Museveni Demands Audit on NRM Over Jinja East By-election Loss

Kasule Lumumba

President Yoweri Museveni is yet to get over the loss in the recently concluded Jinja East by-election and has currently demanded for an audit on the activities of the NRM Secretariat.

NRM’s candidate Nathan Igeme Nabeta lost to FDC’s Paul Mwiru in a contested by-election held on March 15, 2018. Jinja East seat fell vacant after Court of Appeal on January 12, annulled the election of Nabeta on grounds of falsification of election results.

Prior to the polls, President Museveni camped in Jinja in a bid to reclaim the seat for the NRM flagbearer, but his efforts were futile after Mwiru sailed through.

The latest is that President Museveni has since then been so bitter about this by-election loss and has consequently heaped blame on the NRM mobilisers and in particular the NRM secretariat headed by SG Justine Lumumba.

“After the results were announced, the President called me on phone. He was so bitter and summoned the SG not to accept the results, he told Lumumba to challenge the results in courts of law,” a top source who preferred anonymity said.

It is not surprising that a day after Mwiru was declared the winner of the Jinja East by-election by Electoral Commission, SG Lumumba called for a press conference contesting the results and vowing to go to court. Earlier on Nabeta had also vowed to respect the outcomes of the election, but after Museveni’s summons, he (Nabeta) also made a U-turn saying his voters were intimidated.

An impeccable source also told the Insider that Museveni has pointed fingers at his NRM mobilisers whom he blames for not doing enough groundwork for Nabeta to reclaim his parliamentary seat.

It has emerged that during the campaigns, top NRM mobilisers were missing in action in Jinja and only appeared on the eve of the election day when it was too little too late to mobilize votes for Nabeta.

Statistics show that a bigger percentage of people who reside in Jinja are from Langa, Acholi and Teso sub regions-areas whose voting pattern could have been influenced by Deputy SG Richard Todwong and Deputy Treasurer Kenneth Omona who come from Lango and Teso respectively.

However, Todwong only stepped in Jinja on the eve of Election Day and this was after Lumumba went to meet Museveni who asked why Todwong was not part and parcel of the campaign trail. Whereas Nabeta along with others such as Moses Balyeku (Jinja West) were campaigning, Todwong was in Northern Uganda supervising his projects.

It should be noted that NRM secretariat top bosses left campaign activities in the hands of a few loyal NRM MPs who could not do much without their efforts. Apparently, a week before the polls, top NRM MPs, renowned mobilisers spent three days in Jinja preparing to protect Nabeta’s vote rather than looking for them. According to a source, Museveni believes that if all NRM mobilisers had put their efforts together then Nabeta and NRM could have emerged victorious as it has always been the case in other by-elections.

Museveni is also seeking accountability from the office of the director of Finance and Administration Dr Hassan Wasswa Galiwango for the expenditures during the by-election. Emergence of camps in the NRM secretariat has greatly affected activities of the ruling party and this has made mobilization and coordination nearly impossible as top bosses continue to take divergent strides that disadvantage the party.


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