The Democratic Party (DP) in the Tooro region is stepping up its mobilization ahead of the 2016 general elections.
Tooro region, initially known as the Greater Tooro was a stronghold of the Democratic Party in the 1960s and 1980s.
It comprised of Mwenge, Busongora, Kibaale, Bundibugyo, Kyaka, Burahya and Bunyagabu Counties.
During the 1962 elections, four DP members from the region were elected to the parliament; three members of DP were also elected Members of Parliament in the 1980 elections.
Prominent DP leaders in the region include the late John Butime and late William Nyakatura.
But the support waned over the years and todate, DP’s presence in the region is obscure.
However, Party leaders are determined to make inroads in the region now dominated by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
The party has already opened new offices in Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa and Ntoroko districts.
More than 60 party members in the region have also shown interest and will seek elective office at various levels.
This is in contrast to the past two elections 2006 and 2011, when there was not a single DP candidate vying for any elective office.
This week, the party started mobilizing and recruiting new members at the grass root level and wooing back its supporters who crossed to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) parties.
Charles Mugisa, a member of DP in Kabarole district says that the recruitment drive is timely.
Mugisa says that the party has been struggling in the region because the past party leaders failed to reach the area and instead focused attention on Buganda.
Francis Kamara, the acting DP chairperson Kabarole district says that the party support in the district remains strong but claims that some of the party members have been bribed to join the NRM and FDC party.
Kamara is optimistic the party will win some of the elective posts in next year’s elections.
Kamara says that they are soliciting for funds from party supporters to facilitate the exercise.
Rebecca Kakyo, the DP secretary Kabarole says that during mobilization, the party executive will demystify the perception that the DP is meant for only Baganda and Catholics.
She explains that the widely held view that DP leaders should be Catholics and Baganda is affecting the party support in the region.