Museveni Undermining NRM Party - Analysts Top story

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In short
The decision by President Yoweri Museveni to support losers in the recent National Resistance Movement primaries has anger sections of party members.

President Yoweri Museveni's backing of individuals, who lost in the recent election to contest as independent against the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party flag bearer, is an act of regime survival, political analysts say.

Although the decision will play to Museveni's advantage in the short term, the act will further polarize the party. It also goes a long way in confirming that NRM does not practice politics of principles.

Prof. Ndebesa Mwambusya, a senior lecturer at Makerere University's Department of History, warns that the President's move undermines the institutional growth of the party.

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President Museveni, who is also NRM party chairman, recently discarded provisions of the party constitution and allowed losers in the party primary elections to contest as independents. 

In a meeting at held at State House, Entebbe, last week, the aspirants promised not to de-campaign Museveni, but asked to be allowed to stand as independents, without being subjected to disciplinary action.

Museveni's decision, source say, was informed by the anxiety that NRM party members who lost in the primaries could join different opposition camps.

Dr. Aaron Mukwaya, a political scientist at Makerere University, says Museveni's will not stop the defections but further push disgruntled party members to the opposition.

He noted that Museveni's decision will most likely aggravate members who rejected the NRM primaries losers, to vote against party flag bearers.

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Analysts however notes that the NRM party structure gives President Museveni the leeway to abuse party process.

Mukwaya says

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The NRM party Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba, who recently announced that the party would expel losers who defy party constitution and contest, now says a committee is to be set up to handle issues arising from the chairman's decision to back losers.

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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.