JEEMA makes changes in party leadership ahead of 2026 amidst calls to replace Basalirwa

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JEEMA makes changes in party leadership ahead of 2026 amidst calls to replace Basalirwa
Asuman Basalirwa.

The president of the Justice Forum (JEEMA), Asuman Basalirwa, has announced changes in the party leadership as the country prepares for the 2026 general elections.

“I hereby inform the Party Membership and the General Public that by the authority entrusted to me in Article 45 (1) (1 V) of the constitution of the Justice Forum, I hereby make changes in the cabinet as follows,” Basalirwa announced in a letter seen by the Nile Post.

In the new reshuffle, the appointments are as follows: Vice President: Alex Ojok, Secretary General: Kateregga Mohamed, Deputy Secretary General: Fred Kasajja, Publicity/Spokesperson: Dr. Shuib Kaggwa, Women Affairs: Sarah Tushabe, Youth Affairs: Katushabe Moreen, Legal Affairs: Don Muhindo.

Others include Disabled Affairs: Maroof Sekabira, Research/Internal Affairs: Apollo Kasule, Agriculture: Mac Donald, Mobilisation/Chairperson Women League: Hadjah Babirye, Finance: Shiffer Nanyanzi, Education/Ethics: Aidah Mbawadde, External Relationships: Kyamundu Ssentongo and Special Duties: Innocent Nahabwe

The new faces in these roles include Sarah Katushabe, Sarah Tushabe, Don Muhindo, Mac Donald, and Innocent Nahabwe. Dr. Swaib Kaggwa Nsereko has been reappointed to his position, having served before Abdulnoor Kyamundu's appointment in 2017. Notably, Counsel Derrick Namakajjo has been dropped from the legal affairs docket.

Both Namakajjo and Kyamundu have been vocal in pushing for reforms within the party. Kyamundu is aspiring to become the new party president in the forthcoming National Delegates Conference scheduled for June this year.

Speaking to the Nile Post, the newly appointed spokesperson of the party, Dr. Shuib Kaggwa Nsereko, stated that these changes were long overdue and should have occurred in the immediate post-COVID-19 period. However, the standard operation procedures in place at that time required the party to retain all office bearers from 2016.

“Secondly, the Constitution mandates the president the prerogative of appointing and disappointing at will. But most importantly, the cabinet is one of our platforms to mentor leadership and since the services are voluntary, available opportunities are given to as many members as possible, especially the young, as evidenced in this new team,” he said.

The changes come amidst calls to replace the party president. According to other party officials, Basalirwa is too overloaded with national matters and seems unable to push the party's ideologies. They believe this is why JEEMA is not fully known in the country.

Kyamundu, former party spokesperson recently stated that Basalirwa is one of Uganda's MPs who has performed extremely well in spearheading better rule of law.

To keep him performing in Parliament, Kyamundu argued it is time to replace him as president to foster the party's growth and expansion.

Kyamundu criticised the internal democracy of JEEMA, stating that it is centered on one person who has ruled the party since 2010 (three terms), making it resemble a dictatorship.

"I believe Basalirwa has served for three terms; if we give him another chance to stand for the fourth time, he will undermine our democracy. We shall not have the moral authority to condemn President Museveni for being in power for close to four decades now," he said.

However, Dr. Nsereko dismissed these concerns, stating that people will endorse or reject leaders for various reasons.

He emphasised that Basalirwa is not among the challenges faced by the party and that the party is already missing his services as he has voluntarily requested to step aside to create space for young leaders he has mentored.

Dr. Nsereko mentioned that the immediate focus now is on the delegates' conference, which will elect a new layer of party leadership.

“Details of this activity will soon be availed by the party electoral commission in a presser next week,” he said.

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