Lumumba, Tanga feud mars NRM primaries  


NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba (L) and the party’s Electoral Commission boss, Mr Tanga Odoi (R) addressing the press

The NRM Electoral Commission chairman, Tanga Odoi, says they have been forced to extend the party elections for LC1 and special interest groups due to financial delays.

The elections were scheduled to kick off Friday morning but will now be held on Monday September 7, 2015.

Tanga accuses the NRM Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, for “holding onto funds needed to hold the primaries”.

Tanga, Lumumba at war

A week back, Tanga accused Lumumba of “illegally” issuing appointment letters to some 200 registrars saying the SG cannot appoint election officials.

Tanga called the registrars to return the letters upon which he appointed his own team that will oversee the party primaries.

Tanga told The Observer that Lumumba and her group should concentrate on registering people and “leave the elections to us”.

The EC chief, however, denies fighting Lumumba calling it “a difference in opinion” yet insists she is frustrating his work.

Rogers Mulindwa, the media and communications officer at the NRM secretariat, in turn said Tanga’s actions amount to “insubordination” clarifying that everyone at the Secretariat was under Lumumba.

The fanatical former Makerere do is currently at loggerheads with most members of the ruling party over abusive language.

Recently, members petitioned Lumumba to restrain Tanga following an incident in which he humiliated senior party members; the 3rd deputy Prime Minister and the Deputy Leader of Government Business General Moses Ali, State Minister for Investment Gabriel Aridru and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, for driving to the party headquarters in government vehicles.

He is also on record for changing electoral guidelines to include fines of up to Shs 10m without seeking the approval of the party’s top organ, Central Executive Committee (CEC).

It was his office that denied Amama Mbabazi nomination forms leading the latter to run as an independent; Tanga has also already clashed with former presidential aide, minister Amelia Kyambadde.

He recently told off the very senior of party founders; NRM historicals to go and hang themselves if they need preferential treatment.

Marred elections

With Lumumba delaying to release funds for the party primaries, Tanga had no choice but to postpone the exercise.

“We got the funds late and my staff had lost morale hence the delay,” he told press, adding that the predicament had been solved.

Elections will start in Karamoja, Northern, Eastern and Western Uganda regions while Central Uganda will come after.

Tanga revealed that presiding officers, materials necessary for the exercise and lists of all flag-bearer candidates will all be ready by next week so the election can commence.

In her turn, Lumumba called for unity and reconciliation during and after the party primaries.

This was in a message read out by Former Mayor, Hon Steven Kabuye, while meeting aspirants of NRM seats in Entebbe.

Over 200 aspirants at all levels from LC1 to Parliament were in the meeting that was also attended by Head of Communications Department Rogers Mulindwa and Hon Meddie Mulumba.

Angry members 

Meanwhile, minister also members of the ruling party are bitter Lumumba’s decision to block candidates from using the picture of president Museveni on their campaign materials.

The members say her order will affect the president’s popularity as opposed to Mbabazi supporters who are painting most constituencies with the former Prime Minister’s pictures.

They allege that the development may give opponents a chance to mislead people in villages that Museveni will not run for office again.

In any case, it will cost them alot of money having to look around for alternatives.

It said disgruntled members are suggesting that Odoi revises Lumumba’s directive or else Museveni forms a parallel structure to manage primaries.

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