President Museveni is set to hold talks with three National Resistance Movement (NRM) cadres to chart a way forward after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) resolved that Mr Moses Kigongo goes unopposed for the position of 1st national vice chairperson of the party.
Mr Museveni, who is unopposed for the position of national chairperson and also for presidential flag bearer, chaired a two-day CEC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to vet candidates seeking to work with him as vice chairpersons.
Sources that sat in CEC at State House, Entebbe, told Daily Monitor that Mr Museveni took more than two hours to convince the members to allow Mr Kigongo to go unopposed, explaining that he has exhibited excellent “integrity” since he first became vice chairperson of the National Resistance Council (NRC).
“We agreed that the rest of the candidates be talked to so that Kigongo goes unopposed. The chairperson (Museveni) is going to speak to (Capt Francis) Babu,” the source said, without giving a hint on the fate of the other two contenders.
Capt Babu together with businessman Hakeem Asiimwe Lukenge and presidential aide in-charge of youth Kefa Mafumo had come out to challenge Mr Kigongo ahead of the NRM national delegates’ conference on August 19.
However, Mr Babu and Mr Lukenge told this newspaper yesterday that they are still in the race and will explain to Mr Museveni their reasons for contesting with hope to let them continue to campaign until the delegates conference.
“I have been called for a meeting with the national chairman tomorrow (today). I will go and listen to what they have to say before making a decision” Capt Babu said.
Mr Lukenge said: “I can assure you that the process is still on and I have been invited for talks tomorrow (today) and that is when I will tell you more.”
Our efforts to speak to Mr Mafumo were futile as his known telephone contact was not available by press time but sources in his camp have questioned his disqualification on grounds that he is still an employee of State House. They say other people have been left to run even when they are active civil servants.
Known for his talk on the “sacrifices” he made to the National Resistance Army (NRM) Bush War in Luweero, former Minister without portfolio Abdul Nadduli was talked out of the race for the position of vice chairperson for central region.
Our sources could not give a clear explanation as to why the CEC decided to talk Mr Nadduli, who was in the same meeting, out of the race that has attracted six other candidates. These sources only told this newspaper that Mr Museveni promised to find where to appoint Mr Nadduli to continue serving the party and the government if he wins next year’s elections.
“We were asking where we are going to put our historical Nadduli but the chairman said he will sort that out,” the source said.
Mr Museveni is quoted to have told the meeting not to worry about Mr Nadduli saying; “I will talk to Nadduli and find where to put him.”
CEC then vetted the rest of the six candidates for the central region vice chairperson position. They are; State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda, Mr Twaha Ssonko Kiganda (the current leader of all NRM district chairpersons), Mr Muhammad Kibedi Nsegumire, Mr Abdul Semu Kyabangi (former Gomba District chairperson), Mr Moses Karangwa Kalisa and businessman Moses Mayengo.
Meanwhile, this newspaper has learnt that Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga insisted that she must compete with the three women challenging her for the position of 2nd national vice chairperson (female).
Her opponents are Ms Persis Namuganza, the State minister for Lands, Ms Jane Frances Amongin, and Ms Kyanzike Kinobe.
The President reportedly wanted Ms Kadaga to go unopposed, saying her race with Ms Namuganza is likely to cause divisions in the Busoga Sub-region. On Tuesday, during her presentation to CEC, Ms Kadaga said she wants to retain her position because she steered Parliament through the process of amending the Constitution to remove presidential term limit in 2017.
The meeting then vetted all the four women to compete for the third highest position in the ruling party.
REGIONAL CONTESTANTS TO FACE NEC
CEC also made a decision to allow all contestants for the regional vice chairperson of Karamoja, eastern, Kampala, western and northern to have their names forwarded to the next vetting level in the National Executive Committee (NEC).
NEC will sit in the form of regional clusters on August 18 to do a final vetting of the candidates before the actual voting during the virtual delegates conference a day later.
The election will be by district resolution, with members of each district conference signing a document to endorse a candidate of their choice. This has been done to avoid the spread of Covid-19 by not gathering thousands of delegates in Namboole stadium as it has previously been done.
At least 30 candidates for various positions were made to address the CEC meeting sitting at State House, Entebbe on Tuesday afternoon through video conferencing. The current vice chairperson for eastern region, Capt Mike Mukula, was vetted together with his four competitors namely; Sanjay Tana, Christopher Buyera, Mr John Robert Ekongot, and Christine Harriet Akello.
In northern Uganda, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah and two others are challenging incumbent Sam Engola for the regional vice chairperson seat. Others are Mr Timothy Okee and Dr Samuel Oledo Odongo.
Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, the current vice chairperson for western region, will have to face competition from nine other cadres after CEC vetted them all. They are Ms Florence Kintu Tumwine (former Kalungu Woman MP) who has now relocated to Bundibugyo District, former Busongora South MP Boaz Kafuda, State minister for Housing Chris Baryomunsi, and Col Shaban Bantariza. Others are Mr John Magaro, Mr Apollo Timugaya, Mr Wilberforce Muhangi Byaboneka, Mr Rogers Bifa Tugaine and Dr Diini Emmanuel Kisembo.
In Kampala, all the contestants, including incumbent Godfrey Nyakana, passed through the CEC okayed. Others are former Rubaga South MP Singh Katongole and Mr Salim Uhuru.
Mr Simon Peter Aleper, the current vice chairperson for Karamoja has Mr Jimmy Lokoru Tebanyag as the only challenger.