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 By Mulengera Reporters

 President Museveni has this Friday afternoon announced the establishment of an elections tribunal for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party with the sole assignment of deescalating tensions which resulted from this year’s party primaries. The tribunal will be chaired by city lawyer Kiwanuka Kiryowa (aka KK) who is renowned for his incorruptibility and assertiveness. There is unanimous hope among CEC members and other stakeholders that being a combative person, Kiryowa will be able to do an excellent job without anybody being able to compromise his tribunal. Other members will include Enock Barata, Oscar Kihika, Idris Kusiima and others. In total, they are to be 20 eminent lawyers all of whom are NRM-leaning. KK works with a Lugogo-based law firm whose leading partners even escorted President Museveni to Kyaddondo last month as he went to Dr. Odoi Tanga to be nominated for the job of national chairmanship and flag bearership for NRM.

“The work of the tribunal will be to scrutinize all the petitions that have been filed challenging the outcome of NRM elections. Their word will be final and the tribunal will comprise of KK and other very eminent lawyers of impeccable integrity,” says a source knowledgeable about today’s CEC meeting which Gen Museveni chaired in Entebbe State House.

The tribunal will be facilitated to do the job and their report and recommendations will be final. If they recommend cancelation of the winner or dismissal of one’s petition, that will become the CEC and therefore the party’s position. They will conduct hearing sessions and hear both sides before arriving at a decision as required by rules of natural justice.

Because such decisions by the tribunal are likely to anger and disorient some people making them to feel alienated and unwanted, Gen Museveni has also been mandated by CEC to establish a reconciliation committee to console those who will be aggrieved by decisions of the Kiryowa tribunal. It will comprise of very eminent Ugandans with no interest in NRM electoral politics. The idea is to make sure such people don’t get angry to join the opposition or leave the party completely.

The reconciliation committee will also make recommendations advising Gen Museveni on the appropriate deployment for such aggrieved cadres. There will also be another endeavor called the fact-finding committee that will move across the country to establish the extent to which the just ended NRM primaries met the minimum standards expected of a credible electoral exercise.

“There are areas where incumbents successfully rigged and yet nobody has petitioned but when in actual sense party cadres are quietly agonizing about what happened; maybe because they are timid and too frightened to speak out. Such people should have the opportunity to be heard to so that the gathered lessons can lead us into a better electoral process five years later. We also have some big people in the party, government and security who could have used their positions to marginalize and disadvantage some contestants. All that needs to be fact-found and understood so that similar mistakes don’t happen again,” a source that attended Friday CEC meeting explained to Mulengera News.   

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