Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said accused state agencies of harassing and blackmailing National Resistance Movement (NRM) supporters to vote against her in the just-concluded Central Executive Committee elections.
Kadaga beat State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza to retain her position as the second National Vice Chairperson for the NRM-party during polls held on Thursday.
Namuganza had built her campaign on the ills that sailed through parliament against the ruling party under Kadaga’s stewardship, specifically riding on a displeasure motion against President Yoweri as one of the reasons Kadaga should be ejected from CEC. However, NRM spokesperson Emmanuel Dombo Lumala and vice-chairman Alhaji Moses Kigongo advised her against proceeding that way.
The campaign was complicated when the government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa openly accused Kadaga of working with and for the opposition and using NRM for personal gain. Kadaga’s handlers however defended the speaker’s stance in parliament saying she depicts neutrality in a house that comprises of both government and opposition legislators.
Kadaga polled 6,776 votes against Namuganza’s 3,882 votes to retain her seat. In the aftermath of her victory, Kadaga praised NRM voters for enduring intimidation from state agencies to vote for her adding that she was particularly proud of the ministers and members of parliament who stood by her amidst threats by Ruth Nankabirwa.
However, Nankabirwa has said that it is not true that she threatened and harassed voters but says she used the right to free expression to campaign for a candidate she thought would work better in the Central Executive Committee of NRM.
“I didn’t threaten anybody and I did not move away from my constituency in Kiboga, I stayed at my home, how did I threaten anybody? I want to hear her words towards reconciliation,” Nankabirwa told URN this afternoon.
Ruth Nankabirwa’s role in Parliament is to ensure that all government activities are coordinated. By her role, the Speaker works hand in hand with the government chief whip to ensure effective execution of activities in Parliament.
Attempts to contact the NRM secretariat on the bickering of the members was fruitless by this evening.