Kabarole District Woman MP, Sylvia Rwabwogo has said her party, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) will struggle if at one time its chairman, President Museveni is to leave its helm.
The legislator who recently lost in the NRM party primaries, said the democracy in her party, is built around one individual and that this exposes the party to leadership challenges once Mr Museveni ceases to lead the party.
“The NRM party that I identify with, we are most likely building democracy around an individual. If you remove Museveni, NRM party will struggle,” Ms Rwabwogo said Monday at an elections symposium in Kampala.
“For example, if you take Museveni away from NRM and you take him say to JEEMA party, NRM party will not win. What we are seeing is extremism which is not strengthening political parties,” she added.
The legislator was among a panel of speakers at a dialogue themed: “The Role of Political Parties in Building a Strong Democracy in Uganda organised by ActionAid.
She also used the forum to announce that she will run as an independent candidate in the forthcoming general election after losing in recent chaotic the NRM party primaries to her rival, Ms Linda Irene Mugisa for Fort Portal City.
She reasoned that the primaries were a sham after the party leadership allowed non-party members to vote.
Mr Museveni has been the leader of the NRM for more than three decades and he was recently endorsed by the party’s top organs as the sole candidate for the party chairperson and also as the party flag bearer for 2021 presidential polls.
Weighing, JEEMA president, Mr Asuman Basalirwa said the ruling NRM party has created restrictive environment for other political parties to freely operate.
“Opposition political parties can’t hold delegates conferences because the police is misinterpreting the law wrongly and targeting them. If I went to Arua, will the DPC there know that JEEMA is a registered political party that needs to recruit members in his/her area?” Mr Basalirwa submitted.
Mr Herold Kaija, the deputy secretary general of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, said developed economies are democratic and that the vice-versa is true.
When contacted about Ms Rwabwogo’s remarks, Mr Rogers Mulindwa, the Senior Manager in charge of Communication and Public Relations at the NRM secretariat said: “The fact is that Mr Museveni has a personal vote which you can’t rule out. That vote is also given to him by the opposition who say when it comes to presidency, our vote goes to Mr Museveni. However, the party has also built a strong force of young and old cadres. So what she has raised is not an issue now, we shall see how to manage it in future but as of now, we are still building the system.”