The National Resistance Movement recently organized a Delegates Conference which Included the Primary elections of the Youth League executive along side flag bearers for the #Youth Members of Parliament from East, West, Central, North and National (Female). The elections were by electoral hence voters who qualified to vote were Sub-county Chairpersons, District Executives members alongside 2 Out Going District Councilors, note that we were informed on the day of voting that part of the delegates/voters are not allowed to vote and these where the newly voted Youth Councilors. NRM was in charge of transporting, accommodating, feeding and as well as welfare of the delegates, hence for this to happen, accreditation of delegates was to be decentralized at district levels to save time & be orderly from the 28th (Which was Canceled a day to arrival) to 29th-30th (moved to 31st) October 2015.
How Youth Leadership in the NRM-Primaries was Walled to Favor the Rich by the Party in the elections.As a contestant for Youth MP Eastern Region, I was shocked at the way the EC handled the elections. For starters;
- The election dates where pushed over 6 times, hence candidates had to spend more money to campaign and maintain their support since June even on the last day of elections.
- The nomination process did not exclude the youth, who were made to pay 2 million shillings just to show interest & subjected to a high fee of over 1/2 a million to certify academic credentials in UNEB.
- Accreditation of delegates on arrival was shady since short notice information was given for dates of arrival on the 28th as set before to the next day. Hence many of the delegates had were already in Kampala causing a rift. Accreditation did not begin until 1pm in the afternoon to 3am on the 29th since the EC seemed not to be prepared to handle the Process.
- The irregularities on the Voting Day: Election timing was from 10pm-10am 31st, hence voters had no time to eat, or even rest. This affected interaction as many of the voters decided to leave the grounds back to their places of rest, others to seek what to eat.
- Lack of voters registers, the EC had started the voting with out the voters registers claiming we should use the delegates IDs which many of the delegates did not have well-as those who did not qualify to vote had them. We disagree until registers were generated!! NB: Which lacked names of a lot of delegates and included names of those who were not even youth in support of particular candidates to vote.
- When we started voting, Particular Rich candidates had funded each voter from the Eastern Region over 100,000ugx in return they give up their voter rights, letting their agents do the voting to be sure they voted. The few who voted faced intimidation from favorite candidates of the NRM baring them from having a secret ballot election since all were watching voters tick their candidate. With this kind of intimidation, voters decided to vote without free will.
- The Party facilitated some delegates with shillings 500,000 for accommodation, feeding, transport etc at the last moment. This did not take into consideration how delegates with no knowledge of Kampala stranded hence increasing the burden of finding accommodation for delegates on top of it all, paying for them.. This leaves the rich in position to do so.
Hence, from point “A-Z” NRM Primaries in Namboole where poorly organized causing huge turn of events and creating an un-conducive environment for FREE and FAIR Elections accommodating all. Above all, we too the candidates and youth are to blame for not raising higher voices and our leaders taking for granted the small voices we raised.
I have not decided to take any course of action as of yet, but for now communicate what transpired. I hope we come to a common understanding on this matter for the good of the entire Youth Fraternity.