Justine Kasule Lumumba, the Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has refuted media reports that President Yoweri Museveni, the National Chairman of the party asked CEC to allow his long serving vice chairman, Hajj Musa Kigongo to contest for another term unopposed.
Kigongo is facing former minister Francis Babu, Hakim Asiimwe Lukenge a businessman and Kefa Mafumu. Museveni is the only one of the nine members of the Central Executive Committee who was nominated last week unopposed.
Media reports quoted Museveni as having told CEC that it would be unfair to challenge Kigongo especially when ‘nothing is known about the two of his challengers apart from Francis Babu.’
Addressing the media on Sunday at the NRM Secretariat in Kampala, Lumumba said Museveni never at one point asked CEC to allow any of its members to run unopposed.
According to the CEC meeting that was held on Friday, all the candidates who want to be part of the party’s top organ will be vetted on August 11.
Those who are currently part of CEC will be vetted from State House Entebbe while the non-members will be at the NRM headquarters where they will be connected via video conferencing to answer questions.
Lumumba clarified that all incumbents will not be part of the vetting process when the time to vet them comes neither will they participate in any proceedings where a person they nominated or seconded is being considered.
After the vetting, those who will have been successful will be forwarded to the National Executive Council [NEC] to be further vetted and then forwarded to the National Conference for election.
According to the NRM roadmap, the national conference will sit between August 18-20, but unlike in the previous elections, it will be held at district level not at Namboole Stadium, in order to adhere to the dictates of the Ministry of Health on public gatherings.
“The National Conference will elect the nine Executive Committee members and the presidential flag bearer by resolution and circulation and there will be no assembling of members except during voting from 9 am to 3 pm. Each candidate will be entitled to two agents and after voting, counting will be done by the district registrar in the presence of the agents, district NRM chairperson and administrative secretary,” Lumumba said.
Lumumba added that the results will then be passed on to the Party Electoral Commission headed by Dr Tanga Odoi, which will tally them and declare the winner of the eight positions that have attracted competition. She emphasized that every delegate after casting their votes should be given their facilitation and go back to wherever they have come from.
“This shall be done in order to ensure that we protect the population from the risk infection of Covid-19,” Lumumba said. All the nine CEC positions that are up for election have got incumbents seeking to retain their seats.
Those seeking reelection include, Hajj Musa Kigongo who is tussling it out with Francis Babu, Rebecca Kadaga, the second vice chairperson who is tussling it out with Lands State Minister, Persis Namuganza, vice chairperson eastern, Mike Mukula is competing with Sanjay Tana, Charles Engola the vice chairman – northern is running against the deputy speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah, Gen Matayo Kyaligonza the vice chairperson western is against Minister Chris Baryomunsi and Col. Shabana Bantariza among others.
Lumumba said for other party positions such as the chairpersons of women, youths, historicals, people with disabilities, entrepreneurs among others will be competed for after the party has finished holding the most crucial elections such as party primaries.