President Museveni almost cancelled his scheduled Tuesday address to delegates gathered for NRM’s conference for special organs at Namboole.


Apparently angered by the chaos and confusion that continue to mar such high profile party activities, our sources told us.

Museveni, our sources said, expressed his bitterness during a four-hour meeting on Tuesday night at Namboole Stadium.

The meeting was attended by the NRM Vice Chairman, Moses Kigongo, the Secretary General, Amama Mbabazi, his deputy Dorothy Huhya and officials of the NRM electoral commission.

“This is very embarrassing. Totally embarrassing. Everyone…the youths, the veterans are complaining. I am not happy. Sort this out very quickly,” an angry Museveni reportedly told the leaders.

Museveni asked the officials why the voting for the special interest groups had not been concluded early, and Felistus Magomu, the acting chairperson of the NRM Electoral Commission, told him there had been some logistical issues that had to be sorted out.

We have been told that Mbabazi later verbally apologised to Museveni, saying they were doing their level best to bring the situation under control.

“Your Excellency, we are sorry this will not happen again. I’m going to ensure that every problem is ironed out,” Mbabazi reportedly said. At this point, our sources said that Museveni just kept quiet as if in deep thought, as the party officials looked on anxiously.

Museveni eventually agreed to talk to the delegates at 9.15pm but his tone and message did not disguise his anger.

“Sorry for keeping you waiting. I wanted to address all of you but I have been told some people are still voting,” Museveni began his address.

Talking about the violence witnessed during the NRM primaries, Museveni said it was caused by some party leaders who want to assume leadership for selfish benefits.

“There should be no hostility at all. No use of money. Leadership is a sacrifice and those who bribe you to get your votes want to use their positions to do something else. They think leadership is an investment,” Museveni said.

He vowed to cause an investigation into acts of bribery, violence and intimidation within the party.

Mbabazi fights

The Observer understands that part of the reason for the chaotic scenes at Namboole this week relates to Mbabazi’s quest to keep a firm grip on the processes leading up to the crucial election of NRM office bearers at the weekend.

As he wards off stiff challenge to his post from two senior NRM leaders, Mbabazi’s team is in control of accreditation of delegates, paying transport refunds and manning security.

For instance, The Observer confirmed that the accreditation process of all delegates is being handled by his daughter, Nina Mbabazi. She was seen pacing up and down during the conference for the party’s Special Organs this week.

Meanwhile, the same sources told us that Jacqueline, Mbabazi’s wife, is in charge of handling the transport refunds for the delegates, which is Shs 250,000 per delegate. Jacqueline Mbabazi was this week elected chairperson of the NRM’s Women’s League.

Emmy Katabazi, the burly operative from the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and a close Mbabazi confidant, is in charge of all security arrangements. Even the music to be played by JK Sounds, the contracted mobile disco, must be approved by those loyal to Mbabazi.

On Tuesday when our reporter asked one of the deejays for the title of a Luganda song praising the party chairman, President Museveni and Mbabazi, he smiled and said he did not know it.

By controlling these processes, Mbabazi is trying to tie any loose ends that could ruin his quest for reelection. Yet this kind of control led to mishaps and chaos. Some delegates from Buvuma, Rakai and Mukono caused a scene at the accreditation centre, arguing that ineligible delegates had been registered in their places.

At some stage, the IT system broke down, leading frustrated delegates to trade insults with organisers. Even journalists were not spared this confusion. Some who had gone to pick their accreditation cards found them missing.

It took a lot of cajoling before they could be let in. Yet the real drama was inside the stadium where voting for the various organs was taking place. Riot police assisted by the Special Forces fired teargas at rowdy youth delegates from western Uganda who were accusing one of the aspirants of rigging.

In the ensuing melee, some ballot boxes were destroyed and some people got injured. We have also been told that after the messy June conference, Museveni instructed Mbabazi during a Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting to ensure that such chaos is not repeated at the main national conference due this weekend.

Museveni, supported by other members of CEC, even proposed that the party should have a bidding system, where tenders for services are awarded to competent companies. Our sources said while Mbabazi supported this proposal at the meeting, he appears not to have taken steps to implement the idea.

Last week, CEC was scheduled to sit to discuss the organization of the conference but on two occasions the meeting was postponed because Kigongo was absent.

However, another CEC meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, September 8, and its major agenda was to discuss preparations for the weekend’s delegates’ conference, the chaos and the violence that marred the recent party primaries. We failed to get a comment from Mbabazi.

Otafiire complains

While acknowledging that Mbabazi as secretary general is in charge of organizing such an event, one of his rivals, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, told us that this tight control of the conference has already skewed the race in Mbabazi’s favour.

He urged Museveni to intervene before the main delegates’ conference.
“That is not fair but whatever the case we are also prepared to confront him. You people should support me to ensure that we bring order to our party,” Otafiire told us by phone on Tuesday.

