In the ‘rarest incident of the century’, President Yoweri Museveni has finally accepted the defeat of his ruling National Resistance Movement [NRM] in the recently concluded Kyadondo East by-elections.
The president who personally went to Kyadondo and campaigned profusely for the NRM candidate, Sitenda Sebalu, has accepted his loss in a long article on by-elections.
“Since the general elections of last year, February, we have had seven Parliamentary by-elections,” Museveni wrote in an article dated 10th July, 2017 and penned down from his country home Rwakitura in Kiruhura district.
He said the NRM, its organisational weaknesses notwithstanding, has won five of the seven.
The NRM has won: Kamuli Municipality, Kagoma, Moroto District Woman (unopposed), Toroma and Upper Madi-Okolo. It has lost Aruu North and Kyadondo East to Independents.
“I congratulate all those who were elected including the two Independents (Hon. Lucy Aciro of Aruu County North and Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine of Kyadondo East),” Museveni conceded.
He said his party NRM wins most of those electoral contests, ever-since 1993 “when we had Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, mainly because of the spontaneous goodwill of the population towards the Movement on account of its contribution to security and the economic recovery of the country”.
He said NRM vision is correct and if only the NRM leaders and the civil servants could vigorously implement its programmes, the gaps that are still there would also be covered.
“When the NRM wins the by-elections, the Press, including the New Vision, are not happy. They do not talk about the victories. It is when the NRM loses that the Press is happy. The radios, the newspapers devote alot of space and time,” the president complained.
“This is not correct. The Press should be balanced. Otherwise, they will become part of the problem and not part of the solution. The Press also misleads the people, especially the youth.”
He said after the Kyadondo by-election, for instance, the news-papers at least, spent alot of space and time talking about the youth but in a defective and confusing way.
“Nevertheless, our esteemed editors and news persons need to know that when we talk about the management of society, we are not talking about biology only but also about ideology. What is the ideological position of those youth or those elders? Youth or elders are biological categories. They will not help society by themselves.”
Museveni argues that is only when they espouse correct and accurate viewpoints vis a vis society, vis a vis the world, that they become part of the solution.
“Back to the bye-elections, there are some bad practices that I saw in Kamuli and Kyadondo that should not be repeated. When I was driving to the District headquarters through Kamuli town, I passed through a gathering of Salamu Musumba’s supporters gathered at the round-about in the town, on the two sides of the road, heckling and shouting at me.”
Museveni says he saw the same practice in Kyadondo East at the junction of Zirobwe road. ‘This is unacceptable’.
He said the supporters of the different parties should go to their rally points and, thereafter, walk home; not assemble anywhere to taunt their opponents.
“The Police should not tolerate that. The turn-up was low in some of these by-elections. Was it due to intimidation?” he directed.
“Finally, the NRM actors should go back to our history and understand how we built up the NRM.”