Surprised by presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi’s growing popularity in the West Nile sub-region, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) has turned to Kampala based traders hailing from the area to return home and mobilise for the party’s presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni.
The party’s director for mobilisation, cadre development and recruitment, Mathias Kasamba has met the traders who mostly operate from Arua and Nebbi parks in Kampala to persuade them to start mobilising for Museveni ahead of the January 14, 2021 polls.
“We have now embarked on Kampala-based groupings who are going to assist us to network in different parts of the country, and today we have had West Nile city traders in Arua and Nebbi parks. We agreed with them to get engaged in mobilisation activities not only in Kampala but also back home,” Kasamba said.
The meeting came a few days after Kyagulanyi, the National Unity Platform (NUP) presidential candidate received a rousing welcome in different districts of the sub-region.
The NUP leader shockingly endorsed Dr. Charles Ayume, the NRM candidate for Koboko Municipality which, according to the state minister for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyn Anite, calls for a change in strategy.
The traders, mobilised under the Arua – Nebbi parks community number about 5,000 but all resident in Kampala who Kasamba believes can go back home and mobilise for the NRM.
“These traders have come out in big numbers in their groups; the youth, elderly, women and business community to ensure that we are in touch with them. We are going to compile their list and we shall meet all of them and interact to make sure that they are our ambassadors in the mobilisation process,” he said.
Their chairman, Ahmad Wadri said that as a group, their decision to render support to NRM was informed by the need to secure their businesses from rioters.
“We do not need the riots, instability and insecurity. The president has done much for us. Most of our people who were in exile in Congo and Sudan have since come back and they are doing their business peacefully because of the peace NRM brought,” Wadri said.
He also expressed fear of a repeat of the pre-1986 incidents when many of their relatives were killed in cold blood and others lost their property.