Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Alliance for National Transformation [ANT] has said he is very disappointed that the National Resistance Movement [NRM] ‘rebel’ MPs have crawled back to the party.
Muntu, a former commander of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that when a person disagrees with their political party ideologically, the best thing is to walk away and not return for as long as the reason for disagreement still exists.
On Friday information emerged that President Museveni had met 16 of the 29 NRM MPs who opposed the lifting of presidential age limits in 2017. According to a press release by the Presidential Press Unit, the 16 asked for forgiveness from the NRM chairman for opposing his desire to lead Uganda beyond 75 years.
Those who attended the meeting at Statehouse, Entebbe, include Theodore Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasimire, Mbwatekamwa Gaffa Muyanja Ssenyonga, Kibalya Maurice, Sylvia Rwabwogo, Dr Sam Lyomoki (Workers), Monica Amoding among others. In the meeting, they reportedly praised President Yoweri Museveni for being a father figure, a revolutionary and a great leader.
Before the amendment that saw parliament scrap the cap on the age of presidential candidates, President Museveni, who the Central Executive Committee of the NRM has already declared sole candidate, would be ineligible to stand in next year’s elections.
But the rapprochement according to Muntu betrays the hope that Ugandans had started having in politicians. He adds he doesn’t understand why the legislators would buckle and move back to the same organization they had bitterly fallen out with.
“Our reading of the situation is that they were courageous when they took the stand they took in the amendment of the constitution. They were intimidated, harassed and they tried to bribe them but they stood their ground and did what their voters asked them to do,” Muntu said.
According to the NRM roadmap, party primaries are to take place between August and September 2020. It’s most likely that they anticipated that they might lose due to their objection to party positions. But Muntu doesn’t believe they would fail if they changed parties or stood as independent candidates.