ARUA. The members of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) who lost last year’s party primary elections have formed an association in preparation for 2026 general elections.

The association dubbed ‘Action for Transformation and Sustainable Development Association’ was formed with the aim of uniting the NRM primary election losers across the country so as to remain politically relevant in their areas of jurisdiction ahead of the 2026 elections.

While meeting the West Nile team at Pacific Hotel in Arua town on Thursday, Mr Davis Beingana Nkunda, the association publicity secretary said they also intend to mobilize and sensitize the masses on socio-economic transformation of Ugandan communities with the aim of improving their household income.

He noted that the association held its first meeting at Kati Kati in Kampala on October 20, 2021 from which members resolved among other things that the NRM party should wholesomely uproot divisionism in the party by stopping the use of their four principles against their members which are; use, ignore, dump and recycle.

“This has led to loss of some members from the party to other destinations. They use us, they ignore us, they dump us and then when time for election comes, they recycle us. So, this principle should be uprooted from the party,” Nkunda said.

“Members again resolved that the NRM Party Electoral Commission should be streamlined if not overhauled for the purposes of conducting free and fair elections in the future. This will cool down the bleeding hearts of members who participated in the 2020 NRM primaries,” Nkunda added.

Nkunda said as senior carders, they will push for all the necessary reforms in NRM within the party since they are still the original members of the party.

Mr Robert Mathias Muhereza, the association chairperson encouraged the members from West Nile to form a committee which will sit on the national committee and be part and partial of the decisions taken at the national level.

“For us we are just leaders but every decision taken in the association should come from the members themselves. We are right now traversing the country so that we can gather ideas from our members from each region which will in turn help us to raise our concerns as a team,” Muhereza said.

Mr Fred Bada, the former Ayivu West Division Parliamentary contestant said: “I would like to sincerely thank the team from the national secretariat of this association. This is a dream come true because when we received the WhatsApp group notification, it was like a joke. But to see you here physically in Arua gives me hope that we have a journey that we are ending somewhere.”

“The words of encouragement that you have given us gives us hope that we are MPs in waiting. If we continue with this consultation and support, I can assure you that we shall continue to be relevant and the people out there will give us the opportunity to represent them in Parliament,” Bada remarked.

However, Moses Angundru, the former Terego West County MP, emphasized that members should use the association to ask for reforms in the NRM Secretariat.

“First of all, why did we lose elections? So, if I am not mistaken, the mistake was made by President Museveni. What is called an election, you need to organize yourself, there must be a proper register, but for our primaries, from nowhere, somebody just wakes up and says that if you have a valid Identity Card, you are free to go to the polling station and vote. Voting was done multiple times and that is why we need to ask for reforms in the party now,” Angundru stressed.

Moses AMoses Angundru stresses a point during the association meeting in Arua on Thursday. PHOTO BY ANDREW COHEN AMVESI

Jimmy Madira, a Lawyer and a former contestant for Upper Madi Okollo County Parliamentary seat advised the team on the legality of the association.

“I have not seen the documents for the registration of the association yet and I think that is the bottom line. We need to come very clear from the beginning and as already stated, one of the ways by which associations like these ones are fought is through their legal existence, but if we come very clear with clear objectives and the registration process, I don’t think we have any problems,” Madira guided.

The Action for Transformation and Sustainable Development Association is targeting more than 3, 000 NRM Parliamentary contestants who lost party primary elections across the country