The secretary general (SG) of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Ms Justine Kasule Lumumba, has blamed President Museveni for failing to find a lasting solution to the rift between her and the party’s electoral commission chairman, Dr Tanga Odoi.
Speaking to journalists at the party headquarters in Kampala yesterday, Ms Lumumba maintained that there is still bickering between her and Dr Odoi despite the current silence in the media.
She said: “The rift between Lumumba and Dr Odoi has not yet trickled down. Nevertheless, I call on the national chairman, who is President Museveni, to come and solve this issue because equally as Lumumba, I am tired of this.”
However, the NRM secretary general gave no specifics and declined to discuss the cause of the bad blood.
She blamed the divisions at the party secretariat on President Museveni whom she said, despite knowing whatever is happening between her and Dr Odoi, he has always “swept” the matter under the carpet.
Ms Lumumba acknowledged that the continued public spat between them as party principals is eroding the integrity of their offices and her individual dignity as a woman.
“I did not only talk to him (the President); I wrote to him. But whatever is happening internally in the party, he should come and solve this. If he cannot find a solution to this, it is also not good for us as leaders at this level. Him as a national chairman should stop pushing this under the carpet because he appointed all of us,” she said. Since their appointment three years ago, Ms Lumumba and Dr Odoi have had a sour relationship over how the party secretariat should be run.
The two have clashed over different issues, including Dr Odoi reversing Ms Lumumba directive to fire 364 party officials.
Early this year, Dr Odoi described Ms Lumumba as “a good mobiliser and a good dancer who is able to mobilise for votes but is a bad administrator”
However, when contacted, Dr Odoi said at the moment, there is no bickering between him and the SG.
Senior presidential press secretary Don Wanyama advised the two parties to look for the national party chairman, “because they all have access to him and I am sure they can find him and address their issues to him”.
The NRM deputy spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, advised Ms Lumumba not to pass her responsibility of mobilisation and harmonisation in the party to the chairman. Mr Opondo said it is important that the SG tables her issues for discussion and resolution in the relevant forum within the party but not in the media.
Commenting on other issues in the country, Ms Lumumba asked President Museveni to do more, as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to rein in on security chiefs to the stop ongoing kidnaps and random killings.