Kampala. As ruling party National Resistance Movement prepares to choose its flag-bearers, more than 50 aspirants for various positions, including president, are expected to run unopposed. Five positions are vacant (at least for now) while more than 2700 contestants are jostling to join 10th Parliament.
The latest details are contained in a list of the NRM aspirants in the forthcoming party primaries complied at the conclusion of the registration of aspirants at the party headquarters on Friday. The list is based on the contestants who picked nomination forms by deadline day.
Asked for the official figure of how many aspirants picked forms for the various categories of leadership positions, Dr Tanga Odoi, the NRM Electoral Commission chairman, said he will release the official results tomorrow (today). The NRM secretary general, Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba, said “NRM is a mass party”, adding that “every position will filled” before the 2016 elections and that the party will hold a national conference to elect the party national leadership in October.
She said “a refined list” will be released by NRM Electoral Commission after the vetting of all the NRM candidates. “We are still compiling the list,” she said.
Vurra County tops the list of 45 congested positions with 22 aspirants, all vying to join the 10th Parliament on NRM ticket. This constituency is located in Arua, a district in West Nile, and is currently represented by Mr Sam Okuonzi Agatre, an independent member. Other crowded constituencies are Ruhaama County in Ntugamo district with 14 contenders, Aringa County in Yumbe District with 13 candidates and Agago in Agago District with 12 hopefuls, among others.
In Ruhaama, the 14 entrants are fighting to replace First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni who recently announced that she would not be seeking re-election. She said she had sought God’s guidance before taking the decision and called for unity during the polls. Ms Museveni has represented Ruhaama constituency in Ntungamo district since 2006.
Ms Museveni replaced the Forum for Democratic Change’s Augustine Ruzindana. Although it’s not yet clear whether Mr Ruzindana will contest again, in the event that he chooses to reclaim his constituency, he will face it off with the NRM flag-bearer expected to be picked from one of the jam-packed contests in the NRM. The battle for Koboko District Woman MP will be one of the hotly contested position to watch, with the State minister for Youth, Ms Evelyn Anite, the architect of President Museveni’s sole candidature project Ms Nusura Tiperu, a member of East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), and two others seeking to unseat Ms Margaret Babadiri.
In the contest for the position of the vice chairperson western, Gen Kahinda Otafiire is expected to face President Museven’s son-in law, Odrek Rwabwogo, and three others. The incumbent, Mr, Matayo Kyaligonza, is also standing for the same position in what political analysts called “the battle of the titans”.
Northern Uganda is equally another contested area where the NRM big shots will be fighting for the NRM Vice Chairperson position. Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Third Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali and minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hilary Onek will be seeking to grab the position from Housing minister, Sam Engoola.
In Central region, Hajji Abdul Nadduli, the Luweero LC5 chairman, will face Hajji Muyanja Mbabaali Buganda caucus chairperson Mr Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi (Mityana North MP), Resident City Commissioner, Ms Aisha Kabanda (resigned to contest for Butambala district Woman MP) and two others.
NRM’s big shots like Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the Kamuli Woman MP and Speaker of parliament, who is the NRM National Vice Chairperson (female), as unopposed. To reclaim Kamuli Woman seat, Ms Kadaga is expected to face her political rival, Ms Deborah Mwesigwa Mugerwa, a former senior enforcement supervisor with Uganda Revenue Authority.
Al-hajji Moses Kigongo, the current NRM National Vice Chairman will tussle it out with a one Hakiim Asiimwe Lukenge.
In Kampala, the battle for the Lord Mayor flag within the NRM party is also begging to take shape with the NRM Vice chairperson for Kampala, Mr Edward Francis Babu facing Mr Singh Katongole Marwah Paminda Mr Godfrey Nyakana Amooti Abudula Kitatta and two others. However, the six NRM candidates will face the Democratic Party’s Hajji Erias Lukwago.
On the list there are some positions without aspirants. For instance, the position of NRM district Chairperson in the districts of Adjumani, Koboko Amuru Lamwo and Amolatar are vacant.
“Where we have one candidate there is nothing we can do, we will just declare them unopposed once they have fulfilled all the requirements,” Mr Rogers Mulindwa, one of the NRM spokespersons said.
The number of districts with many NRM aspirants vying for one position.