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By Mulengera Reporter

As election season heats up and contestants size up each other to snatch for themselves juicy positions in the National Resistance Movement (NRM), President Yoweri Museveni’s aide has revealed why the party’s First Vice Chairman, Al Hajji Moses Kigongo , is a strong leader who is trusted in taking the party forward.

Faruk Kirunda, the private secretary to the President in charge of media management, praised Kigongo’s credentials, further saluting the veteran leader for his role in keeping NRM afloat. “It’s safe to say that without Kigongo, NRM would not be the same,” Kirunda said.

Also manager of the Office of the NRM National Chairman based at Kyambogo, Kirunda went on to describe Kigongo as a loyal, dependable and reliable asset to NRM, lauding him for sacrificing the chance to serve in other positions in Government by preferring to give NRM all his time and energy.

“He is a true leader with no divided loyalties yet not extremist, a strong pillar! Kigongo is a brick in the foundation of NRM, safeguarding and promoting its fundamental values,” noted Kirunda.

“Many historicals have decamped, leaving a few like Kigongo to bridge the gap. Technically, this is called continuity and institutional memory. NRM’s dominance is significantly hinged on this factor which new parties lack.”

The highest ranking Muslim in NRM, Kigongo is also known for not engaging in high tension politics, only choosing to remain a stabilising factor in the party.

“On his own accord and on the instruction of his boss, President Museveni, Kigongo has done a lot to diffuse internal wrangles and the formation of cliques and camps. Even at the height of political activity and intrigue, he is seldom seen escalating tensions or abusing his position for personal gain,” the young turk from Busoga said of the NRM elder from Butambala.

He warned that parties which push out elders would end up badly.

“Pushing out elders brings a curse. It is like a child denying a father or mother because of advanced age. Today’s young people should know that tomorrow they will wear the grey crown and how they treated those who came before them will come to them.”

To strengthen his argument on why NRM still needs Kigongo, Kirunda used the example of DP and UPC, noting that all parties that have lost their seniors are in crisis while those without parental figures are worse off.

“DP has survived completely disintegrating because they still have elders like Dr Paul Ssemogerere to call everyone to order when things go overboard; UPC is only alive because of the continuity factor of elders from the Obote era.”

He warns the young generation that while masked in the enthusiasm of electioneering, they should engage in healthy competition based on time tested values and preservation of “old” wisdom.

“As NRM admits millions of new members, suitable founders should be retained with a say on the future of the party. How did they beat the odds during their formative years and during the bush war until they achieved victory and fulfilled their patriotic duty to their country? Who wouldn’t need that kind of insight and mentorship?

“No wonder, he is among the few senior leaders who have remained steadfast in NRM, others falling by the way side, others losing their sense of direction while others have perished due to over ambition.”

Kirunda believes that young political players need to maintain historicals in positions where they can have a say because they bridge the gap between the past and the future, and can groom, mentor and give direction to the junior generation.

Kigongo, although not a soldier, was instrumental in the NRM/NRA liberation war that ended in 1986. A close Museveni loyalist, he led the civilian administration system over liberated areas and has since served as Museveni’s vice chairman in the NRM, never holding another portfolio in Government.  Kigongo is currently vying to retain the position against a horde of new contestants.

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