The National Resistance Movement’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has granted Museveni a life presidency card by unanimously endorsing him as party leader and flag bearer for the upcoming elections in 2021 and beyond.
The decision was made at the end of the five-day retreat of the ruling party’s top organ sitting at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Nwoya district on Tuesday after a motion moved by the government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa was supported by all members.
According to a document containing resolutions from the retreat seen by the Nile Post, this specific one is carried as point 1(g) states that the CEC decided to “emphatically recommend to the membership of the Movement and its organs, that His Excellence Yoweri K Museveni, our leader and General of the African resistance, continues leading the movement and state in 2021 and beyond- as we eliminate the bottlenecks to transformation.”
The CEC also considered president Museveni’s interests in political and economic integration of East Africa and Africa at large as one of the benchmarks for his massive endorsement.
Museveni had earlier shared with the CEC an abridged version of the paper on Africa political and Economic Integration he delivered during the recently concluded African Union summit hence, the party organ also adopted a resolution to work towards the achievement of the EAC dream and consolidation of common market, which they believe is Museveni’s best part to play as leader of Uganda going forward.
The President was endorsement was also on the basis that he has been “a theoretician and principle strategist of the movement in the fundamental liberation struggles and successes of our people over the last 50 years.”
Speaking after the CEC Meeting, NRM spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa, confirmed confirmed the developments but said were president Museveni’s reward for the dedicated service to the party and country at large.
Mulindwa however, noted that the matter will go through all the other NRM channels including district conferences, National Executive Council and the party delegates’ conference set for November for endorsement.
How the move started
In October 2017, the CEC met at State House Entebbe where they agreed to support Hon Raphael Magyezi’s constitutional amendment Bill which called for a review on article 102B to remove age limit and allow President Museveni more time in office despite clocking retirement age.
The meeting was shortly followed by the NRM parliamentary caucus which also endorsed the resolution by the CEC and ensured the Bill received massive backing on floor of parliament.
At the beginning of this month, NRM party leaders under the national association of districts and lower local government councils (ULGA), while meeting in Kyankwanzi, endorsed President Museveni, the NRM chairperson, as the sole party candidate in the 2021 presidential elections.
The group wrote a petition to the CEC which they delivered at State House Entebbe and the at the party headquarters in Kampala demanding that president Museveni ‘accepts to stand as our sole presidential candidate in the election of 2021.’
“We commit to mobilise and reach out to our communities to ensure that our candidate attains victory,” the petition seen by Nile Post reads in part.
The ULGA leaders maintained that Museveni was the only visionary leader, one with interests in uniting Africa. They also hinted that the president has visible developmental projects that required his continued leadership for completion.
They therefore petition CEC which would meet a week later, to take their resolutions ‘in consideration’.
Is CEC final?
Although the CEC is never a final decision maker in the NRM party structures, most party decisions have started with CEC and have been adopted without any problems by the final body (NEC) which makes up the delegates conference.
In the run up to the 2016 elections, CEC endorsed President Museveni’s sole candidacy in a bitterly concluded meeting at State House where then Party Secretary General and Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi chose silence and absconded from the vote.
The decision was quickly followed up by another endorsement moved by State minister for Investments, Evelyn Anite during a caucus retreat at Kyankwanzi, with Amama Mbabazi again absconding.
The NEC also overwhelmingly adopted the Kyankwanzi resolution leaving Mbabazi in cold. Mababzi would later be sacked from cabinet, stood as an independent candidate against president Museveni and performed miserably.