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Party Leaning Independents Worry NRM Leaders in Busongora By-Election

Chris Baryomunsi, the NRM party vice chairperson for Western Region says independents become extremely disruptive in the previous elections, that if there are legitimate concerns then they need to be addressed without rapturing the party.
Gedeon Mujungi being flagged-off as the NRM's official flag bearer

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Leaders in the National Resistance Movement-NRM party are concerned about party members opting to run as independents in the Busongora South parliamentary by-election set for this month. 

The party leaders are worried that the decision by the party members to go independent will cost the party official flag bearer Gideon Mujungu and split party support.

NRM is set to face stiff competition from Mbaju Kathika the NUP flag bearer and Aloysius Kighema of the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC. 

The party also faces challenges from its members; David Mulindwa Isimbwa who lost his bid for the NRM flag in the 2021 general election and Barozi Frank Asiimwe who have both picked nomination forms to ran as independents.The two had reportedly agreed to step down for the NRM flagbearer after meeting president Museveni last month at State House. 

Over 10 aspirants have picked nomination forms for the by-election. 

Chris Baryomunsi, the NRM party vice chairperson for Western Region says independents  became extremely disruptive in the previous elections adding that if there are legitimate concerns then they need to be addressed without rapturing the party position.

He says they have resolved to meet all aspirants who are leaning to NRM party so that they can reach consensus before the nomination this week. 

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Richard Todwong, the NRM secretary general says the party’s success in Busongora will largely depend on unity of its members and their desire to resolve conflicts using internal organs. 

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Johnson Kamalha Kalyasa, the Kasese district NRM publicity secretary says there is need for NRM to harmonise on the  party members who have opted to run as independents if the party has to win the by-election.

But Keneth Bagonza a member of the NRM party blames the rise of independents to the NRM’s weak disciplinary and arbitration committees. 

He says the committees has been made weak because of interferences in their work by the party chairperson who is always quick to receive complaints that should have been handled by the committee.

“The problems begin with structures, most independents come in because they want to have a chance to meet the president and the only sure way is appearing to be big headed…” Bagonza reasons.

Barozi told URN that he opted to get back in the race after being falsely accused by people including some within the NRM that he had stepped down after being bought-off by the president.

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The parliamentary  seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of NRM’s  Mujungu last month on grounds that the elections were marred by gross irregularities.

Three Justices of Appeal led by Fredrick Egonda Ntende overturned the decision of the High Court in Fort Portal and concurred with Thembo’s rival Jackson Kathika that there were irregularities at Katunguru Primary school, Katunguru Market, and Busunga Primary school polling stations in Kasese District.

   

The Electoral Commission-EC has set August 18 as the day for the by-election. 

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