Chaos looms over NRM register update - Dr Ojambo

Politics

The situation is predicted not to be different come the end of the update of register exercise launched on Wednesday, with Dr Ojambo saying the party leaders have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing from the previous events.

KAMPALA | The ongoing National Resistance Movement (NRM) register update is a volcano on the verge of an eruption. political pundits have said

These question the process followed to develop these registers which have always led to chaotic elections.

"This was supposed to be done immediately after the elections but they dint," says Robert Ojambo, a senior lecturer and head of political science at Kyambogo University.

Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was the first secretary general to oversee the NRM party register in 2010.

Mbabazi was deputised by Dorothy Hyuha, who was assisted by Mbabazi's daughter Lenina.

The team oversaw the 2010 party primaries, which ended up being chaotic with many members questioning the registers used.

Mbabazi would later be replaced by Justine Kasule Lumumba as the secretary general. She oversaw the 2015 and 2020 party primaries

All these were marred by chaos resulting from questionable party membership registers. Tear gas and bullets were used to disperse members in many of these primaries.

The situation is predicted not to be different come the end of the update of register exercise launched on Wednesday, with Dr Ojambo saying the party leaders have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing from the previous events.

Dr Ojambo attributes the chaos in the NRM to the benefits people have attached to belonging to the ruling party.

This, coupled with selfish interests of politicians who believe the party has more chances of leading them to political offices, is said make it a do or die to take control of the registers.

"From the start, NRM told people that they all belonged to NRM. If you check on the register, there are members of DP, FDC and others. Most people believe it's advantageous to be registered in this register," says Dr Ojambo.

Individuals, regions and leaders each are predicted to have their own registers making it more chaotic.

But the NRM electoral commission chairperson, Dr Tanga Odoi says they have taken necessary steps to avoid going back to the past.

Strict guidelines have also been issued to the registrers who are going to conduct the exercise.

Odoi said: "We have started with village primaries and we'll keep updating the register. By the time we get the primaries for the MPs and other positions, the register will be good to go"

Odoi also warns there are repercussions to those who will dare tamper with the register including "detention of up to seven years".

The register update comes at a time the party is facing divisions with factions forming within the party. The party top organ is also divided with some opposed to that launched exercise

But Dr Ojambo predicts many of these will be subjected to the will of the party chairperson because he is the Alpha and Omega of the party.

"The President is the overall. They will be whatever he says. Whether they register or not, what he says is what they'll go with," Ojambo says

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