KAMPALA – President Museveni has rebuked two members of the ruling NRM who are contesting against Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo for the position of first national vice-chairperson.
Capt Francis Babu, businessman Hakeen Asiimwe Lukenge, 42, and, Mr Kefa Mafumo, who works in State House, are contesting against Mr Kigongo for the position.
The candidates for the position will all undergo vetting this week before voting takes place later this August.
But during a meeting with members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) last Friday, August 7, Mr Museveni is reported to have asked his colleagues to allow Kigongo sail through unopposed, saying businessman Lukenge is a con man while Mafumo is a no-body in the party.
“Why can’t you let Kigongo go unopposed and let the other positions be competed for? Imagine this man from Mbarara, Hakeem is a conman. There is also this young man Kefa, who is he?” the President reportedly told the meeting.
As the rest of the members remained silent as others laughed at the President’s remarks, Government chief whip Ruth Nankabirwa is said to have replied that Mr Mafumo works in State House.
Unconvinced, the President then asked one of his aides to explain what exactly Mafumo does. Political Assistant, Mr David Mafabi, then explained that Mafumo is a presidential aide in charge of youth at State House.
However, members later told the President that it would be proper to allow the contest to go on uninterrupted since the other members have been investing their resources in campaigns.
The CEC meeting also rejected a proposal to have nominations for the aspirants seeking NRM flag for MP seats done at the district level.
The CEC also approved a number of guidelines that will be followed while conducting the primary elections and the national delegates’ conference without breaching the Covid-19 prevention guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
The latest State House revelations are a further indictment on the ruling party that is struggling to strike a balance between youth and experience in its senior leadership.
Many young cadres have announced plans to take on the senior positions.
Like Mr Kigongo, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga is one of the veteran cadres of the NRM facing competition from State Minister for Lands Ms Percis Namuganza, 34, for position of 2nd National Vice Chairperson (female).
After picking nomination papers recently, Ms Namuganza said it is time for the older members of the party to give way for the young people and then do an advisory role.
“Yes the elders are still there. But, they should continue to advising and guiding us. For those positions, we must be in also. We must fill them as the youth so that they [elders] can be in the backyard and guide us,” Ms Namuganza said.