John Robert Ekongot, a former contestant in the recent election of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Central Executive Committee (CEC) has written to the party leaders demanding for compensation amounting to Shs 118 million.
Ekongot wanted to join CEC, the ruling party’s topmost policy organ, as vice-chairperson in charge of Eastern Uganda. He was however ordered out of the race which also had former minister, Mike Mukula and former Tororo Municipality MP, Sanjay Tanna.
In a letter dated August 14, and addressed to the secretary-general, Ekongot stated that as a loyal party member, he complied with the CEC decision for him to bow out of the race, but expected the party to compensate him for the money and time he spent while campaigning.
He stated that, given the restrictions, the government instituted to curb the spread of Covid-19, it meant that contestants had to spend much more than they would have spent under normal circumstances.
This saw him having to spend more than Shs 72 million to market his candidature to members of the NRM’s national executive committee (NEC) that were spread across the country.
For the time he spent campaigning, Ekongot presented the ruling party with a valuation of Shs 46 million.
The director of information and publicity at NRM secretariat, Emmanuel Dombo told The Witness that he did not see the logic in Ekongot’s demands.
“He was given an option and agreed to step down because there are other things he can do,” Dombo said.
The secretariat’s public relations and communications manager, Rogers Mulindwa said that compensation was not part of the deal given to any contestants that were asked to opt-out of the race.
“It has been the policy of the party that you opt-out willingly and no one [was] asked to step down with an option of compensation,” Mulindwa said.
He added that, much as Ekongot has every right to requisition for compensation, it remains the discretion of the party to consider or reject his demand.