Disagreements within the ruling NRM ranks in Kyotera district have reached fever high as a section of NRM leaders and mobilisers moved to openly endorse an opposition candidate against the state minister for Microfinance, Harunah Kyeyune Kasolo who is seeking re-election as Kyotera MP.
The disagreements can be traced from 2017 following the creation of Kyotera district which was cut off Rakai district. Some NRM leaders in the district accused Kasolo of promoting intrigues as he positioned himself to be the kingmaker in the district.
Soon, divisions within the NRM emerged and a faction, led by the Kyotera LC-V chairman Patrick Kintu Kisekulo has since John Paul Mpalanyi, a candidate sponsored by the Democratic Party (DP) for the Kyotera parliamentary seat.
Kisekulo has several party leaders with whom he is openly campaigning for the DP candidate in retaliation for Kasolo’s earlier attempts to end their political life. During the NRM primaries, Kasolo traversed the district campaigning against particular NRM leaders such as Kisekulo and Kakuuto MP, Christopher Kalemba.
While Kalemba has remained calm, some of his mobilisers frequently cross to Kyotera County to mobilise against the minister.
Magdalene Nasolo, the NRM chairperson for Mutukula border town has also taken the campaign onto social media, using platforms such as WhatsApp to send out messages against the minister whom she accuses of attacking, dividing and failing fellow NRM candidates at all levels in his quest to brand himself as kingmaker even after the intervention of senior government officials like President Yoweri Museveni’s brother, Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho (Salim Saleh).
Gen. Saleh met Kisekulo and Kasolo weeks before the September NRM primaries but he did not achieve much.
A few weeks ago, the state minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda Sssuubi who is also the NRM vice chairman in charge of Buganda region also made a futile attempt to resolve disagreements after the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Maj. David Matovu in a brief to the minister of the Presidency Esther Mbayo raised fears that fights could cost the NRM at next year’s elections.
According to Nasolo, the NRM party in Kyotera has weakened due to Kasolo’s misconduct, which may give room to other parties to win.
Kasolo has not yet responded to the accusations leveled against him as he neither picked nor returned repeated calls from our reporter on his cellphone.
However, Enos Mugisha, the Kyotera NRM Vice Chairperson, says that Nasolo and Kisekulo violated Article 3(5)(e) of the party constitution, which specifically bars members from campaigning for a candidate sponsored by another political organisation or party, offering material support to a candidate sponsored by another political organisation or party, and campaigning against the official candidate of NRM.