More than 50 Ntungamo District NRM delegates were blocked from attending a delegates meeting at the district council hall on Monday.
Others were called and told not to show up following cancellation of their invitations by the district secretariat. The delegates that were disallowed included heads of sub-county and division NRM leagues including the elderly, youth and women.
The district NRM chairperson also Kajara County MP Steven Tashobya said the delegates had been erroneously invited by the administrative secretary and Resident District Commissioner.
“It was regrettable that some members were sent away. I invited no one myself and this was a job for the NRM administrative secretary and the RDC. Most of them were not supposed to be in the meeting we do not know how they were informed,” Mr Tashobya said.
The administrative secretary, Mr Johnson Nkirirehi, however, said most of the people who turned up were not invited but had thought they were eligible because they had attended the 2010 national delegates conference at Namboole.
“We had not invited these people but because (Amama) Mbabazi (who has taken leave as the party secretary general) invited them to Namboole in 2010. They thought they were part of the delegates and so they had to come. That is why they were not allowed in,” Mr Nkirirehi told Daily Monitor after the meeting.
The RDC Mr Fred Bamwine distanced himself from the mess saying his only role was to invite the delegates but the list had been provided by the administrative secretary.
Mr Silver Mwebaze the head of youth league for Nyakyera Sub-county who was among those blocked said it was a humiliation to them and maintained they had been invited.
“I was called to attend the meeting only to be told on the day that I should not get in. I don’t stay in Ntungamo and I had suspended everything I was doing to come for the meeting. I wasted transport and came I don’t know why they have blocked us. I think I am a delegate because I also was at Namboole. And if they tough I was not why did they invite me?” Mr Mwebaze said.
Speaking at a press briefing shortly after the meeting the Itojo sub county councilor Mr Denis Muhumuza Savimbi together with other delegates including the Ruhaama Sub county LC3 Chairperson Tom Rwomushana, Rubaare sub county councilor Mr Alex Twebuze, district speaker Mr Dan Nabimanya, Ruhaama councilor Mr Cosmas Kakuru among others said the decision was taken without serious discussion about it.
“I strongly and totally disagree with the appointment of a secretary general. If anyone thinks the mess in the party has been brought by the secretary general -what about the secretary generals at the lower level. People are hastening to pass this because they think there is an invisible hand behind but it will turn against the party if that invisible hand is no longer there,” Mr Muhumuza told the press.
Mr Tashobya however said the decision was an agreement by all members who were also given chance to discuss it.
Minister Tumwebaze is quoted to have emphasized the need for an appointed secretary general to avoid party rifts since elected secretaries may fail to bend to the rules by party leadership.
First Lady Ms Museveni expressed the need for party cohesion and national unity which she said will bring prosperity.
The meeting moderated by minister for Presidency Frank Tumwebaze was attended by MPs Janet Museveni (Ruhama), Mr Steven Tashobya (Kajara), Mr Mwesigwa Rukutana (Rushenyi) and Mr Yona Musinguzi (Ntungamo municipality). Other participants were Ntungamo District chairman and council members, NRM heads for sub counties and municipality and district NRM executive.
According to sources, the meeting resolved that the party secretary general be appointed by the party chairman other than being elected.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor