The Secretary General of the ruling party in Uganda, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Hon Justine Kasule Lumumba has said the recently concluded primary elections for Members of Parliament have been largely peaceful and calm, save for a few pockets of violence and electoral malpractices.
Lumumba’s remarks were in a statement read out in a weekly press briefing held at party headquarters in Kamapala following the conclusion of the process to elect party flag-bearers for parliamentary positions and Local Government offices.
She said, cases of violence especially during the primaries elections for Members of Parliament occurred in about 10 districts and these unfortunate incidents, should not define the otherwise very successful primaries elections countrywide.
Your Excellency the NRM National Chairperson,
Members of the fourth Estate,
Colleagues at the NRM Secretariat,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you to the fifth Secretary General’s Press Briefing which will be centred on the recently concluded primaries elections that generated the National Resistance Movement flag bearers for the positions of flag bearers Members of Parliament and the Chairpersons of the District Local Governments, respectively.
The Primaries elections for Constituency Members of Parliament and the District Woman Representatives were held concurrently, on Friday, 4th September, 2020; while that of the Chairpersons of the District Local Governments, were concluded on Friday, 11th September, 2020.
As you are well aware, the Chairperson of the NRM Electoral Commission is yet to make a formal declaration of the results of this very successful electoral process. Technically speaking, what we have are provisionary results which await formal declaration from the Electoral Commission, which is mandated by the NRM constitution to be responsible for all internal elections of the party.
Notwithstanding the above technicality, you and I know that the election results are out there in the public domain, thanks to the vigilance and professionalism of the media houses in Uganda that has enabled us to receive these partial results as they were announced from the various tally centers
In every electoral process, there can only be one ultimate winner. I wish to congratulate all those who have been successful announced as winners in the hotly contested positions that they competed for.
In the same breath, I wish to commiserate with those comrades who did not make it this time round. I want to thank you for offering yourselves to participate in these massive and hotly contested exercise; which has been a test of the internal democracy of the National Resistance Movement. We know many of you are not happy with some of the results and have since petitioned the party for redress.
You have not only brought to fruition, the principle of internal democracy within the party; but that you have exhibited maturity in accepting results as provisionally declared by the respective district elections officials.
Now that the primaries elections are over, I call on you to rally your supporters to mobilize and vote for the flag bearers in the national elections where we face candidates from the sister political parties, in the coming general elections.
I encourage you however, to keep your “eyes focused on the prize”, because the next NRM primaries election in 2026 is only about 65 months away. I also expect the newly elected flag bearers to immediately reach out to those colleagues whom they contested against for chasion building in the interest of party cohesion and unity.
I want to commend those participants who, not being satisfied with the results of the primaries elections, have opted to use the internal mechanisms within the National Resistance Movement to seek for appropriate redress in accordance with the constitution of the National Resistance Movement.
I wish to inform the public that as of closure of yesterday; Saturday, 12th September, 2020, the Directorate of Legal Services had recorded 463 Petitions in respect to the primaries for Members of Parliament alone.
The National Resistance Movement is a people-centred political organization. Our principles are about the survival of the African people i.e. – Patriotism; Pan-Africanism, Socioeconomic Transformation and Democracy. This explains why the membership turned out in massive numbers during the primaries elections for the position of Members of Parliament; to make decisions about who will be their leaders for the next 5 years of the revolution.
I want to state for a fact, that these primaries elections for Members of Parliament have been largely peaceful and calm in most parts of the country, save for a few constituencies and districts, whose elections have been marred with acts of violence, intimidation, alleged voter bribery and disregard to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
As you are aware, reported cases of violence especially during the primaries elections for Members of Parliament occurred in about 10 districts and these unfortunate incidents, should not define the otherwise very successful primaries elections countrywide.
The primaries elections for Chairpersons of District Local Governments have been very successful and largely peaceful.
In some districts, several cases involving violence have been reported by the National Resistance Movement to the Uganda Police Forces; who have arrested some of the culprits and investigations are ongoing, I call on the media to follow up on these cases and inform the public on the sanctions that the party and Government are going to impose to ensure justice, law and order prevails.
The Secretariat has in consultation with the National Chairperson, evacuated 6 members of our party who were seriously injured in the fracases that the primaries elections occasioned. These include but not limited to the following:
Mr. Busanda Henry from Namutumba District, who sustained deep head injuries. He was admitted, operated upon at the Nakasero Hospital’s ICU. He was discharged yesterday, Saturday, 12th September, 2020; and is now recuperating.
Mr. Otiang Charles from Katakwi District, who was shot in the lower stomach; underwent emergency surgery at Nakasero Hospital and was discharged on Wednesday 9th September, 2020.
Mzee Apenyo Lucy, also from Katakwi District and who was shot in the upper left arm (shuttered limb); and is also admitted at Nakasero Hospital. She is still an inpatient, being handled.
Mr. Kiriyo Rweiburungi Dan, from Rushenyi, Ntungamo District, was referred to Nakasero Hospital from Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. He was admitted with grevious head injuries. He was operated upon and is slowly recuperating in hospital awaiting discharge.
Mr. Kahitani Juma; also from Rusheni, Ntungamo District who was also admitted at Nakasero Hospital with head injuries. His injuries were not too fatal and was discharged after two days.
