President Yoweri Museveni has revealed he will seek the views of his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committtee (CEC) member on dealing with top party officials who front their relatives to fight personal wars.
In the recently concluded NRM parliamentary primaries, some contestants complained of top NRM and government officials fighting them through the candidates of their choice.
For example, in the chaotic Rushenyi County election, supporters of incumbent MP (currently remanded on allegations of shooting her opponent Naomi Kabasharira’s supporters) claimed some members of the first family, government and the party had ganged up the junior labour minister Mwesigwa Rukutana.
In Sembabule’s Mawogola North, foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa’s daughter Shartis Musherure is up against President Museveni’s younger brother Godfrey Aine Sodo.
It is not clear who is backing Sodo and Musherure, but it is widely believed the president and his minister, related through marriage, could be behind the two contenders whose supporters clashed leading to the postponement of the primary poll.
Proxy political wars are not uncommon in NRM elections — and in all other Ugandan polls. They are not only limited to powerful people fronting relatives.
In the August CEC elections, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga alleged there were some top government and party officials who sough to bring her down by backing her rival Persis Namuganza (the junior lands minister) for the second national vice chairperson slot.
Museveni has now announced he will “table in the party CEC the issue of high-ranking party officials backing their relatives to fight other NRM contenders.”
“That’s not leadership. You should not get involved in supporting your relative and disadvantaging other contenders.”