NRM shouldn’t use reconciliation to promote impunity

Saturday November 21 2020
comment04pix
By Julius Ssemanda

   In the aftermath of the NRM botched primaries for both Parliament and Local Government, the NRM top leadership embarked on a nationwide reconciliatory drive ostensibly to galvanise internal cohesion and restore the lost comradeship and solidarity. It was also necessary to nurse the bruises so left.

 The levels of electoral malpractices in these elections left a lot to be desired. The lining up method did more harm than good as it had a boomerang effect on the party.

Surprisingly, where everyone would expect the perpetrators of electoral crimes to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, it is inconceivable that they did not only walk away scot-free, they were also aided by the party leadership through the gospel of reconciliation to the detriment of innocent losers.

The historical mission of the National Resistance Army (NRA), which metamorphosed into the present day National Resistance Movement (NRM), as espoused in the 10-Point Programme, has always been the restoration of democracy and its tenets, including but not limited to regular free and fair elections. 

It is upon this basis that the party’s superstructure is hinged. This is in consonance with Article 39(10) of the party constitution, which, inter alia, presupposes that the party’s internal elections must be free and fair and the free will of the people ought to be respected.

It is mind boggling, therefore, to see unscrupulous party members divert from this course and do all sorts of evil in the name of winning the flag. This kind of impunity must not be allowed if NRM is to stand the test of time. The prudent thing to do, therefore, is to go retributive, crack the whip and prevent further violations.

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NRM, like any other society, must enforce its constitutional sanctions. It is the fear of these sanctions that enforce habitual obedience. 

Otherwise, it is so painful to fraudulently lose an election and later be told by the powers that be, to reconcile with the fraudster. 

It is not logically tenable that I lose through fraud and then say ‘good luck’ to the person who disenfranchised me and my ardent supporters. 

It is for this reason that the party has an unprecedented number of Independents this time around. An election has lots of emotional attachments to it and the damage caused as a result of such fraud is so immense that it cannot be atoned by mere reconciliation. 

Worse still, the establishment of the Elections Disputes Tribunal had very little impact, if any. It was not exhaustive in approach and it ended up dismissing most of the petitions albeit unfairly, even where there was cogent evidence against the perpetrators. 

In the end, there was no recourse left for the petitioners since the party has no clear appeal mechanisms.

 Whereas one may argue that some of the petitions were frivolous and vexatious, this does not erase the fact that majority had merit.

Take, for instance, the bewildering story of Wilson Kajwengye in Nyabushozi County parliamentary race for the NRM flag as it appeared in the Sunday Monitor of November 1. Corroborated by that of Pallisa District aspiring MP Josephine Ibaseret in the New Vision of November 2, I can state that these were just examples of what happened in the entire party primaries. 

 Whereas I agree with reconciliation as a matter of good practice and in line with the spirit of Article 126(2)(d) of the Constitution of Uganda, and as an Alternative Dispute Resolution method, I respectfully disagree with it being used as a shield for wrong doers. It is misconstrued. 

It perpetuates impunity and to say the least, it is just cosmetic and falls short of addressing the real elephant in the room.  In the lon-run, this stifles democracy.


Mr Julius Ssemanda is the general secretary - NRM
Kyotera District. juliusem2000@yahoo.co.uk

NRM shouldn’t use reconciliation to promote impunity

Julius Ssemanda     

In the aftermath of the NRM botched primaries for both Parliament and Local Government, the NRM top leadership embarked on a nationwide reconciliatory drive ostensibly to galvanise internal cohesion and restore the lost comradeship and solidarity. It was also necessary to nurse the bruises so left.

 The levels of electoral malpractices in these elections left a lot to be desired. The lining up method did more harm than good as it had a boomerang effect on the party.


Surprisingly, where everyone would expect the perpetrators of electoral crimes to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, it is inconceivable that they did not only walk away scot-free, they were also aided by the party leadership through the gospel of reconciliation to the detriment of innocent losers.

The historical mission of the National Resistance Army (NRA), which metamorphosed into the present day National Resistance Movement (NRM), as espoused in the 10-Point Programme, has always been the restoration of democracy and its tenets, including but not limited to regular free and fair elections. 

It is upon this basis that the party’s superstructure is hinged. This is in consonance with Article 39(10) of the party constitution, which, inter alia, presupposes that the party’s internal elections must be free and fair and the free will of the people ought to be respected.

It is mind boggling, therefore, to see unscrupulous party members divert from this course and do all sorts of evil in the name of winning the flag. This kind of impunity must not be allowed if NRM is to stand the test of time. The prudent thing to do, therefore, is to go retributive, crack the whip and prevent further violations.

NRM, like any other society, must enforce its constitutional sanctions. It is the fear of these sanctions that enforce habitual obedience. 

Otherwise, it is so painful to fraudulently lose an election and later be told by the powers that be, to reconcile with the fraudster. 

It is not logically tenable that I lose through fraud and then say ‘good luck’ to the person who disenfranchised me and my ardent supporters. 

It is for this reason that the party has an unprecedented number of Independents this time around. An election has lots of emotional attachments to it and the damage caused as a result of such fraud is so immense that it cannot be atoned by mere reconciliation. 

Worse still, the establishment of the Elections Disputes Tribunal had very little impact, if any. It was not exhaustive in approach and it ended up dismissing most of the petitions albeit unfairly, even where there was cogent evidence against the perpetrators. 

In the end, there was no recourse left for the petitioners since the party has no clear appeal mechanisms.

 Whereas one may argue that some of the petitions were frivolous and vexatious, this does not erase the fact that majority had merit.

Take, for instance, the bewildering story of Wilson Kajwengye in Nyabushozi County parliamentary race for the NRM flag as it appeared in the Sunday Monitor of November 1. Corroborated by that of Pallisa District aspiring MP Josephine Ibaseret in the New Vision of November 2, I can state that these were just examples of what happened in the entire party primaries. 

 Whereas I agree with reconciliation as a matter of good practice and in line with the spirit of Article 126(2)(d) of the Constitution of Uganda, and as an Alternative Dispute Resolution method, I respectfully disagree with it being used as a shield for wrong doers. It is misconstrued. 

It perpetuates impunity and to say the least, it is just cosmetic and falls short of addressing the real elephant in the room.  In the lon-run, this stifles democracy.


Mr Julius Ssemanda is the general secretary - NRM
Kyotera District. juliusem2000@yahoo.co.uk

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