Kampala- The youth leadership of the NRM party yesterday suspended three of its members for insisting on convening a delegates’ conference to discuss a resolution by the party’s parliamentary caucus fronting President Museveni as the party’s sole candidate in the 2016 polls.
Mr Moses Kiwanuka, the vice chairperson (eastern), Mr Ibrahim Kitata (chairperson Lwengo) and Mr David Kabanda (Youth leader Sembabule) are accused of fomenting intrigue in the party, attempting to illegally convene an NRM youth delegates’ conference and undermining the party’s leadership.
Announcing their suspension at the NRM headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Mr Denis Namara, the chairperson of the NRM Youth League, accused the suspended youth of working to create a wedge between Mr Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.
The suspension, according to Mr Namara, has to be approved by the party’s national disciplinary committee. The NRM constitution does not provide for a disciplinary committee for the youth league as disciplinary issues of the youth are adjudged by the national disciplinary committee.
The suspended trio is leading a faction of the NRM Youth League that is insisting on convening a National Youths delegates’ conference this week at Namboole Stadium.
According to Mr Kiwanuka, the planned delegates’ conference will rubberstamp the resolution made by NRM MPs in Kyankwanzi in February that resolved that Mr Museveni should not be challenged in the party as the presidential flag bearer in the 2016 polls.
The trio, however, made a swift rejoinder to the suspension, denigrating Mr Namara as “a mad man who has lost legitimacy”.
“They have been trying to portray the leadership of Mr Museveni [NRM chairman] and Mr Mbabazi [NRM secretary general] as incompetent by sending messages inviting youth for a delegates’ conference yet they do not have that authority. They have been disrespectful to the party leaders,” Mr Namara said.
Party’s EC’s take
Mr Elijah Mushemeza, the party’s deputy electoral commission chairperson, said he could not comment on attempts to hold a delegates’ conference before conferring with Mr Namara.“I am travelling from upcountry and I cannot speak to you because I do not trust what you are telling me. Let me first speak to Namara,” Mr Mushemeza said.
In separate telephone interviews yesterday, Mr Kiwanuka and Mr Kitata maintained they will proceed and convene the delegates’ conference. “Mr Namara and I as the vice chairman have equal powers.
If he fails to call a National Youth Conference, the [NRM] constitution gives me powers to do so. Our delegates’ conference will proceed on May 15 because we have even secured a letter from the police,” Mr Kiwanuka said.
“The suspension is a nullity and an illegality. It is non-existent we can no longer look aside as Namara drives the youth league astray,” Mr Kitata said.
At the same press conference, Mr Adam Luzindana (NRM youth chairperson, Kampala),indicated that youth allied to Mr Mbabazi have also petitioned the party’s disciplinary committee to rein in on NRM youth MPs, whom he said are organising a parallel delegates’ conference.
Ms Evelyn Anite, the spokesperson of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus, denied being behind any delegates’ conference, instead accusing Mr Luzindana of spreading rumours.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Silent law: The NRM constitution does not provide for a disciplinary committee for the youth league as disciplinary issues of the youth are adjudged by the national disciplinary
Criteria: A person elected to any party organ can only be sacked if he is found of mismanagement, incompetence, misconduct, abuse of office or if he or she ceases to be a member of the party.