President Museveni on Sunday met 54 political, religious and business leaders from Kanungu District at his country home in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District, and among others, discussed the dismissal of 27 members from the ruling NRM party.
The officials that met the President include, among others, 19 district councillors, the district NRM chairperson, Mr Godfrey Karabenda, the chairperson of Southwestern Uganda Tea Nursery Bed Operators Association, Mr Frank Byaruhanga, Rev Fr Aloysius Ndama, the Dean of Macuro Parish, and Mr Charles Beshetsya, the district speaker.
The 27 members were expelled from the party after they were suspected of supporting former prime minister and NRM secretary general Amama Mbabazi who had fallen out with Mr Museveni and announced that he was running for president. Mr Mbabazi hails from the district and was until 2016 the MP for Kinkizi West.
Five of the expelled party members contested on Independent ticket and won sub-county and district councillor seats. They are Mr Nelson Natukunda (Kihihi Sub-county chairperson), Mr Pison Ndyabanawe (Nyakinoni Sub-county chairperson), Mr Zepha Mugisha (Kihihi Town Council chairperson), Mr Keneth Tumuhamye (Kanyantorogo Sub-county chairperson) and Ms Allen Turyasingura, the councillor for Kihihi Town Council.
“They carried dismissal letters. They told the President how they were chased. They were accused of supporting Go Forward (Mr Mbabazi’s campaign drive). They told the President that they want to get back into the party. He said they go back and that they should not have been expelled because NRM should be bringing people together,” Mr Beshetsya, who was the group leader for the Rwakitura meeting, said yesterday.
He added that the affected members requested to be given letters, allowing them back into the party to avoid legal challenges. Mr Beshetysa said the President promised to arrange a meeting for all members from the district that were expelled from the party.
“They were chased basing on rumours and this created disunity and poor performance of the party in the last presidential election; there have never been efforts to bring reconciliation,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
President Museveni informed the group that anyone including Amama is free to rejoin the party because NRM preaches unity and tolerance.
He added that members who would wish to rejoin the party should be discipline and follows party rules adding that he is ready to welcome Amama back to the ruling party should he (Amama) decides to return.
Mr Museveni got 56.7 per cent in Kanungu in the last presidential election.