In any organization, there are instances when all the leaders at various levels are bound by collective responsibility.
The NRM MPs are part of the leadership of the NRM. MPs are members of the National Executive Council, which is a standing committee of the National Conference.
Also, MPs are members of the National Conference, a supreme organ of NRM among others.
So, they should be bound by collective responsibility when the various organs or officials mandated by the organs take decisions on their behalf.
It’s very unfortunate when some candidates in NRM primaries who lost continue to refer to NRM members who voted at village level on the instruction of the Chairman of NRM and with the approval of the village committees as non-Ugandans or opposition.
It even gets worse when an NRM card holding member like Dr Charles Ayume is nominated by NRM Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman to contest as NRM MP Flag Bearer of Koboko Municipality and is declared winner and Flag Bearer by the NRM EC Chairman on behalf of the NRM Chairman but his opponent continues to refer to him a non-NRM member.
What makes it more laughable is Dr Charles Ayume is a former staff of State House.
Does it mean that State House does not have a mechanism to vet its employees? Staff around the President should be NRM cadres.
One wonders why the allegations against Dr Charles Ayume did not come out earlier?
It gets even more interesting when an NRM member aged 35 from Koboko Municipality goes public and calls herself the gateway to West Nile.
NRM has been in power for more than 35 years and even before 1986, NRM was in existence as the political wing of the struggle.
The late Ayume served as Attorney General and Speaker of Parliament, among others, and was considered a strong supporter of NRM and so is his family.
We have the likes of Gen Moses Ali who hail from West Nile and have been in NRM for over 30 years and held key positions including 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament.
So, who designates the face or gateway to West Nile? If the NRM Chairperson for West Nile/ Northern Uganda called himself the gateway to West Nile I would most likely agree.
How can someone younger than NRM claim to be the gateway of NRM to West Nile and also give herself the responsibility of vetting NRM members from West Nile?
Such pronouncements that depict some members lie Dr Charles Ayume as less of members is not good for the party and should be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
West Nile is an NRM stronghold because of the work of the various leaders right from the NRM Chairman to the village level leaders.
No single person can claim to make any part of Uganda an NRM stronghold.
So, it’s amazing when losers in NRM primaries claim that opposition parties like National Unity Platform (NUP) want to recruit them and make it a serious issue.
It’s just blackmail. NUP is strong in some areas of Buganda. A NUP candidate cannot win in NRM strongholds because after the NRM primaries, NRM members are going to vote for the bus regardless of who the NRM flag bearer is.
We all know that under the circumstances that were pertaining before the NRM primaries, NRM Electoral Commission and NRM Secretariat have done their best.
First of all, most of their activities wait for funds from NRM. NRM Secretariat depends on contributions from members and well-wishers and the funds appropriated under the National Electoral Commission.
So, if they don’t get funds in time to computerize a register, how can we blame them for lack of a computerized register?
Also, they don’t have a budget to pay permanent employees in many parts of the country. So we cannot use the standard of the National Electoral Commission to assess their performance.
It’s also saddening when we watch NRM members hold press conferences and openly condemn NRM Secretariat and call for overhaul of the same.
These matters that are internal to NRM should be reported to relevant NRM organs for action before they are made public at press conferences.
The NRM Secretariat has a right to defend itself before an NRM organ against any allegations by members of NRM.
But the NRM Secretariat should not be dragged into defending itself through press conferences.
I see this culture of self-entitlement and blackmail spreading to many parts of Uganda and NRM should stop this cancer.
It’s good when losers accept defeat with humility without conditions. NRM should not be held at ransom by losers in NRM primaries.
Losers are still members of NRM and should serve NRM in that capacity. If they come as independents or decide to join other parties, NRM should use its machinery to defeat them like it has done in the past.
Professor Venansius Baryamureeba is a former presidential candidate and ex-Makerere University Vice Chancellor.
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