Eric Adriko, the general secretary of the Historicals League, told The Observer it is a shame such acts of favouritism were taking root in the party. “We deplore acts of rigging and cheating in the party and strongly condemn all acts of corruption,” Adriko said.

Magode Ikuya, a member of the same league, decried the disorganization at the special organs conference saying it had been hijacked by tribalism and corruption.

“If somebody wants to stand for office, he will collect as many people from his region to come and vote for him,” he said. Magode said the delegates being used by selfish leaders are not aware of the consequences of their actions.

The NRM main conference that kicks off on Saturday is expected to draw over 20,000 delegates.
Meanwhile, at the Special Organs Conference that ended on Tuesday, Jacqueline, Mbabazi’s wife was elected leader of the NRM Women League.

The minister of Internal Affairs, Kirunda Kivejinja, was elected the chairperson of the Historicals League. Hassan Basajjabalaba is the chairman of the Entrepreneurs League, and Fisheries minister Fred Mukisa was elected chairman of the Elders League.

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0 #1 Jim Kamezza 2010-09-08 20:28
when will people get it that NRM as a political party no longer exists , wake up vote for change
0 #2 Nsinjo Mary Gorretti, Ca., USA 2010-09-08 21:46
The NRM which came to power throught the barrel of the gun is now facing its own music. The President is not sincere to say, "Leadership is a sacrifice and those who bribe you to get your votes want to use their positions to do something else."

Presidential elections have been rigged according to the Supreme Court ruling. Yet the President never came up to condemn electoral malpractices in which he is the beneficiary.

How can Mbabazi and other NRM electoral cheats be disciplined when rigging starts from the top? In public, President Museveni seems to be angered by the chaos and bribery at NRM elections but in private he is wining and dining with Mbabazi congratulating themselves how they have fooled the rest of Ugandans.

If the President was serious with his admonitions, how could he allow Mbabazi's family to control the election process. At the end of the day, one thing is certain: Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Absolutely.
0 #3 Mukiibi 2010-09-08 23:29
Please, stop deceiving Ugandans about M7 griling anyone. M7 is nothing but a hapless leader. Tell whoever doesnt have a brain, is not this m7 who has let millions of shilling stolen by his cronies??

Has he ever grilled any of these thieves? Is it not this m7 who has now let his security forces to opress the people? All these so called grilling is intended for western media but they have now read through all this crap.

There is nothing that M7 can do anymore to regain the false image he created years ago. The fall from grace has become a fall into a bottomless ABYSS. That is THE TRUTH.
0 #4 Joseph 2010-09-09 03:40
Because Museveni pays salaries to members of his family out of state funds, he cannot stop Mbabazi getting his family on to the gravy train.

If NRM wins the next elections, there will probably be several husband/wife teams in the cabinet. It is a slide into decadency that is surely unstopable. Museveni must take full responsibity for this outcome!
0 #5 Zziwa K 2010-09-09 05:11
What is happening now is no surprise, it had been predicted several years before. NRM is going to colapse under its own wieight, its a matter of time !!.
0 #6 Stephen Kakooza 2010-09-09 07:24
Its not true that President Museveni condems rigging because he used the same group that has shown NRM thier real character to rig his way of being un-oppossed.

How can Museveni stop Mabazi from using his family in organising just a mere NRM conference when he himself (President Museveni) has made state house a family affair naming on his family for government jobs, with his wife earning double salary of first lady and being a Cabinet Minister, daughter is the Principal Private secretary to President, Son is the commader of Presidential guard brigade, brother (Salim Sale) in the commander of Reserve force, daughter and Brother both are contesting for MP using government machinery. Just give us a break and all Ugandans including NRM should get united and we cannot fail to show this mafia group an exist whatever tricks they may use.
0 #7 Aine jones 2010-09-09 07:43
The National Rigging/Robbers Movement is unbwogable. Not even by their helpless c/man who's also thier Commander. Ugandans want change b'se they deserve better.
0 #8 Begumanya Bagumire 2010-09-09 09:29
Mr.Eric Adriko, Mr.Magode Ikuya, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, and many, many Officials in the NRM should stop complaining and whimping about the Dictatorship within the NRM,as their complaints and displeasure will simply pelt away, especially when Museveni is actually the main architect of all this meyhem and chaos as this man thrives only in such situation.

