Days after the People Power elections management team extended by two weeks the period for politicians seeking the pressure group’s endorsement ahead of the 2021 general elections, Justice Forum (JEEMA) is advising its members to keep away from the process.
JEEMA president, Asuman Basalirwa is a close ally to People Power leader also Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine) given the role he played in Basalirwa’s election to Parliament where he represents Bugiri Municipality.
But JEEMA secretary general, Muhammad Kateregga told party members that while the party appreciates Bobi Wine’s contribution to Basalirwa’s 2018 election to party, they need to maintain their identity.
“Let’s appear more of JEEMA than anything else, the beret you are putting on, the colours you are using will not appear on the ballot paper. We should not confuse ourselves and the electorate,” Kateregga said.
The Bukomansimbi LC-V chairman spoke as the opposition party launched its new party symbol and logo at a brief function held at its headquarters in Mengo near Kampala.
“As JEEMA, we are going to relate with other political actors but what shall maintain our identity, and I would like to advise you that it is, or more less, useless to pick forms or [seek the endorsement] of any other group yet you are to stand as JEEMA candidate,” Kateregga said.
‘We don’t control that process [of choosing People Power candidates], and we don’t have any input in it. You’ll be betrayed and end up coming here crying,” he added.
So far, 56 JEEMA supporters have expressed interest to stand for Parliament and according to kateregga, about 20 of these have clear chances of winning.
Kateregga said that the party leadership is organizing a well streamlined nomination program, which will ensure harmonization of positions with other opposition partners to avoid clashes.
JEEMA Party Spokesperson, Abdul Noor Ssentongo Kyamundu, said they have already agreed to work with People Power as a pressure group but hastened to add that their members will retain their party colors and symbols if they are to contest for any position.
He also reiterated Kateregga’s position that since the party has already agreed to ally with People Power, there is no reason why its aspirants should pick expression of interest forms from the pressure group.