The number of people who have declared their intentions to contest for the presidency under the banner of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has now risen to three after Captain (rtd) David Ruhinda Maguru voiced his intention to join the race.
Speaking to the Eagleonline, Ruhinda Maguru said he is ready to pay the nomination fees of Shs10 million and pick his nomination forms from the NRM Secretariat next Tuesday, July 28.
“I want to be party flag bearer not the party Chairman, the two are different, so I will be paying ten million shillings,” he said on phone, adding that he is launching his ‘consultations’ in Mbale in two weeks time.
“I will launch my consultations in Mbale where Mbabazi failed,” he said. Asked whether police won’t stop him from the planned activities, Ruhinda Maguru said he doesn’t expect that to happen since he will have been cleared by his party, the NRM.
According to Ruhinda Maguru, his manifesto will focus on zero-tolerance to corruption, employment, security and poverty eradication. Other areas of focus include agriculture, industrialization and urbanization.
Recently police stopped former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi from holding consultations in Mbale, saying he had not been cleared by the party to carry out any such activity. The NRM also later weighed in, and said the party had not yet endorsed a flag bearer for the presidential race.
But in a subsequent move party Chairman YoweriMuseveni paid Shs20 million to enable him compete for both the NRM Chairmanship and presidential flag bearer positions.Musevenihowever, did not get the nomination forms afterNRM Electoral Commission boss DrTangaOdoi cited a rule that stipulates the forms must be picked by the contestant, in person.
After that Mbabazi, who declared his interest in contesting for the two top positions on June 16, was to show up at the NRM Secretariat a month later on Thursdsay, July 16 ostensibly to pick the nomination forms, only for him to demand that he be given the forms before paying the Shs20 million, something that was rejected by DrOdoi. Mbabazi, a former party Secretary General walked off after a brief altercation with the electoral commission boss, who said the former was the architect of the party rules and that he should abide by them. DrOdoi even threatened to resign if Mbabazi made his job untenable.
Meanwhile, the NRM has reportedly not paid Shs530 million to Capt (rtd) Ruhinda Maguru, money that resulted from an out of court settlement negotiated by the party and the former presidential aspirant.
According to Ruhinda Maguru, his lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi has written to the NRM and they are awaiting a response.
In 2011 Ruhinda Maguru claims he was blocked from contesting for the NRM party flag bearer position, prompting him to sue the party.