Opinion: The ‘NRM Rebel MPs’ proves the democratic deficiencies within the party
When Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Justine Kasule Lumumba barred 30 Members of Parliament for the Party to be delegates at the NRM Delegates Conference on the 25th January 2020 at Mandala Stadium (Namboole). Because, these 30 MPs voted against the abolishment of the Age Limit in defiance of the President, the Party Chairman and Supreme Leader. Therefore, SG Lumumba and the President have directed them not to come.
It is funny that a party made out a rebellion is sanctions its own rebels. I always find that endearing of the NRM. That the ones who should understand and support this behaviour. Since that is how the party got made to begin with.
What we are seeing is a President, his party and his secretariat not accepting other things than the party line. Everyone is supposed to follow the guidance and the beliefs of the President. Everything else is out of question. In addition, if you dare to go against it, there will be sanctions, ramifications and consequences.
So today this news broke out: “Oscar John Kihika, the Director Legal Services NRM Party has said the 30 Party MPs who opposed the lifting of the Presidential age limit have a right to attend the Party’s Conference as per Article 11(2) (i) of the NRM Party Constitution” (91.2 Crooze FM, 15.01.2020).
That is why, the NRM own constitution doesn’t ban them, but the President and SG wants to do it. They might show up then, but don’t expect celebrations or huge relief. These MPs might get into trouble by defying that too. These people might just end up like Muhammed Nsereko, NRM leaning Independent, which will vote in accordance with the party, but as “independents”.
What we are seeing is singling out the ones who doesn’t following the program and the regime of Museveni. The ones inside his own camp whose daring to oppose him and his self-styled President for Life. Which is his memo and life work. They are defying that and because of that. The President are initially saying they have “no say” and “nothing to offer” in his party.
If they did, they would come with open arms, discuss why did what they did and talked it out. Instead his banning them and closing the door shut. No way to return, no mercy, no justification. Just, you didn’t do as your told. Therefore, now you got to suffer, outside alone and not allowed to play us friends inside. Real kindergarten stuff, not a grown up party with proper measures and protocol.
It is so endearing, the NRM Rebels, but the party doesn’t think so, apparently. For them, they are nuances and a reminder, that not everyone follows one man blindly, but that they can on their own. Peace.