The former minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. Maria Matembe has accused the ruling National Resistance Movement of deceitfully inheriting the Movement System at the expense of other political parties.
When the National Resistance Army (NRA) captured power in 1986 political parties were banned in a move to address sectarianism, and a single-party system of government termed as Movement System was instituted.
Political parties like Uganda People’s Congress, Democratic Party, NRM and others existed but none was allowed to campaign or directly field a candidate in any elective position. Members of the political parties were however individually allowed to contest in all elective positions.
Nineteen years later, Uganda returned to the multiparty system of government through a referendum organized on 28th July 2005.
According to Dr. Matembe, during the process of return to multiparty, NRM put itself on the advantageous side and owned the Movement that was virtually the party of everyone.
“NRM deceitfully took the Movement System and owned it. It is not a mass party as they claim but it simply inherited most people from the Movement,” Matembe said during a TV political talk show on NBS on Thursday.
She added that in order to consolidate power, the NRM government started amending the articles of the constitution in its favor.
“It was not a serious party after all. It started changing our constitution to survive. Without the state power and money, there is no NRM,” she added.
When contacted on phone, the NRM Deputy Secretary General, Richard Todwong dismissed the claims saying a changed system cannot be inherited.
“I expect Dr. Matembe who is a lawyer to know that nobody can inherit a changed or an abolished system. Ugandans massively supported the return to Multiparty and movement was automatically abolished,” he said.
He however added that many in the Movement system “transformed” to NRM.
“Some in the movement who loved it so much transformed into NRM and no body forced them. That is my honest comment,” he added.