A group of staff at the Go Forward Secretariat says it has defected to President Yoweri Museveni camp.
The group is led by Ronald Tumwine Ssekitoleko and Idiri Kiiza.
In a statement, Tumwine said they officially left the TDA/Go Forward Uganda pressure group to re-join the ruling NRM after being misled by Hon. Amama Mbabazi.
“Since the beginning was telling us that he was to bring about the desired change within the NRM by participating in the party primaries, something he rejected and stood as an independent candidate.”
Tumwine said they noticed that they were fighting personal wars between Mbabazi and President Museveni as the former was serving his own interests, contrary to what he always told us and the public at large.
“We reflected on it and realized it was a bad scheme we could not continue with.”
On return home, the defectors were each given a car to commence their work.
Tumwine says his group has over 100 staff members of the former Prime Minister.
Teso region Go Forward team leader, Charles Ojok, said they have already trained over 40,000 vigilantes from Bugisu, Busoga and Teso regions on behalf of Mbabazi to cause chaos in 2016 elections.
The group says it denounced Mbabazi on those grounds and is now canvassing votes for Museveni.
Defected or sacked?
JPAM Communications Director, Ms Josephine Mayanja Nkangi, says Ssekitoleko and Kiiza were sacked from the secretariat for spying and trying to recruit others Go Forward members to join the enemy camp.
“These gentlemen,” Nkangi said, “have been paid large sums of money by the (competitors) to trade confidential information and have been found to be attempting to recruit our members.”
“This is therefore to warn the general public that anyone who deals with Tumwine Ssekitoleko or Idiri Kiiza on TDA (U) – Go Forward business does so at their own peril.”
Tumwine, to the contrary, denies Nkangi’s accusation saying they were not sacked because “we were the ones who invited delegates who attended the launch of the nomination for Mbabazi recently”.
“We however realized that he was serving foreign interests, which was unpatriotic of him.”
NRM poor youth speak
NRM Poor Youth leader, Adam Luzindana says the defection of the two is good news because “as NRM Poor youth Forum, we avoided working and operating with these people at the Go forward Secretariat and none of them know how poor youth forum operate”.
Luzindana contradicted Tumwine’s claim on inviting Mbabazi guests saying it was actually the NRM Poor youth, Chief of Staff Solome and Mbabazi that invited guests to the launch of his manifesto a week back.
“It’s also not true that Tumwine ssekitoleko have been in the struggle for two years as he stated. This is mere propaganda. Tumwine joined the struggle in June 2015 yet the struggle started in January 2014 by the NRM Poor youth Forum,” Luzindana said.
He said when Tumwine was deployed by his immediate boss Hope Mwesigye to operate at Go forward Secretariat, NRM Poor youth Forum decided not to conduct any activity from the Go forward Office and “indeed we have been operating from other power centres of the struggle and we have succeeded in weakening Museveni dictatorship”.
He said both Tumwine and Idri have been operating as mere staff but not planners or strategists of this struggle and they know less about this struggle.
“There is a difference between a shamba boy and a house maid but there is a big different between a house boy and house owner as well as a big difference between a shamba boy and a shamba owner or manager.”
He adds: “I think Tumwine and Idri were either shamba boys or houseboys. The real owners of the struggle are the millions of the poor youth in all villages in Uganda who started this struggle two years ago not Tumwine and Idiri who came to earn.”
According to Luzindana, the struggle to liberate the country is not for Mbabazi, it’s for the millions of the most disadvantaged youth across the country.
“The going of Tumwine and Idiri may affect Hope Mwesigye but it has nothing to do with the strength of Hon Mbabazi and our poor youth structures across the country.”
He said the duo tried to study the operations of poor youth forum but failed.
“They tried to get access to our village coordinators database but in vain.”
Luzindana said the Poor Youth Forum is a big network and will continue to operate informally outside the formal structures of Go forward.
“By January 2016, we must have recruited at least 5 million poor youths across the country and for sure we shall be able to defeat the dictatorship of president Museveni and his family rule which has dominated Uganda for 30 years and has made all youth to be beggars in their own country.”
Meanwhile, following the exit of Tumwine and Kiiza, more 10 staff were sacked at the Go Forward secretariat on accusations of being lazy.
Some of them include; Atanasi Wilson, Annet Kategaya, Kalema Richard and a one Rhamazani, who are accused of indiscipline and spying.