KAMPALA – The fallout in the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) over the recruitment of cadres at village level took a turn for the worse on Monday after President Museveni told party officials at the Secretariat to back off his plan, PML Daily exclusively reports.
Mr. Museveni’s Political Assistant Milly Doka Babalanda is currently on nationwide recruitment of party supporters at village level who will spread the President’s gospel of wealth creation on all fora ahead of 2021 elections. While Ms Babalanda’s team has reportedly impressed the President with the process so far, which she has undertaken at a minimum cost, the Secretariat officials led by Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba view this as undermining and usurping their power and mandate and have vehemently opposed it.
And during the Cabinet meeting that sat on Monday, a few ministers sought clarification from the President on the matter. They asked why he continues to come up with plans and implement them without involving the NRM Secretariat under the stewardship of Ms Lumumba.
Sources told this website that some ministers such as Ester Mbayo (Presidency) and Julius Maganda (State, East African Affairs) put it to the President how the decision to recruit the village cadres was hatched yet it had not been discussed among the eight resolutions made by the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) when it met at Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park in Nwoya District.
In response, sources added, Mr Museveni is said to have reacted angrily to this query, explaining that as party chairman, he does not need to ask anyone to undertake projects which he believes are good for the party.
The President reportedly expressed anger that some party officials are interested in intrigue instead of working towards the development of the party. He also reportedly revealed that the recruitment process had been in the plan before the 2016 elections and hence he was reportedly fulfilling a forgotten pledge.
It is from this meeting that party officials then held their meeting on Monday evening and Tuesday morning before releasing a statement disowning the recruitment drive by the Babalanda team.
Describing the purported directive as an insult to the party leadership structure, CEC, in a strongly worded statement signed by eight party leaders, said the directive to recruit the cadres was not among the eight resolutions made in February at Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls Park.
“These have noted that the decision by President Museveni to recruit the said national Resistance Movement was never discussed during the said retreat and could not, therefore, been part of the seven strategic ‘Chobe Resolutions and which were consciously endorsed by all members in attendance,” the statement issued on Tuesday reads in part.
“Cognizant however that while it is within the mandate of the National Chairman of the National Resistance movement to empower the office of National Chairman to carry out specific assignments, such empowerments should only be complementary to the mandate of organs arms structures of the national Resistance movement and certainly should never be antagonistic; a usurpation and or a duplication of the role of an organ or structures of the National Resistance movement,” the statement adds.
The statement was signed by, among others, Mr. Simon Peter Aleper, the NRM national Vice Chairperson, NRM Vice Chairman for northern Uganda Sam Angola, national vice-chairperson of NRM elders league Dominic Mafabi Gidudu, Chairperson James Tweheyo, NRM Chairperson of Women’s league Lydia Wanyoto and Gadaffi Nasur the NRM national youth league chairperson.
It is not immediately clear how the President will react to this solidarity by CEC members over his purported plan to usurp their powers.