President Yoweri Museveni has today showered praises to his ruling NRM party top organs NEC, CEC and the Delegates Conference, for their recent endorsement of key constitutional amendments at his request.
The party last year capped a set of constitutional reforms that handed the President powers to appoint the party’s Secretary General, their deputy and treasurers, during its December 15 Delegates Conference an Namboole in Kampala.
The move was later to see former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi voted out as Secretary General, and replaced by government Chief Whip Hon Justine Kasule Lumumba.
Museveni said today, that this move would go a long way in sorting out several of the NRMs internal challenges, and had already born a number of fruits.
While speaking at the NRM’s 29th Liberation Day Celebrations in Soroti district, Museveni said that the ruling party had suffered a number of setbacks due to lack of a fulltime Secretariat, as the Former SG Amama Mbabazi was also serving as the Prime Minister.
“Unlike in recent days, when we were still in the bush, I was full time on the war while Al Hajji Moses Kigongo was there full time for the party activities,” Museveni explained.
With a “missing person” at the Secretariat, Museveni stressed, the NRM had suffered several impediments including successive losses at various by elections across the country.
But the new reforms he said, had already shown good results, citing the recently won by-election in Busia, where NRM’s Wanyama Oundo won the District Local Government chair with 31,443 votes; beating the joint opposition’s Deo Hasubi Njoki who only managed 21,884.
Noted Museveni; “It had become a pattern for the NRM to lose by-elections, because there was no one to guard the votes. Nobody was there to check on the register.
The president also said the opposition parties and some members of the Electoral Commission were partly to blame for the NRM losses.
“The opposition was rigging, assisted by some elements in the EC. For instance in Amuru, they removed all women from the voters list because they know that woman always vote for the NRM!”
But this would now change for better with a fresh and vibrant team at the ruling party secretariat, reassured the President.
“It’s now a government of young people. The New SG Kasule Lumumba, Dr Kenneth Omona, and Hon Rose Namayanja were all in P6, when we took over government. Namayanja’s first job was to sell pancakes to us when we entered Bombo.”
At the event, Museveni also observed that the opposition had often taken advantage of the warring elements in the party, adding that most of the votes they got in the various by-elections were from disgruntled members of the NRM.
He added that upon endorsement by the NDC, Mrs Lumumba went straight to Busia and brought to him all the big NRM people there, who have been involved in fights, namely; Gabrile Opiyo, Aggery Awori, Julius Maganda, Oundo Barbra, Rose Munyiira and John Muhimba, who he reconciled at Rwakitura, ahead of the victory in the by-election.
The president concluded that the NRM party would now grow stronger, and help its people out of poverty though its poverty eradication programs.
“We are going back to Luweero Triangle, where we had direct contact with the people,” he added.