NRM Secretary General Kasule Lumumba on Monday held a closed meeting with EU diplomats who grilled her on a number of governance issues affecting contemporary Uganda. According to NRM Senior Communications Manager Rogers Mulindwa, the diplomats were led by Her Excellence Anna Merrifield, the EU Deputy Head of Mission. Others were France’s Clement Moutel and Italy’s Lorenza Gambacorta. A number of political officers came along namely Denmark’s Christian Palomaki, Sweden’s Daniel Arhem, UK’s Nicolas Rae, the Netherlands’ Theo Oltheten and Belgium’s Frederic Lavis.
Lumumba had deputy treasurer Kenneth Omona and NRM Secretariat Director F&A Dr. Hassan Galiwango. The Delegation visited Lumumba to understand the ruling party’s views on the political climate in Uganda and inevitably, Lumumba was asked about the perceived political mistreatment of Bobi Wine.
The SG ably answered telling the diplomats there is no way Bobi Wine would politically have germinated into the political colossus he is today if it weren’t for the ruling party’s policies mainstreaming full youth participation in the governance of this country. She bragged that actually the fact that Bobi Wine, a boy from Ghetto would make it thus far, is indicative of the successful story Museveni-led Uganda has become. She said the involvement of the youth at every level under the NRM-led Uganda was deliberate as their representation is provided for at every level just like that of women and other interest groups.
Lumumba also spoke about internal democracy in NRM which she said was work in progress. She disclosed that NRM register was being prepared to ensure transparent primary elections are held on good time to allow aggrieved parties adequate time to petition and have their concerns administratively attended to. She said the ruling party had also realized the big problem of inadequate civic education and that they are ready to carry out their own voter education because the EC alone clearly can’t exhaustively do the job at hand.
Lumumba also spoke about Gen Muntu’s ANT saying there is no way such new parties would vibrantly be coming up if there was nothing to hope for in Uganda regarding democratization. She added even other political formations like People Power have been able to blossom because of the liberal governance policies of the NRM.
She expressed optimism that even the current disagreements regarding POMA would soon be resolved since government had expressed willingness to decentralize decision-making from the IGP to lower levels when it comes to organizers of political activities seeking police authorization to hold their political activities.
On the UCC cracking the whip on some media houses and media practitioners, Lumumba said the problem largely related to opposition efforts to use the airwaves to incite hate and intimidate the ruling NRM politicians. She also complained about the international media operating in countries the diplomats represent overconcentrating on propagating the Ugandan negative story while keeping blind eye on the positives of the NRM government.