Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliament are set to start mobilizing support in their respective constituencies fronting President Yoweri Museveni as the sole party candidate for 2016 presidential elections.
The campaigns are to start on March 20 at the Sub-County level with constituency MPs working closely with the Women legislators.
Justine Kasule Lumumba, the NRM Chief Whip was directed to draft a budget for the MPs to use during the campaigns and she is expected to present it before the Central Executive Committee sitting today.
In a closed door caucus meeting at State House Entebbe yesterday, President Museveni presented to the MPs a Coordination Committee for the upcoming campaigns. A source at the meeting told local media that the members on the committee are Central Youth MP Patrick Nakabale, Information Minister Rose Mary Namayanja, Rose Mary Najjemba, Northern Youth MP Evelyn Anite and her Eastern region counterpart Peter Ogwang.
The source however noted that other MPs did not agree with the committee saying that the selected MPs were not popular among the people and that it should be individual MPs to carry out the campaigns in their constituencies.
The source revealed that the purpose of these upcoming campaigns is to counter what is perceived to be Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s propaganda in the NRM party structures. Some party members have accused Mbabazi of mobilizing within to challenge President Museveni in 2016, a claim Mbabazi dismisses.
The ruling party has of late been gripped by what appears to be a power struggle between the president who is the NRM chairman and his prime minister, who also doubles as party Secretary General.
Meanwhile, the MPs during the Caucus were strictly prohibited from revealing whatever was discussed. Party Deputy Chief Whip David Bahati told URN that yesterday’s meeting was a closed one and so they were not issuing a statement on it.
One of the MPs speaking on condition of anonymity said they were given “strict instructions not to make any comment on what transpired lest they get expelled from the party.
Another MP said President Museveni sought to reduce tension in the party by barring legislators from making public comments on his fall out with Prime Minster Mbabazi.