Youth in Northern Uganda have launched a second protest against former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi’s presidential bid in the district of Kitgum.
About two hundred youths from Kitgum and Gulu districts claiming to belong to the ruling party National Resistance Movement (NRM), marched through the streets with placards and banners campaigning against Amama.
One banner labelled presidential aspirant Mbabazi as ‘king of scandals.’
The banner listed the Shs 11bn Temangalo deal between the National Social Security Fund and Mbabazi in 2008 and the alleged $13m bribe from an oil company as some of the scandals.
Mbabazi was however cleared by Parliament probe committees of these allegations.
The youths wore yellow T-Shirts bearing President Yoweri Museveni’s image.
National Coordinator of Youth Coalition for NRM Mobilization, Justus Tugume was the man behind the campaign that they had disguised as a charity work.
Clad in a grey suit and a yellow neck tie, Tugume said that the protest was secondary.
When tasked why they carried such a banner in a charity mission, Tugume said Mbabazi’s actions denied many young people opportunities to attend education and receive better health care services.
After marching through the streets undeterred, the youths went and hanged the banners at the gate of Kitgum Hospital for hours as they visited patients in the hospital.
They cleaned the hospital and donated groceries, basins and laundry soap they claimed to have procured with local contributions.
Tugume later contradicted himself by saying that the gathering was to launch a platform to canvass votes for NRM chairman and presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni.
“We are launching a campaign for the President first in Kitgum and Acholi sub region as a kick-starter ahead of 2016 and after this we shall be launching it from one district to the other because our target today is to see that we mobilise for NRM for both 2016 and beyond. First of all we the youth make 65% of the total population of the voters therefore we can determine who should win and who shouldn’t win.”
He continued: “Our approach to mobilisation is to be constructive that is why we have approached Kitgum district through corporate social responsibility by going to the hospital and distributing items to TB and HIV patients, women in the labour ward and by coming to the entire town and cleaning it because this is our town and to say thank you to the people of Kitgum for having supported the President and NRM for the last 30 years.”
Raymond Ochan, the outgoing district Youth Council chairperson says they fell out with Mbabazi for disobeying the Kyankwanzi resolution that endorsed Yoweri Museveni as sole candidate for NRM in the 2016 elections.
“Amama Mbabazi has been a royal cadre of NRM but I must really say he lost his battle in Kyankwanzi last year when Hon Anite raised a resolution that President Museveni should be a ‘sole’ candidate. Issues of scandals I don’t blame him because when he was doing that there were people monitoring him. What did they do?”
“Must they wait until he has given out his ideas then they begin talking of scandals? The scandals have been there and we still castigate, we demand that justice must prevail. It should not only be to Amama but a commission of inquiry in all public offices,” Ochan observed.
Captain Okot Santos Lapolo, Kitgum Resident District Commissioner and other district leaders later joined the youth at Kitgum District Council Hall where he addressed them.
The demonstration is the second against Mbabazi in Northern Uganda; the first was organized by Aruu MP, Odonga Otto in Kamdini trading center in Oyam District in June.