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Independents can’t return to NRM, says Museveni

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th February 2006 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has said candidates standing as independents cannot cross to the NRM when elected. Museveni said if independent candidates who lost in the NRM primaries make it to the Parliament, they should not claim to be NRM members.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has said candidates standing as independents cannot cross to the NRM when elected. Museveni said if independent candidates who lost in the NRM primaries make it to the Parliament, they should not claim to be NRM members.

By Henry Mukasa
and Dismus Buregyeya


PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has said candidates standing as independents cannot cross to the NRM when elected. Museveni said if independent candidates who lost in the NRM primaries make it to the Parliament, they should not claim to be NRM members.

He said the Constitution bars independents from joining any political party unless they resign and contest again.

Campaigning in Sembabule district on Wednesday, Museveni, however, said all candidates in the district, NRM flag bearers and independents were known Movementists who should not be branded FDC.

Museveni said NRM candidates Sam Kutesa (Mawogola) Theodore Sekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Anifa Kawooya (Sembabule) and Elly Muhumuza (LC5 chairman), are as Movement as Herman Ssentongo, the incumbent/independent and Loy Kabatsi, the Sembabule Woman MP independent candidate.

DP presidential candidate, John Ssebaana Kizito, recently declared that his party would back Ssentongo.

“What is important is how the team you are sending to Parliament will play the ball (politics),” Museveni said.

Before Museveni arrived, there was a scuffle as a pro-Kutesa mob pelted Ssentongo with mineral water bottles and rubbish as he addressed the crowd.

More of the complex district politics was brought to light when a placard supposed to show NRM candidates omitted Ssekikubo and Ssentongo.

Ssekikubo told Museveni that he should not be misled by the placard. “We are your strong supporters and canvassing for votes,” he said.

Kutesa said DP and FDC did not field their party candidates for the LC5 seat in favour of Ssentongo.
Museveni said he had personally recruited Ssentongo into the Movement and did not doubt him, adding that Kabatsi’s parents are also known to him.

Museveni’s statement raffled the feathers of Kutesa, the kingmaker in the district and his ally Hanifa Kawooya.

As soon as Museveni stepped down from the rostrum, Kutesa moved over to him warming his palm and asked, Hati watukole ki eki? natuza kubirugamu (What is that you have done to us?, we shall quit).

Kutesa asked Museveni to return to the rostrum and announce Muhumuza as the NRM LC5 candidate.

He was joined by yellow girl, Kawooya, who asked Museveni, “List eitwakusa ahabwaki tiyowashoma?” (why didn’t you read the list we gave you?) He did not answer but was seen tapping his watch to indicate it was late.

It was hard for Museveni to endorse Muhumuza as Ssentongo was the crowd favourite and mention of his name drew deafening applause.
Museveni said he did not even know Muhumuza.

Museveni said losers in the NRM primaries had complained that some flag bearers scored from an off-side position.

Sources said following the Matete rally, Museveni called a meeting on Thursday at Rwakitura between Ssentongo, Muhumuza, Joyce Kabatsi and Kutesa to resolve the matter.

Independents can’t return to NRM, says Museveni

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