By Andrew Baba Buluba
Hundreds of selected NRM mobilisers under the office of the National Chairman[ONC] convened on Monday 7 for an orientation session that climaxed with the launch of the special regional and district taskforce to spearhead President Museveni’s 2021 re-election bid.
In the meeting at Mbale SS was attended by a number of dignitaries from the region including from the various security organs, Residential District Commissioners, Area politicians, mobilisers at both regional and district levels, members of the informal structure code named Juakali among others.
Officials from the Kyambogo Office of the National party Chairman led by Senior Presidential Assistant Milly Babirye Babalanda facilitated the event.
Calls for internal unity and self sacrifice on the part of the delegates at the conference dominated the day as speaker after speaker emphasised the need to iron out internal bickering and forge cohesion ahead of next year’s crucial period.
In Museveni’s message read by Babalanda, the region was hailed for facilitating a relatively peaceful electoral process save for an isolated case in Bukedea where an electoral official was gunned down. He said investigations were under going to bring the culprits to book.
He also noted that the area had been lucky to have Mbaale elevated to a city status and called upon the people to use it to tap into the numerous opportunities henceforth, use it to preach the gospel of the NRM and reclaim the area from the opposition.
Museveni also hinted at the issue of landslides ravaging the mountainous region where he pledged full support from the government and international partners to ensure the safety of all those threatened.
He cautioned party members against intrigue and politics of divisionism which he said risked surrendering the chance of the young generation in the region to enjoy the innumerable gains of the regime. He also cautioned the people of the subregion against voting for opposition candidates noting that it doesn’t help development.
On the just concluded party primaries for the MPs, Museveni congratulated the winners and also thanked all who participated. He apologized for whatever didn’t go well in the process while calling upon all stakeholders to work together from now on to achieve a commendable victory next year.
He concluded by commissioning the group as a special taskforce to spearhead his 2021 Presidential bid.
” I officially Commission you into the YK special task force for your respective districts and regions under my leadership,” He concluded.
Area RDC Sulaiman Baraza Obajo the efforts of the ONC clearly announces good times ahead for the party but expressed concern of the many pressure groups mobilising for the President, which he said could lead to confusion. He therefore proposed a merger of all the forces to consolidate one powerful block under the Kyambogo office for easy administration and organized information flow.
Former Energy and Mineral Development Minister Irene Muloni – who was also the day’s keynote speaker hailed the ONC under the stewardship of Babalanda for the good mobilisation work done to ensure an easy win for the President come next year.
Like most speakers for the day, Muloni emphasised to the group that their new role called for being good ambassadors of President Museveni and the ruling party. She therefore warned against members siding with opposition candidates at some point against party flag bearers. She said it’s such tendencies that were giving opposition a chance to penetrate the region despite the fact that NRM enjoys considerable support.
She pleaded with Babalanda to convey her plea to the National Chairman – Museveni to consider offering more resources for candidates in areas where opposition is more established like Bugishu since it becomes harder for them during elections.
Energy and Mineral Development Minister and Manafwa Woman MP Mary Gorret Kitutu who was represented by Manafwa RDC Washaki Ahmed encouraged the newly crowned team to continue amplifying the gains of the government in the public as the only way of downplaying the contagious lies deliberately circulated by the opposition to discredit NRM.
She commended the efforts of the ONC and pledged to work with the newly instituted army of mobilisers to see to it that the party scores highly in the region in next year’s general elections.