The ruling party in Uganda, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has again postponed release of a harmonized party election roadmap to Wednesday next week after the party leadership failed to agree on certain issues.
In the latest communication made on Monday, another Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting of the party has been summoned on Wednesday next week to “iron out the impending issues” related to the roadmap ahead of the party primaries.
Political party programmes regarding the forthcoming general elections were thrown off balance when the Electoral Commission (EC) released a new national electoral roadmap a few weeks ago, rooting for scientific elections.
Sources indicate that the NRM CEC meeting which was supposed to sit tomorrow to break the deadlock on the existing contradictions within the party has been postponed as if to buy time to create a common position on several issues.
The pending issues, sources indicate, include consensus on the method of lining up behind candidates, inadequate funding for primaries and the jostling for vacant positions at the secretariat.
Not even five CEC meetings which have been held in the last two weeks are yet to come up with a harmonized position on way forward.
The lining up method of voting has since become contentious with the leadership in a constitutional dilemma since it may not be appropriately executed within the prevailing health environment of the coronavirus pandemic.
The communication which was shared on the party’s official social media platforms indicates that although CEC has approved a revised general elections roadmap for the party, its release has been deffered to next week pending more deliberations and proposals from members.
However, the party electoral commission chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi says there is no disagreement and the amendment to have party internal elections conducted by lining-up method of voting still stands.
“when time comes to discuss the roadmap, we shall discuss it. I know when one delays people start speculating. We went for the lining up and that’s what the constitution provides” Dr. Odoi was quoted in a statement.
Sources also indicate that the ruling party is experiencing financial challenges to fund grassroot elections for party flag-bearers after issues of misappropriation of money amounting to billions arose at the secretariat.
This assertion is supported by the recent crackdown by CEC on top officials at the secretariat in which the Director Finance and Administration Dr. Hassan Wasswa Galiwango was replaced by Medina Naham, the NRM party chairperson of Koboko District.
Sources say the leadership is yet undecided on holding fresh grassroot elections, while a section has proposed that the existing village councils should elect flag-bearers in order to avoid the process of electing new councils.
This has been contested too, especially by new members who fear that they may be edged out and therefore want to create some influence in the new councils.
Internal bickering over the existing vacant positions at the party secretariat is also a stumbling block in the progress of the NRM party roadmap. The position of the deputy party treasurer and the new appointments have rattled several feathers in the NRM leadership.
The recent appointment of Emmanuel Ddombo as the new Director for Finance and Administration who has an axe to grind with NRM top honchos, as well as one for Hon. Mathius Kasamba who holds a bigger office at EALA has left the leadership ruling party divided.