By Moses Mulondo
KAMPALA - Former Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya says the ruling party, NRM, is now moving in the wrong direction arising from unfairness from its leaders.
In the same tone, he has also called for constitutional and electoral reforms if 2016 elections are to be free and fair.
Addressing journalists at Parliament Tuesday, Bukenya, who in April announced his presidential bid, said the political playing field is unlevelled.
“There must drastic constitutional and electoral reforms. Immediate steps should be taken to ensure that we have an independent electoral commission, free from the influence of the Government. Without that, 2016 elections will not be free and fair,” he argued.
Bukenya also raised concerns that in the various anti-poverty tours President Yoweri Museveni is conducting around the country, he is using taxpayers’ money to promote his candidature for the 2016 elections.
“We shall soon start to mobilise Ugandans and tell them to isolate leaders who orchestrate injustices. We shall be encouraging them to eat the money dished out to them because it is taxpayers’ money,” he promised.
He observed that on many occasions, the Police and other agencies have been biased.
“I saw Dr. Kizza Besigye being stopped by the Police when he tried to speak to the voters in Masaka. My anti-poverty campaign has also been interrupted on many occasions. There is no level playing field. The President is using State institutions to serve his political interests,” Bukenya stated.
Reacting to Bukenya’s remarks, the NRM spokesperson Mary Karooro Okurut said: “Why didn’t he raise those concerns when he was still in Cabinet? Why does he speak out after he has been dropped?
Amid all this, the former vice president also expressed yet another of his concerns.
He explained that whereas the former Prime Minister, Apolo Nsibambi, has been given a car and his other constitutional entitlements, he (Bukenya) has not received his even after writing three letters to the Cabinet.
“The father of NRM has good and bad children (Abaana n’ebyaana). The bad ones are treated unfairly in many ways and that is very dangerous for our party. There is no equal treatment in NRM. The party is moving in a wrong direction.”
He said if assented to, the recently passed Public Order Management Bill would reverse Uganda’s democratic gains.