The ruling NRM party district chairpersons have accelerated calls on their electoral commission chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi to resign over disrespecting senior party leaders.
Last week, Odoi attacked Justine Kasule Lumumba, the party secretary general, describing her as good dancer, lacking administrative skills.
The angry chairpersons led by Kampala Central party leader Salim Uhuru have started soliciting signatures from other party organs, which they want to forward to the party national chairman, President Yoweri Museveni to take action.
The district party leaders met last Saturday to discuss problems affecting the party, including the bickering among some senior leaders.
“We cannot continue working with the man, who does not respect others. We want the President to appoint another electoral commission chairman. Having a PHD in history, doesn’t make him the only brilliant fellow in our party,” Uhuru said.
The disagreement between Ms Lumumba and Odoi, this time, is about laying off of more than 200 NRM party staff at secretariat over financial challenges.
Lumumba said the move to restructure the party is aimed at running NRM in a professional way.
Odoi said he cannot apologise to Lumumba, adding that they petitioned the President about ghost workers in the payment system. They also wrote to the secretary general to give them the list of those workers, but Lumumba refused, according to Odoi.
But some chairpersons like Walubi Balinjawa of Iganga District said they cannot allow the party’s name to be tainted.
“Odoi has only one option to resign. If he refuses, we are going to make it difficult to work with us as district leaders,” he added.
But insiders told PML Daily that the two are fighting over to control of party resources and also to catch the President’s eye.
Both of them are fighting selfish battles. None of them is asking for example, why are our regional offices not functioning well, rental bills piling up. And I think, it was a mistake for the President to appoint both of them,” a source in the ruling party revealed.
Fight goes tribal, affecting Jinja by-elections
The fight at Plot 10 Kyadondo Road, between Lumumba and Odoi has been extended up to Jinja Municipality. Odoi was expected to attend the nomination of NRM party flagbearer Nathan Igeme Nabeta, but was blocked by the party leaders in the district.
Nabeta is contesting against FDC’s Paul Mwiru, in the forth coming bye-elections, analysts predict to be a highly contested race.
Sources say Odoi was advised not attend, fearing that he would be beaten by Lumumba loyalists in the area.
“Some Basoga are hurt by the way Odoi attacks their daughter Lumumba,” a source said.
Will they reconcile?
NRM’s communication officer Rogers Mulindwa said the party is pushing for the two to reconcile, adding that personal attacks, will destroy the party.
Analysts weigh in
Dr. A Kalisa, a political and international relations analyst said two senior party leaders are fighting each other because they lack what to do.
Kalisa also said it was a political mistake for the party to sack the staff when it is facing unpredicted bye-elections in Jinja Municipality.
“To me, however I see NRM party as Museveni’s property. And he is the beneficiary of the infightings. He has nothing to get worried about. If the infightings were affecting his Presidency, he would have sorted them out,” Mr Kalisa said.