A group of the ruling party National Resistance Movement [NRM] chairpersons at the close of last week stormed State House Entebbe without invitation or appointment demanding to see the party chairman, President Yoweri Museveni.
“They were over 50 NRM district chairpersons. They want Museveni to clear their debts and buy them some food,” a source who travelled with the group all the way to Kampala, told edge.
“They said that poverty is ‘killing them’ and that people hate them,” the source added.
As we later learnt, the group was led by Twaha Sonko, the NRM party chairman in Kalungu District and Soroti District NRM chairman, Charles Elasu.
Apparently, the leaders were left stranded at the State House gate after President Museveni’s Special Forces Command [SFC] guards barred them from entering the country’s top office.
According to Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, to meet the president, one has to first write to the principal private secretary in order to be scheduled in the president’s busy routine.
Paul Kimamati, the NRM chairperson for the eastern Bulambuli District, is quoted by Daily Monitor, saying the team arrived in Kampala on May 8 and decided to storm State House after Museveni ignored their requests for a meeting.
He has not met them ever since they were elected last year despite their attempts to seek audience through Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, Parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, the NRM secretary-general, Justine Lumumba and even the President’s Principal Private Secretary, Molly Kamukama.
Kimamati claimed they wanted to discuss Local Council I and II elections scheduled for next year with the president.
Though they left disappointed, the leaders remained hopeful they would meet the president early June this year and forward their grievances.
This is not the first time overzealous ruling party cadres and other aggrieved parties have stormed State House demanding to meet the president.
In 2013, a two-day procession involving 14 members of the Uganda Movement Mobilisers and Artistes’ Group was intercepted heading to State House Nakasero and arrested by police.
David Mulinde, the group’s chairperson, then told press that the the 14 were arrested as they headed to State House Nakasero to seek audience with President Museveni in pursuit of a pledge he made in 2007, among them being acquiring certification to start producing soap and petroleum jelly in 2007.
Museveni had instructed the then Principal Private Secretary, Amelia Kyambadde, to introduce them to the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to have their products certified.
In January this year, the president was forced to meet Members of Parliament regarding the controversial Shs. 6bn handshake given to 42 government officials in appreciation of their role in a 2013 legal battle against Heritage Oil and Tullow.