President Museveni has underscored the move by the ruling NRM party to turn to lining behind candidates during party primaries.
The NRM delegates conference on Saturday endorsed the move to amend the party constitution to provide for lining behind the candidates during their internal elections after the motion was moved by Kabula county MP James Kakooza and seconded by several other delegates.
However, despite the move being endorsed, several delegates from the ruling party were against it saying it would create hatred.
Speaking to delegates on Saturday, Museveni said the move is the best medicine to cure the sickness of vote-rigging and ballot stuffing that had caused chaos in the party primaries in the past years.
“We considered lining up as the best medicine for cheating. As it happens with all medicines, they have side effects but we had to weigh if the side effects were more than saving life,” Museveni said.
He said that some party members were ready so to cheat so as to take leadership as if it is a matter of life and death but said the new method would help eliminate them.
“This (cheating) needs to be checked by going back to lining behind the candidates. It is transparent and definitive.”
The NRM chairman said lining up behind candidates will instill discipline among party members as they will no longer be able to eat money from candidates and don’t vote for them like it has always been.
Mbabazi a no-show
Despite being invited to attend the delegate conference, former NRM Secretary-General, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi didn’t show up at Namboole on Saturday.
Mbabazi, who was Secretary-General for 10 years between 2005 and 2015 had been invited alongside former Vice Presidents; Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and Prof. Gilbert Bukenya; former Prime Minister Kintu Musoke.
The function at Namboole on Saturday was foreign dignitary-studded including; Cigden Karaaslan, Turkey’s ruling party, AKP Vice President, Raphael Tuju, the Secretary-General for Jubilee in Kenya and Cde Jemme Nuhu Kumba, a presidential envoy from South Sudan.
Other foreign dignitaries were Dr. Sadala Abdalla Juma, the Deputy Secretary-General for Tanzania’s CCM party, Antonio Luis Pubillones Izaguirre, Cuba’s Ambassador to Uganda representing the Communist Party,Amb. Bukhari Gganim Mohamed Afadi (Republic of Sudan)and Ambassador Ri Hung Guk representing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea among others.