11 July 2019

Uganda: Museveni's Visit Worsens NRM Party Rivalry in Mbale

Mbale — President Museveni's recent visit to Bugisu Sub-region, has triggered a rift within the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leadership in Mbale District as the rivalry among its supporters.

The internal rift worsened after the Presidential Tour Organising Committee headed by Mr Paul Kimamati, the Bulambuli District NRM chairperson, reportedly side-lined the district Woman Member of Parliament (MP), Ms Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, who was the host, from its activities before and during the visit.

The President was in Bugisu Sub-region for two days as part of his campaign to foster wealth creation at household level, last week.

A section of NRM leaders allied to Ms Galiwango's camp said such a decision is part of a well-designed mechanism by the party leaders to isolate her from their activities and the party itself.

"We are not happy with how the NRM leadership is treating our leader but we will fight this war within this party even if it means disintegrating it," Mr Yusufu Kadama, a councillor for Nakaloke Town Council, said.

One of the NRM chairpersons, who talked to Daily Monitor on condition anonymity, said they tried to have Ms Nakayenze involved but some leaders in Ms Lydia Wanyoto's camp opposed it.

Ms Wanyoto is the NRM women league chairperson, who is said to be eyeing Ms Nakayenze's seat in 2021 General Election.

"They said she would paint a bad picture before the President. They branded her a rebel MP who did not support the party position during the age limit voting," the source said.

Ms Nakayenze has been at loggerheads with her party after she voted against the removal of the presidential age limit in Parliament last year, contrary to her party position.

Age limit aftermath

Speaking to Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Tuesday, Ms Nakayenze said her troubles started after she voted against the removal of the age limit.

"I have been going through a lot in life since then. I have been victimised and isolated. I have, however, decided to remain strong because I know I did what was right," she said.

She added that she is still an ardent member of NRM party despite being labelled a rebel.

Commenting about Ms Wanyoto's bid, Ms Nakayenze said she was free to contest and voters will make the final decision.

Reasons

While addressing hundreds of residents at the celebrations to mark 100 years of Jewish Community in Uganda in Nabugoya Village, Namanyonyi Sub-county, Ms Nakayenze said she was being victimised by her own party members because of doing what her people want.

"I did what you sent me to do but now I'm being victimised. I request you to pray for me and God will listen to those prayers," she said.

"There is a lot of persecution but God is protecting me because of your prayers," Ms Nakayenze, a wife to Dr Hassan Wasswa Galiwango, the director of finance and administration in the NRM party, said.

She is a teacher by profession and has been a Woman MP for two consecutive terms since 2011.

Other NRM MPs, who voted against the age limit from the sub-region included Mr John Baptist Nambeshe (MP for Manjiya County in Bududa District) and Ms Justine Khainza (the Woman MP for Bududa District).

Mr Micheal Werikhe, the MP for Bunghokho South, who is also the State minister for Trade, was the master of ceremony assisted by Ms Sarah Nambozo, the Woman MP for Sironko District.

Mr Werikhe said: "I noticed and I think it was not right to keep her away. She should have been allowed to participate. We need to respect honourable Nakayenze because she was duly elected," Mr Werikhe said.

However, Ms Wanyoto said she is not aware that Ms Nakayenze is being victimised by the party leaders.

"We are not aware that she is being isolated. We supported her and took her to Parliament and if she has issues, she should stop crying and lamenting and take her issues to NRM party leadership not to the media," she said.

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