Mr. Munirwa Fred; was referred to Nakasero Hospital with head injuries arising from elections violence in Jinja Municipality. He has since been discharged.
I thank the National Chairperson for his magnanimity and humanity in ensuring the above victims of electoral violence were treated professionally.
I also thank the Management and staff of Nakasero Hospital, and indeed all medical facilities where such electoral violence were meted out to innocent victims, for the dedication and professionalism they have exhibited in managing the cases brought before them.
As Secretary General, I am on record for having condemned these acts of violence that have been meted out on our membership and call on security organs and the administration of justice system to ensure that all the culprits are not only made to answer for these crimes; but that they must be stopped from future electoral processes, because their actions border on impunity and go against the strategic principles of the National Resistance Movement.
I will hasten to add that all these vices, were precipitated by some of the candidates themselves working with their agents and supporters. Investigations will guide us on administrative measures we shall take on candidates who could have directly participated in these.
I therefore call on the members and fraternity of the National Resistance Movement, to reject in the future, leaders who promote such vices violence, intimidation, sectarianism, etc; who will be seeking leadership positions in the organization.
Other than the vices mentioned above, these two sets of primaries elections have had very positive attributes: they have also been cost effective for the National Resistance Movement in the sense that we did not need to procure ballot papers; ballot boxes; etc.
Being the popular mass political organization that the National Resistance Movement has evolved into under the leadership and guidance of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, any internal election for leadership positions will always attract number of aspirants. 1,421 candidates were nominated to contest for the 296 constituencies (an average of about 5 candidates per constituency MP seat), a total of 495 women leaders were nominated to contest for the 124 Woman Representative positions. (An average of about 4 aspirants per district seat).
No other sister political organization in Uganda has this level of veracity of competition within their primaries elections. On the contrary, some of our competitors usually appoint their flag bearers and even then, they fail to field candidates in all positions to be contested for.
There is a serious need to reflect on the cause of the violence in the recently concluded primaries elections, especially for the Members of Parliament. E.g. why the huge turn up for the MP primaries and only a week later, there is relatively low turn up for Chairperson of the District Local Governments? Is it because of the pay of a Member of Parliament viz a viz that of the other political positions?
This is the question that Ugandans must fully discuss and solutions must be prescribed. I invite both Government political parties and Civil Society organizations to corporate and find a sustainable solution to this serious cancer in our society
Transport facilitation for NRM Structures.
Bicycles for the NRM Branch and Parish Chairpersons.
H.E the National Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement in August, 2020; launched the distribution exercise for 80,000 bicycles to be distributed to all the 68,740 NRM branch chairpersons and to more than 10,029 parish chairpersons, countrywide.
A distribution exercise is on going and has so far covered all the Districts in the Central Region (Buganda). A total of 10,889 bicycles have been received by the branch chairpersons of the National Resistance Movement.
The next region for the distribution is Busoga Region where it is expected that 4,583 Bicycles will be distributed, in an exercise expected to start tomorrow, Monday, 14th September, 2020.
We will guide you on the future distribution exercises after the completion of Busoga Region.
Motor cycles for NRM Sub-county chairpersons.
Similarly, HE the National Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement also launched the distribution exercise for 2,069 motorcycles to all NRM Sub County Chairpersons countrywide.
This exercise will commence on Tuesday, 15th September, 2020, beginning with Northern Region, comprising the sub-zones of West Nile, Acholi, Lango and Karamoja. You will be informed of subsequent distribution programmes.
Courtesy by the European Union Delegation to Uganda.
On Wednesday, 9th September, 2020, the National Resistance Movement Secretariat received His Excellency Attilio Pacifici, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Uganda, who led a 13 person team comprising the Heads and representatives of the Missions of France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, and the European Union in Uganda.
The European Delegation shared a number of concerns with the National Secretariat, these included electoral violence, unleveled political space, marginalization of women, corruption, the rule of law, and the youth mobilization and the rights of Gays, Transgenders, Lesbians and Bisexuals (GTLB) communities in Uganda.
The NRM Secretariat led by the Deputy Secretary General assured the European Delegation that the National Resistance Movement does not condone electoral violence and other electoral related malpractices. The Delegation was briefed on Government’ policy of zero tolerance to corruption and the efforts put in place to fight corruption, including institutions in place to combat the vice within the Justice, Law and Order sector (JLOS); which is partly funded by the European Union.
The Delegation was also briefed on Government’s commitment to the rule of law, and cited the example of a Government Minister who had been accused of electoral violence being brought to justice.
The delegation was briefed on the role of IPOD in bridging the gap between the political parties, including ensuring that there is a level playing field and respect to the laws of the country by all political actors.
The delegation was briefed on the National Resistance Movement’s affirmative action policies that have been deliberately put in place and which have positively impacted, promoted and transformed women.
The Deputy Secretary General emphasized that the reason Uganda is one of the youngest nations in the world was because of a deliberate programme of investing in the main social services sectors of Health and Education.
The rate of infant mortality was drastically reduced through massive immunization campaigns and the introduction of free education programmes ensured that youth were both healthy and educated. He emphasized Government focus on skilling the young people to be competitive in the job market and also to be able to employ themselves.
I thank you.
Kasule Lumumba Justine Rt.Hon.