that he stands alone? We call upon CEC to withdraw their recommendation it is selfish misguided and doesn’t go by aspiration of Ugandans. We may consider making a constitution petition whether it is in conformity with NRM constitution,” said Ssekikubo.
He wondered how NRM can promise to lead Uganda with democracy if the Party doesn’t have internal democracy in the first place and he dared the Party Chairman to give up himself to an open democracy to prove his popularity within the party.
“Let Museveni if he is popular subject himself to an election. Allow yourself to be challenged to show you’re popular. I have never known Museveni for being a coward, if he has now become a coward, tell us,” argued Ssekikubo.
Bududa’s Nambeshe described CEC’s move as a diabolical imagination of CEC to usurp powers of NEC and ring fence position of Chairman, saying their decision isn’t only selfish but a demonstration for greed for power and money because money was splashed during the five day retreat.
“Why should this position be ring fenced, then it should have been provided in party constitution. This is no longer a party but a company with shareholders. I condemn it being evil, wicked and diabolical in nature,” Nambeshe said.
Nsamba lashed out at CEC for having misplaced priorities, noting that he had expected CEC to discuss transition of power and peaceful transfer of power.
He wondered why the same CEC had backed down from its plan to have secret ballot abandoned for lining up during primaries with hope that the method would be free and fair, but choose to have the President exempted from the same exercise.
Nsamba said: “Let him also come and participate in primaries if primaries are going to be fair, why run away? We shall not participate in those primaries unless you you’re come and be part of them.”
Mbwatekamwa argued that the CEC meeting was very much embarrassing and he had thought the group had camped in Nwoya to discuss middle income status which is just few months away, saying their decision is a mockery to the ‘kisanja hakuna muchezo’ the President had promised upon taking office in May 2016.
“Museveni chairs CEC he sat and endorsed himself. Is there a difference from Amin who declared himself as life President? I hear the opposition cry about democracy, if us the NRM members inside can’t even smell democracy from inside, what about you from the outside?” asked Mbwatekamwa rhetorically.