The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party is today expected to convene at State House Entebbe to consider amendments to the party’s constitution.
One of the major issues to be discussed, Daily Monitor has learnt, is the proposed amendment to expunge secret ballot voting and replace it with voting by lining up behind candidates.
A source within the party intimated to Daily Monitor that the NRM national chairperson, President Museveni, was fed up with internal fights and petitions during and after party elections and it is for this reason that the party wants to scrap voting by secret ballot.
The idea to vote by lining behind candidates was first discussed in February last year at the party’s CEC meeting at Chobe Safari Lodges.
Today’s meeting is also to discuss the execution of the 2021 electoral roadmap, according to the source. The meeting will be followed by the National Executive Council meeting tomorrow at State House Entebbe, and later the National Conference will be held on Saturday at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
The two organs adopt the recommendations from CEC.
Mr Rogers Mulindwa, the party spokesperson, said: “CEC will sit to peruse through the proposed amendments to the [party] constitution. That is the first stage to our third National Conference.”
The sitting, according to Mr Mulindwa, will discuss the proposal to vote by lining up behind candidates, but he said he did not have further details.
Daily Monitor has also learnt that 30 dissenting party members, commonly referred to as “rebel MPs”, will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings before the party’s disciplinary committee headed by Mr Moses Kigongo.
The rebel MPs include Ms Hellen Kahunde (Kiryandongo Woman), Ms Connie Nakayenze Galiwango (Mbale Woman), Ms Norah Bigirwa (former Hoima Woman), Mr Anthony Ssemuli (Mubenda Municipality), Ms Suzan Amero (Amuria Woman), Ms Loy Katali (Jinja Woman), Ms Monica Amoding (Kumi Woman), Ms Sylvia Rwabwogo (Kabarole Woman) and MrHenry Maurice Kibalya (Bugabula South).
Others are Mr James Kaberuka (Kinkiizi West), Ms Lowila Oketayot (Pader Woman), Mr James Acidri (Maracha East), Ms Evelyn Chemutai (Bukwo Woman), Mr Richard Gafabusa (Bwamba), Ms Justine Khainza (Bududa Woman) and Mr Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality).
Also considered ‘rebels’ are Mr Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Mr Patrick Nsamba Oshabe (Kassanda South), Mr Barnabas Tinkasiimire (Buyaga West) and Mr John Baptist Nambeshe (Manjiya). They also had Dr Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Mr Johnson Muyanja Ssenyonga (Mukono South), Mr Robert Migadde Ndugwa (Buvuma), Ms Sylvia Akello (Otuke Woman), Ms Sarah Nakawunde Temulanda (Mpigi Woman), Mr Denis Sabiiti (Rubanda East) and Mr Louis Mbwatekamwa Gaffa.
Last year, after the Chobe meeting, Mr Museveni started a campaign against voting by secret ballot on grounds that it aids commercialisation of politics and strains the party’s treasury on managing elections.
Mr Mulindwa yesterday praised the voting by lining up as a correct line because it is a less costly mechanism.
“It comes with so many advantages. We have been spending a lot of money on election; to print ballot papers, buy buckets and facilitate polling officials,” Mr Mulindwa said.
He also said once adopted, queuing up would end long bureaucratic tendencies involved in the procurement and distribution of polling materials and related human resource challenges.