Why do you waste your valuable time in such a party which has betrayed the people of Uganda and is still bent on doing that for ever? You think those former NRM people hated Museveni? They loved him but then the people of Uganda take precedence over their personal interests. A fish starts to rot from its head.
0 #9 Kayambi 2010-09-09 10:28
My people let us not throw stones to the NRM but use our hands to humble ourselves and pray for mother Uganda. remember the prayers in Kololo we should continue to pray and pray hard until something happens.
0 #10 atuhurira china 2010-09-09 11:10
Mbabazi is well known for tribalism and chaos causing in NRM. This party IS for ugandans not for Mbabazi.

pleaz learn from your mistakes (IT IS ONLY FOOLS WHO LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES,WISE ONES LEARN FROM FOOLS MISTAKES)thank you for tanishing our president but remember your time is coming to end.

you should resign now before we kick you out of NRM.GOD bless those who hav been cheated in primaries for selfish inerests.
0 #11 Atuhurira from china 2010-09-09 11:25
pleaz ugandans we need a focused leader like MU7 but not change of president now. we need to work together very hard to push out all these corrupt minister from uganda and we should send them to hell for the bad name they have worked for.

pleaz ugandans dont vote these theives again. phase them out and you will see a very wonderfull uganda. in china where i stay, the president began with his own biological brother when he was found guilt of corruption and he killed him on day light and this is what we need in uganda for the better future of the next generation. let these theives visit their creator as early before they finish our country.
0 #12 Jim Kamezza 2010-09-09 11:56
m7 and his thieving historicals have already emptied the national coffers and accounts ready to go , the poor NRM supporters are being duped with fake stolen money. NRM good people dont waste your time join IPC your safer than clinging on dying old thieves like .......
0 #13 sn 2010-09-09 13:12
Preferably Eng. B Kigundu should out of honesty excuse himself out of the sure mess he has been 'enveloped' in.

Of course the president is not likely to support such a move but a professional engineer needs to be patriotic and not let the profession down by hanging on even when prounounced incopetent by courts.

Honest people step down at the slightest implication but after court pronouncement what is Kigundu waiting for? Must you sink with the ship or be consumed with it? Avoid Kenya 2007/8. There are definitely other engineers who can step in and will deliver a decent election like Kenya 2010.

With or without Kigundu it is possible to dismantle the sinking ship in parliament. It is time for people to get back to base in their respective DP and UPC and may be we need another party cooperation between DP and UPC as was in 1996.

With three blocks: Sinking NRM, IPC and DP/UPC at least the parliament can be taken away from NRM. We need a majority of MPs from IPC and DP/UPC, preferably 2/3 of the house.

Of course the project of new didtricts was primarily to secure safe NRM seats especially for women and new counties. IPC and DP/UPC must not let the country down by neglecting this body of MPs.

Kigundu may use mathematics and logic of balot stuffing, special polling stations, virtual polling stations and selective announcements to deliver the results of his project in a predetermined way but this must be resited.

Voter education is important, especially people must be taught how to detect and resist rigging. All the known methods used in previous elections and the recent NRM mess need maximum publicity.

Did we not hear the president talk about bribing of voters - that message must be amplified and taken down to the grassroots as coming from above.

Most important there must be a change, at least in parliament should Kigundu have his way and deliver on his project.

If we are to prosper in peace, if we are to see development in the health sector, education and poverty aleviation , Ugandans must be told this is not possible with a sinking ship. therfore vote wisely after 25 years of errors.

A two or three family helm is not sustainable nor is it desirable. Yes these family members may be educated but we should not trust our country to them even if they try to force themselves on us.

Vote them out and as much as possible resist any further attemps to let them have their way which is by messing up the electral prosess.
0 #14 Jonathan Kalani 2010-09-09 13:53
I want to believe that the irregularities in the NRM primaries are a lesson that such will not happen in the national elections. Why should I be hopeless about the political future of Uganda? The press should not paint a dark picture. God will see us through.
0 #15 kizito 2010-09-09 14:54
A thief grilling thieves. What a joke
0 #16 Ejokere Emukule 2010-09-10 06:32
Look at this:

Father Mbabbazi - Sec Gen

Mother/wife Jacquline - In cahrge transport refund and chairperson women's league
Daughter Nina - In charge acreditation and on another note you have

YKM - H.E and NRM Chairperson;
Wife Janet - First lady, Hon MP, MS Karamoja affairs;
Son Kainerugaba 1st Son - Commander SFG;

Another daughter whose name i do not remember now - incharge welfare at state house. So Mbabazi is not wrong to folow the foot steps of his boss. HE shouldn't be grilled for who will grill his boss for the same dynastic tendencies
0 #17 The Acholi 2010-09-10 06:48
Finally we are witnessing the end of the nrm. This bitter infighting will lead to a breakaway faction and this offers the opposition a great chance to get rid these thieves.

Everything must come to an end
0 #18 kintu 2010-09-10 07:32
What really amuses me is how these thieves are now crying "thief"! They have been complacently cheating the opposition but when the same happens to them they cry like the world has come to an end!

Is it a coincidence that all the acts that the opposition has been complaining about are the exact same things we are now seeing in the NRM elections?!
0 #19 ishmael 2010-09-11 17:29
Paul wrote in Romans 2:21-24 blaming those who condemn what they do. if you are a thief, why blame thieves? if you are a corrupt guy, why blame corruption? we are tired of hypocrites. i think GOD will have what to do to liberate our country.
0 #20 DAVID 2010-09-12 13:48

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