Photos: Stiff Resistance as NRM Replaces Secret Ballot with Queuing; Shs 7bn Paid for Party offices

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) National Delegates’ Conference has today adopted the NRM Constitutional Amendment of lining up behind party representatives during elections at the Party Primaries.

This was reached today during the 2nd meeting of the 3rd NRM National Delegates’ Conference at Namboole stadium in Kampala chaired by the National Chairman of NRM Party, President Museveni.

The adoption of the amendment came after heated debate amongst the delegates.

Today’s adoption of the amendment followed yesterday’s meeting of the 3rd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at State House, Entebbe that proposed an amendment to Articles 39(10) (e) and 44 (3) that said:

“Elections shall be conducted by way of lining up behind the candidates nominated for the office or their representatives, portraits or symbols.”

The party Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni chaired the NDC sitting at Namboole National Stadium.

Museveni arriving at the venue

Just like the previous day during the National Executive Committee meeting at State House Entebbe, Museveni started by telling members the likely adverse effects of lining up behind candidates.

“Well, we want to cure rigging but the medicine has got side effects,” said Museveni.

He told NDC that the CEC members, who came up with the proposal last year, envisaged scenarios of discordant couples which can precariously tantamount to divorce.

“Members there are situations of discordant couples. You will find that wife and husband are for different candidates and that risks troubles in their family,” said Museveni.

Clearly, those against the amendment were relatively the same as those against forcing to put the question twice.

Museveni addressing the gathering

Museveni then ruled that those in favor of the amendment won.

The proponents argued that even with secret ballot, voters attend rallies of their candidates of choice and it has never been a problem.

NRM primary election of 2015 (secret ballot) was the most chaotic and resulted to the significant production of 66 independent members of Parliament.

Even some ministers like Sarah Opendi Achieng and Idah Nantaba stood on independent tickets in the 2016 general elections citing gross flaws in the internal election process.

NRM Headquarters

Addressing the delegates today at Namboole, President Museveni called on members of NRM to learn, understand and work out the ideology of the NRM Party.

“Get the ideology of your party correctly. Ideology is diagnosis of society’s problem and getting the prescription. You must then look for the cure. The NRM saw that the diagnosis of Uganda was social under-development. We must use the four sectors to solve all this and it all needs democracy,” he explained.

President Museveni thanked NRM leaders for waking up and teaching their people ways of fighting poverty from their homes through participating in commercial agriculture.

“You people are now climbing the right bus because I now see that people are practicing commercial agriculture,” he said.

NRM leaders in a group photo

On the issue of market, President Museveni said that there was no need to panic with the surplus of certain products in the economy such as maize adding that the solution for this was to have a united African and East African markets.

He reiterated that farmers must ensure the quality of their agricultural without forgetting to broaden the spectrum of the final products as opposed to only producing one kind of product.

He cited maize as a case in point, noting that other products like animal feeds could be made from maize with the gradual increase on the value of the maize crop.

President Museveni was happy to note that one of the achievements of the NRM Government is the rapid growth of the private sector that he attributed to better infrastructural development and the low costs of production.

Delegates listening to speeches

He noted that the private sector is of key importance because it has helped grow the economy of Uganda and employ Ugandans. 

He informed the Party delegates that NRM had managed to pay US$1.9 million (Shs 7bn) for Plot 10 on Kyadondo Road in Kampala, the NRM Administrative bloc saying that there was no longer any need for the Party to rent.

President Museveni encouraged the people of Uganda to always fear God, love their neigbhors and their enemies as well, adding that this was also part of the Party ideology.

Notable guests at the delegates conference included Turkish Vice-President, Cigden Karaaslan; Secretary General of Kenya Jubilee Party, Raphael Tuju; Jemme Nunu Kumba, Secretary General of South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement; Secretary General of Chama Cha Mapinduzi in Tanzania, Dr. Sadala Abdalla Juma and a number of foreign envoys.

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