The NRM party adopts a resolution to have elections conducted by way of lining up behind the nominated candidates, their representatives, portraits or symbols.
NRM NATIONAL DELEGATES CONFERENCE 2020
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
(Presented by Joseph Kizza)
LINING UP FOR PARTY ELECTIONS? NRM DELEGATES SAY 'YES'
Chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, the NRM national delegates conference Saturday adopted a resolution to delete Articles 39(10)(e) and 44(3) of the NRM Constitution and replace them with one that requires internal elections to be conducted by way of lining up behind the candidates nominated for the office or their representatives, portraits or symbols.
The proposed constitutional amendments were received and debated by the second meeting of the third national executive council (NEC) earlier in the week.
NEC then presented the proposed amendment to the national delegates conference, with a strong recommendation for its adoption.
Moments before the decisive call, Museveni made a case for the system of lining up, but still called out supporters and opponents of the system to make their cases for and against (respectively) the move vis-à-vis the secret ballot.
In the end, those in favour of the reforms took the day and the amendment was passed into the NRM law, drawing huge celebrations across the stadium.
After the adoption of the resolution, secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba read out the report of her office, copies of which were distributed to the delegates.
Thereafter, President Museveni declared the national delegates conference closed.
He gave a hint that the next conference will be in May.
Why the national delegates conference was called
• 'Revisit ideology'
President Yoweri Museveni said that the NRM national delegates conference was primarily called to revist the ideology of the party.
"When people heard that I had called for a conference, they started campaigning for elections," he mused.
He made it clear that the party has a task to diagnose the societal problems (including the state of "moneylessness" in households) and find prescription to solve the problems.
"I have been a follower of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere (Tanzanian anti-colonial activist, politician, and political theorist). He died 20 years ago, but I am still moving in his direction," he said.
• 'Medicine for cheating'
The second reason the conference was called was "an organisational one" - of lining up during party primaries, as recommended by the national executive committee (NEC) mid-this week as part of the amendments in the party's constitution.
"We thought we should go back to lining up. It is transparent and definitive, as there are no arguments as to who won," underlined NRM chairman Museveni.
"We considered this lining up as a medicine for cheating. Like the case with all medicines, they have side effects - but you need to weigh whether the side effects are greater than saving life.
In his address, President Museveni gave a condensed account of Uganda's economy in the last six decades. He said the economy has particularly developed more than 70 times since 1986.
He said there are currently 4,920 factories, 8,400 service companies and 4,100 ICT companies in Uganda, altogether employing a total of 2,015,000 people.
Of these, 1,300,000 employees are in services, 700,000 in factories and 15,000 in ICT.
"Our point is, don't just focus on agriculture. Get involved in hotels, factories, transport and ICT companies," he said.
The President talked of what he called the six "pro-people" measures that his government has put together for the prosperity of the people and the country at large.
• Household incomes
• Education for the children of the ordinary people
• Opposing eviction of people from their land
• Opposing the stealing of drugs from health facilities
• Opposing corruption of government officials
• Working on feeder roads
He said that the 9,748 parishes in the country should be the audit centres that these measures are functional.
"Local leaders must ensure that all the homesteads wake up and join the money-making campaign for the benefit of their families and for the country. It is the best policy that the NRM has come up with, as it is sustainable and profitable."
On education, Museveni said some people have been sabotaging the Universal Primary/Secondary Education programmes by reintroducing school charges in institutions.
He has directed local government minister Raphael Magezi to ask all the 67,000 villages to pass a resolution on this during their respective assemblies: 'Do you support school fees?'
"If you support school fees, then I will withdraw the money put in free education every year and inject it in roads," he said.
On drugs theft, Museveni said that "if we find that drugs have been stolen and the local leaders have done nothing to stop it, the GISO, Gombolola chief, DPC and CAO shall be held accountable".
He added: "We shall defeat corruption the way we defeated the other challenges".
Museveni had started his address by thanking everyone that had made their way to Namboole, including delegates from "friendly parties" from Africa and beyond.
He would later inform the delegates of the "esteemed NRM party that your party and its precursors have done pretty well in the last 60 years".
Several entertainers were also at Namboole.
There was a general sense of excitement ahead of the arrival of NRM party chairman President Yoweri Museveni, with dancers putting on display energetic performances on a super-hot day.
Dollops of tasty performances did well to keep the mood inside Namboole on the high end.
Then the moment everyone had waited for arrived.
President Museveni walked into the stadium with his wife Janet (education and sports minister) to defeaning cheers from the large gathering of party delegates.
Entertainer Full Figure was an animated, ubiquitous figure inside the stadium.
President Museveni made appearance wearing his trademark hat and yellow shirt.
First Lady Janet wore a yellow cap and dark jacket over a beautiful yellow kitenge.
The crowd cheered their party chairman and he acknowledged their gesture by flashing back the party's thumbs-up sign.
The venue was well-decorated to fit the occasion.
A huge tarpaulin emblazoned with the NRM party symbol, the bus, was pitched on the Namboole turf.
Anthems were sung as the event officially got under way.
On the special guests list were familiar faces - former Vice Presidents Gilbert Bukenya and Specioza Kazibwe.
Former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi was also expected as a special guest.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija was visibly in good spirits as he made appearance at Namboole.
The conference offered the delegates a good opportunity to catch up.
From ministers to legislators, Namboole was saturated with an aura of importance.
Yellow was the ubiquitous colour inside a packed Namboole Stadium, where the ruling party's national delegates conference took place.
There were plenty of interactions all around as delegates shared pleasantries and did some catching up.
Minister for the Presidency Esther Mbayo was among the high-profile officials that attended the conference.
Some delegates were carted to their respective seats.
Delegates were sat under huge tents - which was a relief, considering the amount of heat the sun spewed out down on many parts of Kampala.
Delegates came from different regions of the country, and most of them made appearance dancing and singing.
It was an important day for the NRM, the eve of the 34th Liberation Day anniversary.
Namboole was enveloped in a blanket of yellow hues - from shirts and caps to dresses and suits.
It was a mood of excitement for the delegates, many of whom had travelled long distances to get to the venue.
The meeting followed two other [arty meetings that took place this week - one by the national executive committee (NEC) and the other by the central executive council (CEC).
The groups of delegates from the different regions made the most of their time at Namboole.
The Teso group was in equally high spirits . . .
. . . singing and dancing.
In attendance were also foreign delegates and other high-profile officials.
It was not all yellow, though.
Party officials were in groove mood.
East African Community Affairs minister Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire was in the house - and in unique style.
Great outfit sir!
State ministers Beatrice Anywar (environment) and Hamson Obua (sports) greeted each other as the warm interactions continued under the large tent.
It was a very important day for the NRM party.