By Rutaro Robert
As we approach 2016 general elections, and as the political atmosphere gets charged day by day, the NRM Parliamentary Caucus recently moved and passed a resolution at Kyankwanzi to back President Museveni as the sole Presidential candidate and flag bearer of the NRM party.
The spirit of the resolution is to foster and promote cohesion and unity in the party. This is how we have always done in the NRM, the only difference being that it is usually the Central Executive Committee (CEC) that originates such resolutions for approval by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and later confirmed by the National Delegates Conference.
So there is nothing new with this resolution as it has always been our practice as a party to front one presidential candidate.
However, going by the recent media reports and info in public domain, some leaders of the party have indicated that, if chosen by the Party, they will offer themselves as presidential candidates. In my opinion, this desire is nothing but betrayal of the NRM retreat resolution at Kyankwanzi, to which some of them were party.
There is no doubt that these individuals would not be what they are, if it was not for the supportive and protective hand of President Museveni.
Some of them have tactfully concealed their intentions and have always denied they will challenge Museveni for the top job. However, recent media reports show the contrary.
Some of them have also criticised the Kyankwanzi resolution as being inconsequential and erroneous, as such resolution can only be passed by the NEC.
Whereas this argument may be right, we all know the parliamentary caucus is part of the NEC and the delegates conference, and also the fact that MPs are NRM chairpersons of their respective constituencies, their resolutions are as valid, valuable and should be given due consideration and support by the higher party organs.
It is also known that some of these people’s tough stance against the recent controversial Bills is calculated to attract the support of the Western powers like America and Canada who have expressed hate for the new law, and may want to support any person who publicly disowns it, against President Museveni who has accented to it.
This contravention of the Kyankwanzi resolution is likely to cause divisions and disharmony in NRM. It is important that we collectively own up the Kyankwanzi resolution as a party for purposes of unity and party cohesion, and then focus on how to win the 2016 polls with a landslide victory. The contravention is also likely to encourage the growth of clicks in the party.
Already there is talk of groups and different NRM faithfuls being branded as belonging to either group. In the end, it may be difficult to reconcile these groups after primaries and we may end up with such divisions like we saw recently in the NRM primaries. This is not good news for the party.
Therefore, these people need to come out clear on whether they are still bound by the Kyankwanzi resolution or not. This is important to guide our people on what to do, and to make-up their minds ahead of time, and settle any conflicts that may arise before we go to the main polls.
But it is dangerous for them to remain vague and unclear on this matter, which would leave us divided even after the primary elections. As we know it, “united we win and divided we lose” NRM needs to be cohesive, if we are to win the 2016 elections.
The writer is the secretary general of the NRM Youth League and member of NEC