Over 400 supporters of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party in Tororo District have defected to the opposition People Power pressure group.
People Power pressure group is associated with Kyaddondo East Member of Parliament, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
The group which was led by the Speaker of Eastern Division Council in Tororo Municipality, Mr Deogratius Emojong, defected to People Power Movement during a meeting at Tororo Municipal Gardens on Wednesday.
The defecting youth leaders who handed over NRM party membership cards to the district party registrar, Mr Joseph Kadokech, said their former political party is no longer sensitive to the aspirations of ordinary Ugandans.
Cases of people crossing from one party to another are common in Uganda mainly during campaigns for elective political positions.
Some politicians use such dramatic tactics to bargain for financial or employment rewards from a government in power or a political party that promises to pave their way to a political office
Mr Emojong who has been a strong NRM cadre and a prominent mobiliser of President Yoweri Museveni, said that his group defected from NRM because it leaders are increasingly developing dictatorial tendencies and internal democracy had declined.
“We are tired of the politics of patronage and connections coupled with high levels of corruption and nepotism,” Mr Emojong said.
Mr Emojong said that he joined the NRM party in 2015 with the hope that it was the best party to steer Uganda to prosperity.
“I was wrong and I have decided to quit with others who also think it was a wrong decision for them to join the party,” he said.
Mr Emojong said that they would work as foot soldiers of the People Power Movement to ensure that they dislodge the NRM party from power in the 2021 general elections.
“We are going to make sure that we support and field candidates in this district on People Power Movement ticket because that is where we see our hope of change,” he said.
Mr David Owidi, another youth leader from Kasoli parish said that as NRM youth leaders, they were angered by some party leaders who endorsed Mr Museveni as their sole presidential candidate in 2021 without consulting other party supporters.
“During the recent countrywide tour of President Museveni, our [NRM] leaders were busy endorsing him as sole candidate without organising a delegates’ conference or consulting us,” he said, adding that the country risks becoming a monarchy if the trend is not reversed.
Mr Owidi said the NRM party cannot implement any project or programme because of corruption and tribalism.
However, the NRM party registrar, Mr Kadokech, who received the party cards from the defecting supporters wished them a safe political journey.
“Thank you for returning our party cards and I wish you luck in all your endeavours,” he said.
Mr Kadokech said the NRM party has built strong grassroots structures which cannot be shaken by such defections.