NRM Delegates Conference Illegal – Lawyers

All focus is on Mbabazi and Museveni at this Delegates Conference

With less than a fortnight to the awaited National Resistance Movement National delegates Conference,  more blockades are piling up from different corners to obstruct its occurrence.

A group of lawyers have thrown their weight onto the push to frustrate the ruling party conference, with an array of illegality claims.

The spirit of the event slated for December 15 at the Mandela National Stadium has already faced resistance several other groups of NRM supporters and highly placed insiders.

One such Capt Ruhinda Maguru last month rushed to High Court seeking to have the conference blocked on grounds that it is in breach of a consent judgment entered between him and the NRM leadership on October 25, 2010.

He claims that it was agreed that a five-member committee be put in place to settle the dispute on the NRM presidential flagbearer and the party be tasked to put in place an independent and competent Electoral Commission.

The lawyers under the Uganda Catholic Lawyers Society, have unveiled similar plans to block the delegates conference, equally citing illegality elements.

In a statement, the lawyers outlined seven concerns which if not rectified, could render the conference and its proceedings null and void.

They opposed the NRM’s Central Executive Committee (SEC)’s recent resolution that the party Constitution be changed to the effect that the Secretary General of the NRM party should not be elected but appointed by the chairman. This, the lawyers say is unconstitutional as it contravenes Article 71(d) of the Constitution which makes it mandatory that all members of the national organs of a political party shall be elected and not appointed.

The same concern was raised in Capt Maguru’s suit, claiming that the conference was bent at giving the party chairman powers to handpick the Secretary General at his discretion and to also abolish elections of party presidential flag bearer.

The Catholic lawyers went on to enlist a number of officials whom they say are barred by law from taking part in the organization of the party conference, being holders of civil service offices,

These include, Prof. Mondo Kagonyera Chancellor Makerere University, Hon. Beatrice Wabudeya, Abalo Lillian Ongom, Elijah Mushemeza who are presidential advisors, Ofwono Opondo Executive director Media Center, Dorothy Hyuha the Tanzanian High commissioner and Rtd Major General Matayo Kyaligonza, Ambassador to Burundi.

Went on the notaries, “The NRM’s continued use of the name “NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT (NRM)” as its political party name is illegal and in contravention of Section 8(c) of the Political Parties’ and Organizations Act, 2005 since “NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT {NRM) was declared to be a statutory body in the case of Ssemogerere v Attorney General,” added  the laywers.

Since announcement, the scheduled delegate’s conference has also seen physical resistance in form of strikes and demos from a number NRM supports in various districts.

At the beginning of this week, in Kaliro district, a group of youths staged rowdy strikes and engaged police in hours of running battles, in protest of the national conference, which they said was intended to victimize Hon Mbabazi.  Similar riots were reported in the Eastern district of Jinja.

The former Premier has nonetheless vowed to attend the conference despite being on leave as the party secretary General.

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