Museveni fights to fix NRM cracks in Kalungu

In a last-ditch effort to shore up the ruling NRM party’s standing in Thursday’s by-election for the Kalungu LC-V chairman, President Museveni made a passionate appeal to party supporters in the district to bury their differences and promote the broader party interests.Museveni, who arrived back in the country on Tuesday morning from a four-day working visit to Equatorial Guinea, dashed to Kalungu on the final day of campaigns to drum up support for the NRM candidate Richard Kyabaggu.The ruling party has run a disjointed campaign due to sharp divisions within their ranks. A number of NRM leaders opposed to Agriculture minister Vincent Ssempijja openly campaigned for the DP candidate Emmanuel Musoke.President Museveni greets NRM supporters in KalunguMuseveni addressed two rallies in Kalungu town council and another in Lwabenge sub-county. At the Kalungu town council rally, Museveni spent more time speaking to the issues that are tearing apart the NRM’s support base.“I have been told that supporters of [former Kalungu East MP Umar Lule] Mawiya have been isolated in development programs such as Operation Wealth creation (OWC); this discrimination must stop,” Museveni said.Mawiya leads the faction opposed to Ssempijja, the current Kalungu East MP. Museveni had initially planned to spend two days in the district but ended up appearing on the final day of campaigns. His appearance, however, could do little to repair the cracks.He promised to meet the two warring groups after the elections and resolve their issues.“Trust me,” Museveni told his party supporters, “Mawiya’s group should not disobey me because Ssempijja also can’t disobey my directives.”Museveni also appealed to the electorate not to listen to the DP message, which he said is laden with lies.As Museveni berated DP for its confusion and how Uganda’s oldest party cannot take state power, leaders of the two DP factions joined hands to rally support for Musoke.Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi joined his opposition colleagues; notably, Betty Nambooze (Mukono municipality), Medard Lubega Sseggona (Busiro East), Babirye Kabanda (Masaka Woman), Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka municipality), Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu West), DP president general Norbert Mao, former MPs Dr Lulule Bayiga (Buikwe South) Joseph Mutebi Balikuddembe (Busiro South) and DP faction leader Samuel Lubega.The opposition politicians held a long procession from Lukaya road toll before addressing a mammoth crowd at Masaaba playground in Bukulula sub-county.
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