NRM-O PRIMARIES: THE DIVIDENDS
The NRM-O or better still the National Resistance Movement Organisation is yet to conclude its elections and still has the volcanic national delegates’ conference too. The trouble is still cooking in the pot. Gunshots in the Bukedea elections, tear gas at the special interest groups conference in Namboole, intrigue and fighting in Kampala, rigging, disappearance of ballot papers and boxes, ballot stuffing, poor planning, etc the NRM have officially conducted the biggest sham of a n election in Uganda’s history, not even a village secondary-school election can be that bad. However, amidst all this gloom and chaos, there are multitudes of dividends for the party and country at large.
President Museveni has killed more than two birds with one stone, he has tested the waters. The popular sentiment especially in Buganda and the central region at large of Twakoowa literally meaning we are tired of the Museveni regime has been probably buried. It is clear more than ever before; the local populaces at the grass roots have expressed their undying love for the party. The support is there, the numbers are overwhelming, all the party captains need to do is put their ship in order and cruise to victory come the 2010 elections.Secondly the NRM primaries will probably do the country and our general elections next year a big favour, surely we would be stupid and insane to allow it to go worse than what we have witnessed with the yellow brigade. They have unknowingly offered us a shock absorber, I guess the next year the electorate and candidates will be a bit cautious, calm and restrained so as not to descend to chaos. Better still, am sure our brothers and sisters in the IPC- Inter Party Coalition, FDC, Jeema, DP and UPC will surely want to beat the NRM at organizing better grass root elections free of rigging, ballot stuffing, intimidation, poor logistical organisation etc. This can only be good for our young multi party democracy. The NRM have soiled their reputation so bad that everyone wants to beat them at the democracy credentials they claim to champion. We need our politics to mature into credible contests based on difference in development policy and initiative.
Furthermore, by adopting universal adult suffrage for electing party leaders and flag bearers, the party has set the wheel rolling for entrenching accountability, democracy, institutionalization in the party and country at large, the intentions are great but the execution has been disastrous. The former was always the hard part; the latter should be a walk in the park next time round. They have learnt their lesson, though the hard way. It is an all time low for the party. But the future is bright. All they need to do next time is get their logistical issues in order, clean the voters register/ yellow book, deliver election materials in time and in a transparent manner, then they will ne enroute the promised land.
But they also need to do some soul searching and try to understand kind of people they have on the movement bus, iam not sure all the people aboard the movement bus have imbibed the movement ideology and thus are convinced it is the best on the political menu. Surely it is the best on the “eating” front, there is a strong belief that joining the NRM or appearing to support it is a step towards having a slice of the national cake, but considering the level of voter bribery with liquid cash in the full glare of national TV cameras, we are not sure these folks want their share of the national cake through legitimate means. People have sold land, animals, borrowed money to finance their contest in the NRM primaries. With the general election involving other party candidates around the corner, their expenses will go through the roof. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to realize that the only way they will break even is by dipping their yellow-gloved filthy hands into the national till right from the central government through the districts administration down to the sub counties. The NRM is unofficially entrenching corruption in our politics and economy at large for generations to come.