By Moses Mulondo
Former Vice President Prof. Gilbert Balibaseka Bukenya has said he has not quit the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and that he will not quit the ruling party.
The former deputy of President Yoweri Museveni has already expressed interest in running for presidency in the 2016 general elections.
Speaking to New Vision on Saturday, Bukenya says the New Movement he has created is not a political party but a pressure group that seeks to address the weaknesses of the NRM party.
“The New Movement is a platform for the forces of change within the NRM party. It is a political formation for enabling patriotic members of the NRM party to chart a way forward out of the current political crisis in our country,” he explained.
He says the pressure group seeks to provide solutions to the NRM weaknesses which he says are hindering progress in the country.
“The NRM government has so many glaring weaknesses like corruption, dictatorship, nepotism, tribalism, selfishness, vote rigging, poor service delivery, and failure to eradicate poverty. For us in the New Movement, we want to deal with those problems and salvage the country from a possible violent uprising.”
On who have already joined the New Movement, Bukenya mentions MPs, former supporters of Gen. David Sejusa, veterans, NRM mobilisers, NRM youths and politicians from opposition political parties.
The politician explains that one of the decisions they intend to reverse within the NRM is the deployment of Uganda forces in South Sudan.
“On Tuesday, top government and UPDF leaders lied to parliament that our forces are not fighting along the soldiers of the South Sudan government. They duped parliament to pass the motion on the ground that our soldiers are there for rescue and humanitarian interventions but President Museveni while in Angola said our soldiers have been fighting the South Sudan rebels.
“That is a very big contradiction in the NRM,” he says.
Prof. Gilbert Bukenya is a keen promoter of agriculture. FILE PHOTO
The Busiro North MP reasons that if the various problems within the NRM party are not urgently addressed, the party is on the verge of disintegration.
He says: “I was the first to declare I would stand for president on the NRM ticket in 2016. The Prime Minister Mbabazi is also now distributing flyers indicating he will stand for president. I hear there is also an NRM camp that intends to bring Rebecca Kadaga for president.
“All signs indicate that Museveni is also coming back in the race. Don’t you see a possible disintegration of the party? The time for change has come,” stresses Bukenya.
He maintains the New Movement, which will be launched very soon, seeks to initiate electoral reforms within the NRM to guarantee free and fair elections.
“If you cannot have free and fair elections within the ruling party it means you cannot have free and fair elections in the general elections.”
Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo has welcomed Prof. Bukenya’s initiatives to reform the NRM, saying that “anybody who can bring useful contribution within the party is welcome”.
He however challenges Bukenya to write a detailed document involving his reforms so that they can be debated within the party organs like the National executive Committee (NEC) and the NRM parliamentary caucus.
“Of course there are issues that need to be addressed in NRM, but since he has not yet brought his reforms to be discussed in the party organs, I doubt he is genuine and I doubt he will make an impact. It is a journey to no where,” Opondo said.