Even as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) seeks to pacify the ‘rebel’ MPs, the party Electoral Chairperson boss Dr. Tanga Odoi has revealed that the four have to wait until they are given a green light by Parliament to pick nomination forms.
Speaking to the press at the party headquarters early today Dr. Odoi said the party wasn’t willing to work with members who distribute malicious propaganda. “You cannot say you are a NRM member then you hobnob with members of the opposition.”
NRM party today started issuing nomination forms to those intending to hold their flag at various electoral positions across the country.The exercise runs from July 14 to 31 and if the ‘rebel MPs’ are not cleared by Parliament Dr. Odoi says “then the rebel MPs have to account for their bad manners of having been rebels.”
However in response to Dr. Odoi, Lwemiyaga County legislature, Theoddore Ssekikubo, said Odoi was speaking from an ignorant point of view because Parliament has never chased them out the house but rather, it was the party that wanted them out of the house.
“Has he seen us lining up that we want forms and how can Parliament handle our case? He isn’t informed because it is Parliament that insisted that we are NRM” Ssekikubo said.
He added “We are still NRM and it is the Secretary General Amama Mbabazi who wrote to the Speaker calling for our expulsion and it is upon the party chairman who dealt with Mbabazi to address those concerns and not Parliament”.
In 2012, just after joining parliament the four MPs: Ssekikubo, Barnabas Tinkasimiire, Muhamad Nsereko and Alfred Niwagaba, who represent Lwemiyaga in Mawogola, Buyaga in Kibaale, Kampala Central in Kampala district and Ndorwa East in Kabale district, opposed several party positions in Parliament and public fora, claiming they were elected to champion the interests of their respective electorate.
But Dr Odoi, a former fiery activist who was once the chairperson of the Makerere University Academic Staff Association (MUASA) will not budge for the ‘rebels’.
“We shall not handle rebel MPs here and I have instructed my staff not to let them pick forms from here,” Dr Odoi said in reference to MPs.
He also used the platform to clarify that the NRM had not yet picked a flag bearer for next year’s elections and urged those with qualifications to pick forms. “I have not flagged off anybody,” he said adding: “The EC deals with everybody who is registered irrespective of that person’s bad manners in the past weeks or past months.”
Meanwhile, NRM members began picking forms today from the party headquarters in Nakasero, and prominent among the politicians that picked forms are Ms. Amelia Kyambade, Mr. Singh Katongole, former minister Urban Tibamanya.
Other notable names that were seen at Kyadondo10 but didn’t pick forms are former Minister of Ethics Dr. Nsaba Buturo and former police deputy spokesperson Simeon Nsubuga.
Dr Odoi said there will not be extensions for the 16 day exercise unless Central Executive Committee decides otherwise. “It’s only CEC which can make us increase the days,” he said before unveiling a raft of guidelines to be observed by the NRM presidential contestants.
According to the code of conduct the candidates have to sign before they are declared.
“This form should be signed and accepted, they will sign to accept these conditions before they are our candidates for presidential race in this election,” stressed Dr Odoi.
Among the rules is that no aspirants shall distribute any manifesto to the public; no one shall not declare him/ herself until declared so by the Chairperson Electoral Commission; no one shall not use ‘wrong forum’ or public rally to address the press; no one shall intentionally report or disseminate false/malicious allegation or propaganda and one shall not be a source of rumor mongering.
Others include members not using abusive language to incite the public; not working with other members of other political parties against NRM; not promote the formation of cliques or factions within the party; not acting or accept to be used as an agent of other interests in any manner to demean the NRM and, not campaigning as candidate before one is declared so.
Of recent the NRM has faced challenges arising from the declared presidential aspiration of former party Secretary General John Patrick Amama Mbabazi, after the Kinkiizi West MP fell out with his party chairman Yoweri Museveni.
Mr Mbabazi was subsequently fired from his party position and the premiership, prompting him to declare his party chairmanship and presidential on June 15.