State minister for Lands Persis Namuganza yesterday attacked Speaker Rebecca Kadaga over a contentious Parliament motion that sought to discredit President Museveni as the two candidates made the final push for votes ahead of today’s elections for the ruling NRM party.
The party’s national delegates conference convenes at the various regional offices across the country to elect party leaders.
Ms Namuganza and Ms Kadaga are competing for the 2nd national vice chairperson female slot in a contest that has pitted the young against the old guards of NRM.
Ms Kadaga was facing three challengers, but two others pulled out of the race and left Ms Namuganza to take on the Kamuli Woman MP who has used her exposure and experience to market her candidature.
Ms Jane Frances Amongin and Ms Deborah Kyazike Kinobe quit the race after addressing the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party. All candidates convened at the party headquarters in Kampala and virtually addressed NEC members in the various parts of the country.
Ms Kadaga drew the first blood as she stung Ms Namuganza by telling NEC members that the position she holds in the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) requires experience and knowledge.
The 62-year-old legislator made her case by reminding NEC of her personal achievements, including international recognition because of her track record as an able leader and also a person who has for years fought for the rights of women.
Dispelling accusations of being an Opposition sympathiser, Ms Kadaga told NEC that all the years, she has been committed to the NRM cause and asked delegates to judge her on her work and not sentiments.
“I bring experience, my knowledge and commitment to the cause of the NRM and the continuous fight for human rights. I have been steadfast ever since we went multiparty. Judge me on my work,” she said.
Namuganza attacks Kadaga
As Ms Kadaga spoke, 34-year-old Namuganza was busy taking notes. When her time came, she fired back, accusing Speaker Kadaga of exhibiting indiscipline while presiding over plenary sittings without minding about the role the NRM party and the President played in her election to head Parliament.
Ms Namuganza reminded NEC of Parliament’s passing of a motion of displeasure in the President in May 2020 over his attacks on MPs for allocating themselves Shs20m each off the Covid-19 supplementary budget.
“We need respect for each other within the party because in these positions, we are either deployed by the party chairman or by the members through a vote. One of the people I am standing with is the Speaker of Parliament, and in order to serve in that position it was agreed upon in CEC but I was shocked to see her preside over the passing of an illegal motion to show displeasure in the President who is our party chairman,” Ms Namuganza said.
She promised to be the voice of the young generation and women in CEC. Ms Kadaga looked on and uttered no word as Ms Namunganza discredited her leadership credentials.
It took the intervention of the 1st national vice chairperson, Mr Moses Kigongo, to cool the tempers after he warned the candidates against attacking each other.
Secretary general Justine Kasule Lumumba outlined the events of today’s delegates conference, which will be held at district level. She said delegates will walk to the polling station,go to each of the 10 voting booths to vote by signing under the name of a candidate. They will then walk away. Final tallying and declaration of winners will be conducted at the party electoral commission offices in Kampala before the President closes the conference with a televised speech at 8pm.
Who to vote for
2nd National Vice Chairperson
Vice Chairperson, Kampala
Vice Chairperson, Central
Twaha Ssonko Kiganda
Moses Kalisa Karangwa
Vice Chairperson Western
Diini Emmanuel Kisembo
Matayo Kyaligon za
Florence Kintu Tumwine
Vice Chairperson, Northern
Samuel Odongo Oledo
Vice Chairperson, Eastern
Christine Harriet Akello
Vice Chairperson, Karamoja
Simon Peter Aleper
Jimmy Lokoru Tebanyag