OP-ED: How Intrigue, Negligence & Pressure Groups Led To NRM Loss In The Oyam North by-Election


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By Lubundule Andrew B.F

Kampala: After the death of Hon Charles Engola, Oyam district had to conduct a by-election which happened yesterday and the NRM party narrowly lost the election. This has acted as a lesson to the confusion in the NRM party and a lot should be checked and put right before 2026.

Below are some of the crucial matters which should be attended to;

The NRM party’s structures are all expired and people no longer trust in them, this has affected the party setting and nothing is being thought of.

In the new administrative units those in power have decided to just pick people of their interest because the party can’t conduct elections in only the NRM party which has no formal structures, Youth leaders are in their 40s. This has led to the loss of respect, trust, and interest in the party activities, in fact even the NRM secretariat is no longer active as before because people no longer trust it, it’s toothless.

Whoever wants anything looks for the party chairperson through Hajjat Hadijah Uzeiye Namyalo aka Chief Muzukulu the ONC office is more active than the secretariat. Right now NRM is President Museveni because the secretariat is powerless.

In Northern Uganda, the region doesn’t have a CEC member who could command the regional party forces to come together and fight for a noble cause. Those in command are local politicians hiding in the late Dr. Obote’s legacy and couldn’t do much because Oyam, Lira, and Gulu are UPC’s strongest bases.

The decision of replacing fallen legislators with their dormant and inexperienced siblings is another threat and in Oyam NRM Lost because of this, people didn’t see any hope in Engola Junior. It’s on record that if Dr Tanga Odoi doesn’t like you, you can’t win a party election.

People are not allowed to choose people of their choice but rather go with what the so-called party bigwigs want. At times the secretariat and party EC sits and decides a candidate for the people and we ask ourselves were the democracy we advocate for as a party?.

Failure for putting the NRM factions on the same page is a bigger challenge. We witnessed Balaam Barugahare campaigning on behalf of the Mk Army which has a so-called Supreme Leader who has the same powers as our party chairperson. This group always de-campaigns the party settings and the party leadership has never condemned their acts.

People should know that President Museveni is very different from other pressure group leaders and his love is amazing, so at such times let’s always concentrate on one agenda and later proceeded with our so-called struggle for who to lead.

Hajjat Hadijah’s absence was a very big gap, the people of Oyam expected and were eagerly waiting for her team. She has a different vibe and approaches she puts in people.

She gives hope, she is unique, she is pro-people and her mobilization is over the moon. She preaches wealth creation and leaves supporters healed, unlike our secretariat bosses who conduct campaigns in expensive hotels and only plan on intimidation and vote rigging.

The president’s notice of the NRM leader’s part B of doing less with the aim of only rigging also exposed the fake mobilization of the NRM leaders and due to strict supervision from government watchdogs the enemy was exposed and finally the party lost.

What should be done remains in the hands of the beholder, the party should immediately restructure from the top to the bottom the electoral commission should be the first followed by party leaders at local levels, or else 2026 mobilization will cost us a lot.

Authored by,

Mr. Lubundule Andrew B.F

A political Analyst and an Academician.

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