National News Politics

NRM laments youth defections to Bobi Wine’s NUP

Last week, 148 youth wearing National Resistance Movement (NRM) T-shirts joined presidential aspirant and Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, citing frustration from the party leadership they had served for the last 10 years.

The group, led by Mr Mahad Kasozi, alias Matugga, said they are part of the 334 NRM supporters that have joined National Unity Platform (NUP) after they failed to get help from NRM leaders yet they used their own resources to drum support for President Museveni in past elections.

The NRM deputy Secretary General, Mr Richard Todwong, accused Mr Matugga of not following up with the secretariat to fulfil the promises.
“I remember they organised their own thing and invited me. But I have never seen or heard from them again and this is the first time they are complaining through you. None of them came to my office to get these things that I had promised,” Mr Todwong said.

“Some of these programmes of mobilisation are allocated under the State House budget and it is unfair that they have not yet received the money or any kind of support because we were told that this money was released,” Mr Todwong told Daily Monitor by telephone.

Bobi Wine said the group approached him seeking to join his party but he was quick to warn them about the effects that may come out of their decision.
“We know that many youth have been bought out of the struggle and they are coming for you with money and intimidation but remain strong. This is the only time you have to dictate on what your children and grandchildren will know you for,” he said in an interview.

Mr Matugga said his group called Malowo Development Association is sub-divided in smaller groups in other areas including 98 supporters at Mpwedde Village in Kasangombe in Nakaseke District, 48 in Nazigo Bugerere and 40 in Kiteezi in Wakiso District.

Mr Matugga said he has a car garage in Wandegeya and Kawempe, where they invite the youth to train them in vehicle mechanics and encourage them to embrace government programmes.
When Daily Monitor met Matugga in Wandegeya at the weekend, many youths who are registered in a book, all had NRM party cards showing that they acquired them between 2009 and 2015.

“We have been working to make sure the youth in this area appreciate the ideologies of the government and we encouraged them to work and called on the NRM leaders to help and support them but it has not been coming through,” he said.

Mr Matugga and other mobilisers who each carried an NRM card said they had been mobilising for the party since 2016. They cited dejection and failure of NRM leaders to help them create development in their areas.
Mr Godfrey Kojja, one of the defectors, said: “We have been mobilising from the grassroots in this area to see that our government is appreciated.”

Affirmation
Mr Ismail Mutebi, the NRM chairperson of Kawempe South A Zone, where the youth gather for their mobilisation activities, confirmed the group belonged to NRM and are in his register.

“It is unfortunate that some people we have approached to help these youth on the different activities that they have been carrying out have turned against them and disowned them. I know them and they belong to the NRM. I don’t even want to imagine that they have defected. Let the leaders come in and help,” Mr Mutebi said.

Mr Todwong said: “We have a programme at the secretariat and these people should have written to us or come to our offices so that we take them through what they are supposed to know. It is unfortunate these people worked knowing that they would receive something in return because in the party when we work, we don’t hope to get anything or be thanked.”

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