The National Resistance Movement- NRM Secretariat has
pitched camp in Serere County in an attempt to build consensus within the party
structures to support Phillip Oucor, as the party candidate.
This follows a sharp division within the NRM camp over the choice
of a candidate for the Serere County by-election. A section of the party
structures in Serere have defied the party by declaring support for Emmanuel
Omoding, the son of the late MP, Patrick Okabe.
Earlier attempts by the NRM Electoral
Commission chairperson, Dr. Tanga Odoi to bring the structures
together to support Oucor didn’t yield any fruits. On Saturday, the NRM Secretariat led by the director
of the mobilization, Rosemary Ssenidne Nansubuga arrived in Serere on a fact-finding mission.
The team accompanied by the director of communication, Emmanuel
Dombo, a senior mobilizer in the NRM Secretariat, Sam Eyenga, and the other staff
started consultation meetings on Sunday with different stakeholders. At one of
the meetings, Oucor was seen on his knees, pleading with the party members for
support in a video clip that circulated on social media.
“I promise to work with all of you as a leader. Let’s work
together for the development of Serere which is bigger than all of us,” Oucor said in the video clip. But Dombo, in an interview with our reporter on Monday, said
that they are building consensus to drum support for the party candidate. He adds
that as the NRM, they are standing with the flag bearer against an earlier
communication by some party members to back Okabe’s son.
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Since the demise of Okabe in an accident in
December last year, there has been controversy among NRM party members. Some of the party members have thrown support behind Omoding while others are behind Oucor.
This stems from the declarations made by the Deputy
Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa at the burial in Serere. Tayebwa presented Omoding to the mourners as a replacement for
his father and proceeded to invite the NRM chairman for Eastern Uganda, Capt.
Mike Mukula to bless him.
The decision was preceded by several calls from MP
and ministers at the burial to support Omoding as a replacement for his father. But a few weeks after the burial, Dr. Odoi disagreed with
the proponents of Omoding’s candidature under the NRM party, arguing that the
NRM had a flag bearer whom the Constitution shields when it comes to by-elections.
Stephen Otage, the NRM Chairperson in Kateta sub-county who
doubles as the chairman of all NRM chairpersons in Serere County insists that
their decision to back Omoding won’t change. Omoding, on Friday, told Journalists that he will contest as
an independent in the forthcoming by-election slated for February
According to the Electoral Commission roadmap released early
in January, the nomination of candidates for the position of Serere County MP will
take place on February 9-10, 2023.