Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has launched a political road map in preparation for 2021 general elections that does not include discussions on who should succeed President Yoweri Museveni.
Justine Kasule Lumumba, the National Resistance Movement-NRM Party Secretary General, says there are no discussions in the party on who should succeed President Yoweri Museveni as the party presidential candidate in the 2021 election.
Lumumba says the NRM Central Executive Committee-CEC; the top party organ has never discussed succession. Lumumba made statement while responding to questions from journalists at the party headquarters at Plot 10, Kyadondo Road in Nakasero on Wednesday.
The Secretary Genera emphasized that the NRM constitution stipulates how the party candidate is elected. She said all interested candidates will be welcome in 2021 if they meet required qualifications.
She had just launched a road map of activities supposed to start this month with mobilization of party supporters to register and get national identity cards, a prerequisite for all voters.
Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi has been encouraging youth to get identity cards in preparation for the elections.
Party road map
Lumumba on Wednesday unveiled the NRM party road map ahead of the 2021 presidential elections. Museveni has been NRM’s presidential candidate since 1996.
Felix Okot Ogong, the Dokolo South MP is the only party member who has ever challenged Museveni for the NRM flag when he stood against him in 2005.
The amendment of the constitution scrapping the presidential age limit in 2017 sent a signal that Museveni will likely be in the race in 2021. Museveni will have clocked 75 years, the ceiling for presidential aspirants, in September 2019. The amendment famously known as age limit amendment has been subject of litigation in both the Constitutional and Supreme Courts.
Lumumba said there are discussions within the party to amend the NRM constitution, which last amended in 2015 ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Changing the modus operandi of electing party officials from competitive elections to appointment by the president was a key amendment. This was after the former party Secretary General, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi was pushed out of the party for allegedly using party structures to build his power base to challenge Museveni.
Lumumba said the party will be inter alia looking at questions of the voting modality, who should vote and how party structures should be organised. The constitution amendment process will climax at the NRM national conference in November, 2019.
The NRM Secretary General, Kasule Lumumba presented the key activities that the party will be organising while addressing journalists at the party headquarters on Plot 10, Kyadondo Road, Nakasero.
The party will also undertaking a political assessment across the country to gauge its strength and weaknesses in the coming months. Lumumba says the assessment inform NRM areas that need to be strengthened.
The NRM parliamentary caucus and the executive, Lumumba said will commit to expediting legislations required for smooth running of 2021 elections. She said this activity will be conducted between January and May 2019. NRM commitment, if not mere words will quicken the process that has been a concern to almost all political players.
The speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga last week summoned the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Kahinda Otafiire to explain why government has delayed presentation of electoral reforms. Kadaga said that she had previously reminded the government to bring the necessary electoral legislation so that Parliament handles them in time.
The issue was also raised at the December Inter- party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD) summit which was attended by president Museveni. Political parties agreed that the process should be quickened.
The Electoral Commission when releasing its roadmap and strategic plan in December, however, called for enactment of necessary legislation by end of March, 2019.
Lumumba hinted there will be creation of new political administrative units – districts and constituencies – in the coming month. This is an activity that has also been highlighted in the road map.
But President Museveni last year proposed that the creation of new districts should be halted because the country’s resource envelope cannot accommodate funding for new units. Museveni made the remarks while meeting the Parliamentary Committee on Local Governments.
Lumumba defended the anticipated creation of new administrative units, arguing that NRM listens to people, who it serves. Districts like Kasese are expected to be split.
Answering questions from journalists, Lumumba said the party has not computed a budget for activities because discussions are going on with in NRM strategies which will influence expenditure.