The NRM party has finally opened up for its elective season the posts of Central Executive Committee, National Executive Council, National Conference as well as all leadership positions in local council and parliament as well as President.
President Museveni strategy is clearly written in all the documents distributed by Tanga Odoi in last weeks press statement and the rules and regulations for elections.
His normal method of operations in all that he perceives to be a battle is 1) Decoy 2) Blackmail 3) Ambush and 4) Attack.
For starters, NRM requires that all aspirants pick up their forms in person. This is not a bad plan by itself but they expect all aspirants to sign the Consent to Ethical conduct. Herein lies the decoy.
On the surface of it, it looks like they have opened up for all candidates but special emphasis has been put on the Presidential flag bearer.
The purpose of which is to make it difficult for anyone attempting to compete and to ensure “sole candidate” through what appears as a democratic process.
The consent to Ethical conduct form derives its power from Article 39 (10)(d) of the NRM Constitution. Here lies the first problem. There is no such law in NRM. Article 39 in the new reprint 2015 discusses the Institutions League.
Could it be that in attempting to create a decoy the Museveni team was so sloppy that they did not realize such a law does not exist?
It is not by accident that they quote a non-existent law.
As a matter of fact, they are banking on all candidates signing it and then asking questions after. The problem with signing it is that in law there is the principle of “estoppel”.
In law, if you sign a document, you can’t turn around and say that you did not know what you were signing.
This is where the blackmail comes in. That all the so-called additional regulations will also work towards the blackmail.
The rules and regulation pay extra emphasis to presidential aspirants.
In short, any aspirant would not be able to do any part of their program without clearance from President Museveni through Tanga Odoi.
NRM goes further to penalize anyone who breaks the rules and regulations by prescribing penalties including jail.
This is illegal because only the legislature can prescribe penalties under the law that includes jail sentences not a political party.
The ambush comes in form of setting up all obstacles to the aspirant’s movement while at the same time the timetable for party leaders is ongoing.
In event that an aspirant fulfills all party requirements, they will be kept busy in the field while Mr. Museveni is uprooting all alleged non-Museveni support from the party structures.
By the time an aspirant has finished their consultations, Mr. Museveni hopes to have consolidated his hold on the party therefore he will control the National Conference and will emerge the “sole candidate”. This phase is where the attack comes in.
If an aspirant is not happy with the outcome, then there will be no time for that aspirant to seek redress. The National conference has been scheduled for 2nd October.
This is a Friday. If you are voted out, the voting shall happen at the end of the day hence you will not be able to file any challenge in court.
This is to avoid the kind of situation where Ruhinda Magulu had enough time to take Mr. Museveni to court and a consent judgment was made to enable Mr. Museveni stand on the NRM ticket.
So anyone interested in standing would technically not be able to seek redress as National Nominations for NRM will be done on Monday, the 5th October, 2015. This is the ultimate plan.
Jannette Mugisha, the author, is a supporter of Amama Mbabazi and Agent for change