Friday May 23 2014

Why the NRM party is here for the long haul

By Richard Todwong

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is a mass liberation movement which is deeply engraved in the spirit and soul of the wanachi; right from the time the National Resistance Army (NRA) and other Ugandans of goodwill launched a fierce struggle against bloody dictatorships.
It’s not easy to dislodge a mass liberation movement formed and supported by the masses. In Africa, mass liberation movements like the ANC, ZANU-PF, MPLA, FRELIMO, CCM, etc, have proved difficult to uproot because they bear the true conscience of the people and are founded on sacred principles of brotherhood.

The latest talk is about the goings-on in NRM, with speculators suggesting that there is a “power struggle in the NRM that is threatening to tear the party apart”. On the contrary, there is no such thing as “power struggle” in the party.

In any case, the party is only growing stronger given that we are reworking our structures at all levels, carrying out aggressive mobilisation with a view of winning more supporters and members, and streamlining the operational mechanisms in line with the NRM revolutionary ideology.

What is going on is a rediscovery process in the NRM aimed at bolstering the party and entrenching it deeper in the country’s soul and skin. From the time that the party national chairman, together with the party leadership, appointed me to head the mobilisation function of the party, we have witnessed unprecedented engagement from the grassroots party leaders and community members flooding the NRM party offices at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road in Kampala to offer advice and solutions on the direction and strengthening of NRM. People come from as far as Kiryandongo, Kisoro, Gulu, Luweero and other far-flung areas to contribute ideas.
The NRM will continue to dominate the country’s leadership because of the trust and confidence that the masses have in the revolutionary Movement, and because of the stellar performance that the NRM government has scored in the last 28 years under the strong and visionary leadership of our dear party chairman, Gen Yoweri Museveni.

I am also happy to note and report that some regions, which were formerly hostile to the NRM such as the north and parts of the east, owing to insurgency, have now embraced the NRM since the ideologically bankrupt rebel elements were defeated and flushed out by the mighty UPDF. The northern region is fully recovered from war, with people back in their homes to plough the black fertile soils.

Business is booming, with skyscrapers mushrooming in every corner of Gulu and Lira towns. Little wonder the Acholi and Langi have overwhelmingly chosen to reject the Opposition, but support the NRM and our leader, President Museveni, in the forthcoming 2016 general elections.

Those jubilating that the NRM is nearing its end are in for terrible disappointment. The potency and vitality of the NRM is evidenced in its intimating numbers at the various levels of leadership; we command over 300 members of Parliament out of a possible 386; and over 90 per cent of the district local governments (district, sub-county and parish chairpersons and council representatives).

A weak party can’t enjoy such huge numbers. To add to this, we have swept in most of the by-elections, and it’s just a matter of time before we win over the Luweero Woman seat.

True to NRM principles, whereas the Opposition have kept their campaigns among the urban elite, the NRM has kept closer to the true owners of the revolution- the peasants. That’s where we derive our strength.
The people will keep on supporting and electing the NRM because we have something to offer to them and something to validate our existence as a mass liberation movement.

NRM has brought peace, stability and security; huge investments in infrastructure; universal access to education and health services; deliberate plans to massively create jobs through solid partnerships with the private sector and support to private investments; and the current drive towards socio-economic transformation by emphasising wealth creation and elimination of household poverty.

Mr Todwong is minister without Portfolio in Charge of Political Mobilisation and MP for Nwoya.