HOW ONC HAS RESCUED NRM FROM DYING PREMATURELY
By Hakim Kyeswa
The Baganda have a saying “Etaafe etuusa mugenyi” The idiom was after a greedy bachelor who was about to slaughter his chicken for a meal. In the process, he heard a visitor calling at the front door and halted slaughtering the chicken because he didn’t want to share his chicken meal with the visitor.
This same story applies to the current situation in the NRM political party where NRM is a reflection of the chicken that was nearly to be killed and only to be saved by the visitor. The owner of the chicken is a reflection of the entrusted people by the President of Uganda HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to oversee the government and the party on his behalf, and the visitor is a reflection of SPA Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye.
In the post-2021 general elections where NRM recorded a poor performance, particularly in the Central/Buganda Region, the supporters turned desperate having lost almost all their Nrm strongholds from village to district level for example in Luwero district marked as the Mecca of NRM/A to the extent of losing all the member of parliament vacancies to the National Unity Platform headed by Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine. The majority of the NRM diehards had opted to run on an independent ticket to avoid the failed brand of NRM with a lot of financing but still failed since they were well-known as NRM members to the electorate.
In 2021 as we drew closer to the polls, the NRM unveiled the Emyoga program as the trusted tool to win elections for the party in addition to other programs such as the Youth Livelihood Fund, Micro Finance Support Center Fund for SACCOs and disbursement of hard cash amounting to about Ugx 2.5 billion given by the President to youth leaders of Kampala as a start-up to alleviate poverty but all was fruitless.
In the post-election, the majority of ministers like Hon. Haruna Kasolo of Micro-Finance had no explanation to the President for the shocking loss that they termed as a wave that also cost their parliamentary vacancies to the opposition. After their emergency meeting, they resolved to inform the president that his overstay in power had made him lose touch with the electorate turning him unpopular and propelling forward the NRM ideology, that he should instead promote his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba to fit the arising wave of the young people.
The stressed President didn’t give them a response as he waited for a report from his intelligence agencies, a move which was not known by the group that was misleading him.
The Strategic President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni still in surprise with his exceedingly poor performance in Buganda appointed Rt. Hon. Richard Twodong to replace Hon. Kasule Lumumba with a directive to investigate what led to the poor performance of NRM in Buganda region and other parts of the country and also restore the party support in especially Buganda Region but all have been castles drawn in the sky.
There has been an off-radio situation among the ministers regarding popularizing the brand of President Museveni for almost 12 months after the elections. All ministers feared to mention President Museveni’s extended interests to contest in 2026 which gave fertile ground to the framers of the MK movement fronted by aggrieved MPs who had personal issues with President Museveni.
As always described as being unanticipated by his longtime comrades like Gen. Kahinda Otafire, President Museveni decided to focus on his ONC office at Kyambogo which has been executing in silence for a while and only appearing during elections to perform special assignments and common Ugandans knew less about its existence due to its intelligence style of management. He appointed Hajjat Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye as the new manager and added responsibilities to her as his Senior Presidential Advisor on Political Affairs and this was in the mid of the last year 2022.
SPA Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye being not known to the majority of the thoughtfully powerful NRM figures the reactions from within the government concluded her appointment as being a waste of time and they scorned the appointing authority.
The secret security report informed the president that, failure to follow up on public service delivery and the failure to rightly use the elections funds to safeguard his votes at most polling stations are the primary causes of his poor performance in Buganda and other parts of the country. These reports were accompanied by evidence indicating that each polling station had only one agent instead of two, and only twenty thousand shillings were given to each polling agent instead of one hundred thousand shillings per polling station released by the party chairman.
The angry President instructed the ONC new manager to appoint coordinators across the 18 sub-region and tasked her to monitor drug usage in health facilities, UPE and USE programs, Identify areas that have no access to safe water, utilization of the constituency funds (Emyooga), and to bring back his “Bazzukulu” grandchildren whether they are with his son Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba or Bobi Wine. This message sparked some flameless fire from the MK movement claiming that it was wrong for the president to consider them as “lost bazzukulu” who needed to come back to him. In my researched view, this was because of the way some Bazzukulu in the MK movement behave, especially when they declared publicly that they are not part of NRM, calling it a failed party. President Museveni cannot allow anyone close to him to go against the NRM ideology, and I believe that it’s the reason why he instructed Hadijjah to reorganize his Bazzukulu ideologically.
Since the coordinators’ appointment in February this year, there is a positive impact on the monitoring of government services in the education and health sectors. Headteachers have been arrested for misuse of the capitation grants, drugs are being restocked in the government health facilities and the brand of President has revived with endorsements for his candidature across the country in political discussion on the traditional and Online Media “Omalako Jajja Tova Ku Main”.
I see a revived brand of President Museveni in the villages which has silenced the proposal of some failed government officials and some misguided Bazzukulu of retiring Jajja at a time when the country needs him more. When you go to the ONC office in Kyambogo, you may think it is the secretariat of NRM of its full-time functionality and the hospitality the give to the cadres. It’s now the Meeting place for all NRM members.
Many Presidential pledges are being fulfilled through his ONC- Kyambogo office and strategic engagements have been witnessed with Buganda Kingdom and the Muslim factions of UMSC and Kibuli for a sustainable reconciliation. Jobs have been given to youth to spare head the ONC activities as coordinators across the 18 subregions with a salary allowance and other support tools like laptops to fit in the technological error.
For the above reasons, I am confident that NRM has re-touched base with its supporters and if the pace is maintained, I foresee a strong win for NRM and President Museveni within Central Region and increased support across the country.
Conclusively, the coordinators and Bazzukulu whether with a political position or not, intensify the monitoring and reporting on the service delivery in your villages. Doing that, Jajja will be keeping on the Main to win the 2026 elections.
This is your time as the Bazzukulu under the stewardship of the SPA Hadijah Namyalo Uzeiye the Chief Coordinator of the Bazzukulu and manager of ONC.
God bless you and may He continue to protect President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The writer is an NRM cadre.