OPINION: NRM must Demonstrate Strength by Disciplining Kadaga

By Andrew Miti
A mass party with interest in maintaining power must emphasize discipline as one of its core values. Without discipline, there is no strong organization.
Rebecca Kadaaga, the Speaker of parliament and the second national vice chairman of the ruling NRM party, in her quest to retain the position of Speaker, has demonstrated that party discipline is not part of her commitments.
During the launch of her campaign at Munyonyo, she did not elaborate why she wants to remain Speaker.
Instead she launched arrogant and reckless blackmail of her deputy Jacob Oulanyah.
Her attack smelt restlessness and Kadaga’s deep feeling that she is untouchable in Ugandan politics.
This therefore tests the ability of NRM to call its members to order.
Any sober political analyst would easily tell that Kadaga was waging war not only against Oulanyah but against her party establishment.
“My party wanted me to squeeze the opposition but I am a Speaker for all,” she said.
Populist as it sounds, Kadaga knows too well that in multiparty politics, party interests ( which are aggregate interests of people who voted it into power) are bigger than her posturing.
But she simply wanted to incite the opposition against her own government.
She positioned herself as the one who makes decisions in parliament and not the elected members.
Parliamentary decisions are made by MPs but Kadaga has hijacked that role. She is killing parliament.
A strong political entity should be able to remind Kadaga that she holds delegated powers.
The party that voted her into the position is the one with power.
Why should she undermine it?
To show that NRM is bigger than the individual, CEC and NRM caucus must stamp their authority on Kadaga by stripping her of the assumed political invincibility and by so doing , the party sends warning to upcoming party leaders that their talents are required in the party but within the set rules.
Otherwise, if Kadaga today demonstrates she is powerful than all party organs then it could as well signal the cracks that will surely inter the party soon.
Kadaga boasts of having interests of all Ugandans in parliament but public opinion is that the 9th and 10th parliaments under Kadaga have been the most greedy, reckless and wasteful to the annoyance of citizens.
Is that what the opposition and some NRM MPs see are better performance from Kadaga?
The two parliaments have witnessed the greatest budget allocations in the 100 years of parliament existence.
Is that in the interest of citizens?
And the MPs know it too well that it is hard for them to retain their parliamentary seats because of how the population perceives parliament. Is that what Kadaga celebrates ?
The MPs should be asking for a forensic audit into the operations of parliament so that we have a transparent institution.
You could even start with the deal Kadaga has entered with Sudhir Ruparelia for hire of space in Kingdom Mall.
You could start with the deal with Roko before you tackle the procurements and staff recruitment and dismissal.
It is understandable that Kadaga joined NRM at the time it was eager to have numbers and didn’t have structures for cadre identification, recruitment, training and placement.
So Kadaga came with her personal baggage — pettiness , vindictiveness, quarrelsomeness which have become her outstanding qualities.
But today , the party has so many women cadres — well educated and polished characters. These should be given space to inject their qualities into the party.
Clinging onto Kadaga who has told people that without her Museveni would be nothing , is like conscripting an opposition cadre into NRM party leadership.
Kadaga is opposing Museveni’s leadership without telling Museveni directly.
She should oppose him during party primaries not when the party leaders have been elected and a government established.
Swing the political axe on Kadaga, liberate the suffocated voices in Busoga and send a message that in multiparty politics , no one is bigger than the party.
Procrastinate and regret once Kadaga assumed speakership again.
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