Hope Mwesigye faces storm over Museveni petition

Sunday February 22 2015

By ROBERT MUHEREZA

KABALE.

The Kabale District NRM chairperson, Ms Hope Mwesigye, has sparked calls for censure among the party’s district leadership following her swearing of an affidavit supporting a petition which seeks to block President Museveni’s re-election in 2016 on account of being over age.

NRM Kabale District leaders want her removed from office for continuing to criticise party decisions, especially the resolution endorsing President Museveni as the party’s sole candidate for 2016 presidential elections.

The NRM chairman for Southern Division in Kabale Municipality, Mr George Nsaba, this week said he had started mobilising his colleagues to ensure Ms Mwesigye is kicked out of office.

He said Ms Mwesigye’s swearing of the affidavit in support of Mr Benjamin Alipanga’s petition against President Museveni further proves she is no longer a party loyalist.

“I have read in the papers that Ms Hope Mwesigye has joined a person that sued President Museveni over age limit. Such acts by a district NRM chairperson undermines the strength of our party. I am mobilising to cause a vote of no confidence against her. People of her type are portraying our party negatively,” Mr Nsaba said.

“Hope Mwesigye participated in the lifting of the presidential term limits during the 7th Parliament without consulting us and nobody sued her. Is she joining the person suing President Museveni over age limit because she lost her parliamentary seat and ministerial position?” Mr Nsaba wondered.

He also accused Ms Mwesigye of failing to conduct the party district meetings since she lost the parliamentary seat in 2011.

He said Ms Mwesigye failed to raise her grievances during the NRM delegates conference which she attended at Namboole in December and she is now taking the party to court, which shows she is no longer part of them.

In response to the censure calls against her, Ms Mwesigye said she was not bothered about the party agitators. She said her main duty was to ensure internal democracy in the party.

In her affidavit supporting Mr Alipanga’s petition in court, which challenges President Museveni’s eligibility for re-election in 2016, Ms Mwesigye says the NRM’s delegates conference at Namboole was stage-managed by Mr Museveni as the party chairman and was riddled with conflict of interest because the President chaired the proceedings in which he had a personal interest.

She also says the delegates could not speak freely because they were intimidated by the presence of Resident District Commissioners, intelligence operatives and army officers.

Kabale Deputy Resident District Commissioner Moses Nuwagaba, however, said whereas the district party leaders have the right to mobilise for a vote of no confidence against their chairperson, it is not necessary at this time. He said such a move may cause unnecessary tension in the party and create a wrong impression that Ms Mwesigye’s claims have substance.

“There is no need of mobilising for a vote of no confidence against Ms Mwesigye as Kabale District NRM party chairperson because of her recent affidavit in support of a person that sued President Museveni over age limit.

They will lose the case as they lost the one in which they sought an injunction to block the appointment of new leaders at the NRM secretariat. Leave Ms Hope Mwesigye alone on this matter, she will fall on her own like a ripe mango,” Mr Nuwagaba said.

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