According to Kenneth Atungoza, one of the candidates who contested in the 2010 NRM primaries (Masindi Municipality) says in his view, NRM primaries need to change.
“When I contested in the primaries, I was of the opinion that in order to ensure effective representation in the term we sought to serve, as well as prolonged party dominance in the region, the party had to ensure that candidates have robust debates on radio, in villages, schools etc”, Atungoza says.
“Of course this never happened instead, it was politics of money and smear where the only thing the victor would be proud of is that he/she played dirty and won dirty. This kind of politics of winning by hook or crook, not only shuts out new ideas and solutions to our challenges, but also affects our economy negatively”, he adds.
“This is because what’s on offer is not ideas but borrowed money. My learned friends (economists) will tell you, you borrow to invest not otherwise. As a result, in 2011 inflation hit 35% and once again in 2017 the economy is turbulent, resulting in the weakening of the shilling.
It’s surprising that even the NRM EALA primaries were eventful. One wonders why the contestants didn’t fiercely debate their opinions and views on East African integration so that the party sends the best candidates. Afterall, they were vying for an opportunity to debate and represent Uganda in the Regional Assembly”, Atungoza says.
In the ongoing EALA elections, President Yoweri Museveni warned politicians against using money and telling lies while campaigning in search of votes.
The president who was addressing the NRM parliamentary caucus on Wednesday night says such bad practices paint a bad image of the election which could discourage Ugandans from voting.
However, the President’s critics have accused him of being at the forefront of monetizing elections.
The NRM electoral commission chairman Tanga Odoi also described the just concluded NRM primaries for the East African Legislative Assembly as having been marred with bribery among candidates who were contesting, which he says is dangerous for the future of the ruling party.
Odoi also accused some party members of deliberately orchestrating the chaos that was witnessed at State House Entebbe in the process of the elections.