It was a press conference called to communicate the resolutions of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on the party’s electoral and political roadmap but it took an ugly turn as the party’s electoral commission chief, Dr Tanga Odoi to publicly told off the secretary general, Justine Kasule Lumumba.
The two had separately called journalists to their parallel media briefings, fixed at the same time (11:00 am on Friday) to give out almost similar information.
Tanga’s press conference was to sit at Plot 13 Kyaddondo road, the headquarters of the NRM electoral commission while Lumumba with other party officials were preparing for theirs at the NRM party headquarters at Plot 10 along the same street.
This was before Emmanuel Dombo, the NRM director of communications, telephoned Tanga, asking him to join Lumumba’s press conference.
Tanga sat quietly and watched as Lumumba read the CEC resolutions after which, she called him to present the roadmap.
He, however, chose to address the press from his chair far away from the recorders and microphones that had been placed on the table in front of Lumumba.
Amid complaints from Journalists, Lumumba vacated her chair which, however, Tanga Odoi, declined to occupy citing the fear of contracting coronavirus.
But even then, he did not say anything on the subject for which he had been called to present. He explained that he had been ambushed to attend a press conference he didn’t know about, yet the roadmap was not ready for release.
Odoi made it very clear that the sole mandate of organizing elections in the party belonged to the Electoral Commission which he heads.
The CEC agreed on Thursday to maintain the system of lining-up behind candidates for all the positions except on the election of members of the CEC and the presidential flag bearer who will chosen by the circulation of resolution and adopting them through a virtual meeting of the National Executive Committee that is going to be held between August 6-8.
Meanwhile, Lumumba has asked the police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest any member of the National Resistance Movement [NRM] found flouting the COVID-19 guidelines.
She reminded the NRM politicians that belonging to the ruling party doesn’t put anyone above the law. She said that NRM should instead be at the forefront of implementing the guidelines because they were issued by their government.
Lumumba added that President Yoweri Museveni swore to protect the people of Uganda and their property, therefore, the NRM members who are trying to undercut his efforts should be dealt with strongly.
Her comments follow a video showing the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng who is aspiring to be the woman MP for Lira district freely schmoozing with electorates without masks or social distancing.
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