By Nathan Ngobi
Sections of NRM party members from Budadiri West in Sironko district are showering praises on their own Dr. Kosea Wambaka Makwasi after the ruling party NRM moves to adopt his suggestion on the conduct of the party’s primary elections.
Recently, the party mooted a move to have the party primary elections held in a scientific mode which would see candidates use electronic media to campaign. Consequently, there would be minimal contact among voters on Election Day and to achieve this, party strategists mulled over using electoral colleges to choose party flag bearers. However, as soon as the move was announced, Budadiri west MP aspirant Dr. Kosea Wambaka opined that a scientific election would be in vain since NRM is a mass party with a huge presence in the villages. Wambaka therefore suggested that adult suffrage be left as the right mode of elections but with special emphasis on the ministry of health guidelines on social distancing and other covid-19 prevention measures. It did not last. In a recent press briefing, NRM EC Chairman Dr. Tanga Odoi rubbished reports of using electoral colleges during the party primaries. He revealed that the party is set to go for adult suffrage.
“Those fearing the masses it is time for you, for us we believe in numbers, not being voted by the small electoral colleges. So, we are going for adult suffrage, get ready for when we produce the right roadmap of the NRM party,” Dr. Tanga Odoi announced.
Speaking to this news site earlier, Wambaka believes the party can adopt current guidelines on the covid-19 prevention so as to conduct elections.
These he said are; exercising social distance, use of masks and sanitizing or washing of hands.
“We have Covid-19 and an election, so it is a matter of telling voters to observe SOPs and elections take place. But for campaigns, it is impossible to manage rallies because most people would penetrate the rallies from different places unlike voting,” Dr. Wambaka said.
Wambaka premises his argument on the fact that thisbeing party primaries, they will draw only NRM candidates and supporters which he said can easily be guided by the district party committees to exercise discipline and vote as per set standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“For the villages, the social fabric is still intact and as such communities live as close individuals. That means everyone in the community is known to the other and as such any infiltrators can be easily identified and stopped from voting or causing chaos,” Wambaka noted adding, voters can be made to line up 2-meters from one another and sanitize before and after voting to contain the spread of the virus.
For urban places, election could be managed under some difficulties due to some stubborn characters. However, he is hopeful that voting there can also be done using the same SOPs.