President Museveni (sixth-left) and Central Executive Committee members of the National Resistance Movement in a group photo during the

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has adopted a resolution recommending President Yoweri Museveni to be the party’s flag-bearer in the 2021 presidential elections.

One of the resolutions adopted by CEC at the end of the five-day retreat stated:

“To emphatically recommend to the membership of the Movement and its organs that His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, our leader and General of the African resistance, continues leading the Movement and the state in 2021 and beyond — as we eliminate the bottlenecks to transformation.”

The retreat was held at the Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park, Nwoya district in northern Uganda. According to sources, the last session of the meeting, during which the resolutions were adopted, was endorsed by the NRM’s second national vice-chairperson Rebecca Kadaga, who is also the Speaker of Parliament.

The recommendation was proposed by the NRM deputy secretary general, Richard Todwong, and unanimously adopted by the members. This was after the leaders acknowledged and applauded Museveni

“as the theoretician and principal strategist of the Movement in the fundamental liberation struggles and success of our people over the last 50 years”.

Sources said the recommendation will subsequently be considered by the party’s district conferences and the National Executive Committee, before it is tabled before the party’s supreme organ, the National Conference, which is expected to convene in November this year. If the National Conference picks President Museveni as the flag-bearer, he will be seeking his sixth term as the directly elected president of Uganda.

In December last year, Parliament passed an amendment to the Constitution scrapping the presidential age limit that had been set at 75 years. The constitutional amendment, however, is still a subject of legal challenge in the Supreme Court. NEC, the third highest party organ, also adopted a number of resolutions, some directing the Government to take certain actions.

Ideology and strategy

The party leaders resolved that NRM cadres should appreciate and internalize the need for appropriate strategy and tactics at every phase of the struggle for the fundamental socioeconomic transformation of Uganda and Africa. They resolved that the party invests massively in the development, consolidation and dissemination of its ideological line, as well as the systematic mentorship of its cadre ship.

The party, it was resolved, shall

“direct the Government to expeditiously ensure the teaching of patriotism straight from primary school to university and other tertiary institutions.”

The party will embark on sensitising and mobilising Ugandans to work together for the political and economic integration of East Africa, as well as the consolidation of an African common market.

The economy

The NRM leaders directed

“the Government to expeditiously study the multiple requirements of operationalizing the parish model and proceed with the implementation without delay.”

Under the proposed parish model, various facilities will be established at the parish level to facilitate the process of empowering Ugandans economically. The facilities will include storage facilities for agricultural produce, technical services, irrigation equipment and fertilizers.

They will also include banking and financial services established at both the district and parish levels to avail low cost credit to farmers who want to engage in commercial farming and any other income generating investments.

New directives

The NRM leaders further resolved to direct the Government to “significantly recapitalize the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) in the new financial year, to enable the bank play a more vigorous and central role in providing affordable credit for transformative effort.

“The re-capitalization of UDB shall include relocating the agricultural credit facility at Bank of Uganda to UDB,” the resolutions read.

Although the Government initially planned to provide UDB with sh500b for recapitalization, it has not been able to allocate substantial amounts so far. In the 2019/20 financial year, the Government plans to provide the bank with sh50b.

“The party further directed the Government to urgently revisit the legal and administrative regime for environmental conservation, as part of a fundamental push to roll back and mitigate the effects of climate change,” the leaders stated in the resolutions.

However, it was not made clear what exactly the leaders proposed to do in this sector. But one of the major environmental challenges is the massive deforestation and encroachment on wetlands. The NRM leaders directed

“the Government to revisit the reform of the land legal regime, which currently creates unacceptable obstacles to national development”.

The statement released by Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM communication officer did not give any details on reforms to the land laws that leaders envisage. However, the Government has in the recent past unsuccessfully attempted to amend the law to facilitate quicker acquisition of land for development projects.

A number of projects have stalled due to disagreements over compensation and land ownership. The leaders resolved that CEC sessions be rotated throughout the 18 NRM operational zones. CEC members will also be visiting government and private projects within the zone hosting the session.