- By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
Fresh disagreements between, Dr Tanga Odoi, the Chairperson of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Electoral Commission and the party’s Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, have emerged over the newly created team of village mobilisers by President Yoweri Museveni, who also doubles as the party Chairman.
Museveni recently created structures (comprising of three NRM volunteers per village) whose establishment was spearheaded by employees of the Kyambogo-based Office of the National Chairman (ONC) headed by Milly Doka Babalanda.
The Babalanda teams have since come up with a database profiling thousands of volunteers drawn from 65,200 villages across Uganda. These comprise of two youth leaders (one female and another male) plus one elder with genuine love and deep ideological understanding of the NRM.
However, in a statement last week, Lumumba disowned the newly established group of mobilisers, saying NRM Secretariat and CEC aren’t aware of and don’t yet recognise the mobilisers by the ONC.
Now, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, Odoi expressed disappointment in the manner through which Lumumba has handled the matter. He says it is not right for Lumumba to run to the press when she is not satisfied with the decision by the head of state.
“Who appoints the Secretary General, the Chairman of the party recommends the name of the Secretary General to CEC (Central Executive Committee) and CEC endorses it. So if the Chairman of the party had done a mistake, the SG of the party does not go to the press. The SG meets the President more often than me. She should instead go and discuss it with the President and say that Mzee there is a contradiction here than running to the Press,” Odoi said.
“This is nonsense and it must stop. All of us in the party are doing work on behalf of the President, If you are given a small Coat, don’t make it bigger. This is nonsense, the Secretary General has failed to pay staff 5 months’ salary, just staff 20 or 30 people , now she is going on to criticise the head of state and you want Tanga Odoi to keep quiet, am I paid by her? I am paid by the party, those simplicities should stop, I am now talking as a member of CEC, I have no contradiction and I have no fear,” he added.
According to Odoi, NRM is recruiting 200,000 cadres because it is the party in power but the programmes will be for the people of Uganda not NRM supporters saying “it does not need to come from the party Secretariat, it needs to come from the National Chairman, who is the President of Uganda.”
He says Lumumba and her team ought to focus on the various tasks at the Secretariat instead of criticising the President.
“The Secretariat has a lot of work and if they burry their heads in the sand to criticise the Chairman of the party where they don’t have power, they are wasting time. I want to say these coordinators and their creation does not spell any contradiction within in NRM, it is only the People who didn’t understand or who have malicious attitude who are thinking there are contradictions.
If the SG doesn’t know about it, I am now telling her as a member of CEC, the ONC wrote to her a letter on May 15 indicating that this is what we are going to do, but she has written a letter on May 24 saying she doesn’t know anything, who is saying a lie?” asked Odoi.
“And lastly who is the Secretary General to contradict the Chairman of the party? Who is she yo go against the CEC?” asked a furious Odoi.
Asked whether NRM is disunited, Odoi said, the party only contains individuals who are descending to ‘weevils.’
“There are some individuals within NRM who want to become weevils, this is not time to accept weevils when other parties are having weevils, it is time to clean and say the truth. We don’t want weevils in NRM we are here to stay and if you are tired, the bus moves and stops. You jump out of the bus, others jump in, I didn’t leave my job in Makerere to become a messy person here, that you keep quiet, everyone is quite because Lumumba has talked or Secretary General has talked, what is that position, it it a person from Mars, is it rocket Science to become Secretary General, rubbish,” explained Dr Odoi.
Odoi did not spare the Secretariat’s publicist, Rogers Mulindwa, who he said was now to react to his (Odoi) remarks by rubbishing them, saying Mulindwa is a spokesperson of Lumumba as an individual not the Secretariat.
Meanwhile, when Top radio contacted Mulindwa, he only said that they are used to Odoi’s lamentations and desisted from delving deeper into Tanga’s explanation.