Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza, the sitting NRM vice-chairman for western Uganda turned abusive as the Central Executive Committee (CEC) moved to resolve to disqualify him from the race.
Kyaligonza was competing with the Housing state minister, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and former Kalungu Woman MP Florence Kintu.
When CEC – the party’s topmost policy organ met on Tuesday, August 11, to vet candidates vying for the various positions at CEC, lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa warned that it would be an illegality to allow anyone holding a public service job to contest for any NRM leadership position.
This, Kiryowa said as the NRM honchos eliminated Kefa Mafumu who was interested in dislodging Hajji Moses Kigongo from his long-held position of 1st national vice-chairman.
The contestants watched the CEC proceedings from the NRM headquarters at Kyaddondo Road in Kampala facilitated by a zoom connection to State House, Entebbe.
And when it was time for the contestants to address the CEC members, Baryomunsi brought up Kyaligonza’s issue, reminding the NRM bosses that their colleague was irregularly sitting on CEC since he is a civil servant.
Kyaligonza is Uganda’s ambassador to Burundi who was required to resign his job before being allowed to participate in partisan political activity. Baryomunsi’s submission also affected the candidature of Col. Shaban Bantariza who was also vying for the same position but hadn’t resigned as deputy executive director of the government media centre.
This triggered a heated debate inside CEC that the controllers at Entebbe muted the audio so that those at Kyaddondo Road could not listen in.
According to sources, Kyaligonza got infuriated so much that he went abusive, calling the secretary-general, Justine Kasule Lumumba, a “young girl” without any traceable contribution to the party.
“Where was this ‘ka-girl’ when we were fighting?” a source quotes Kyaligonza as saying. Kyaligonza is reported to have equally asked the same about the lawyers who wrote the legal opinion.
Sensing that Museveni was taking Lumumba stand and the position of the lawyers on the matter, Kyaligonza offered to resign as ambassador and retain the CEC position but he was told that it was too late.
“We wrote to them about two months ago, giving them a deadline to resign but they insisted and got nominated without resigning. Even if he [Kyaligonza] resigns now as an ambassador, it has no effect,” the deputy NRM secretary-general, Richard Todwong told The Witness.
Todwong said that they were unmoved by Kyaligonza’s insults. “We have always gone through such, you remember he did the same in 2015 when he was facing Odrek Rwabogo. You can’t use your position to go against the law or insult others,” Todwong said.