As the Opposition plans to consolidate the support it enjoys in the city, the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) is not sitting back.
NRM cadres, under their umbrella, ‘Team Thorough YKM 2021’, yesterday said they have the mandate to take the lead in not only dismantling the Opposition’s hold in Kampala but also nationwide as well.
John Mugisha, the group’s national co-ordinator, said: “Our main mandate is to dismantle opposition structures, such as People Power, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party (DP) and other political parties and groups in their strongholds.”
Flanked by over 100 other members of the pressure group, Mugisha told journalists that: “We shall oust the Opposition from Kampala. Other than winning Kampala, our broader agenda is to counter opposition campaigns across the country.”
“But the starting point is Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Masaka,” he added.
The group outlined five strategies that they to use including, identifying opposition members plus engaging and convincing them to join NRM.
“We have been doing consultations across the country and we are ready to bridge the gaps,” he said.
The group will also focus on the huge percentage of people who do not turn up to vote and convince them to vote for NRM candidates.
“We are going to put a lot of efforts in mobilizing the youth, women, and voters in higher institutions of learning. We shall also engage those living in the ghettos,” Mugisha said.
The team dates back to 2015 when President Yoweri Museveni received a group of youth who defected from former prime minister Amama Mbabazi’s Go Forward political pressure group.
This was after the Go Forward/ TDA coalition talks collapsed when the parties disagreed on a joint opposition presidential candidate protocol. The group was then integrated into the NRM campaign mobilization team for the 2016 general elections.
“We have already positioned ourselves to ensure that President Museveni is sworn-in again in 2021” the group spokesperson, Arnold Musajjakaawa, said.
“We have a well-established structure from village to national level. Our coordinators will meet people in their homes and workplaces to educate them on how to start business ventures other than waiting for the Government,” he said.
The group claims to have more than 10,000 members across the country. “Others are still at Kyankwanzi undergoing ideological training,” he said.
The People Power principal and Kyadondo East MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, recently inaugurated a mobilization team at both regional and national levels as he sets his eyes on the presidency in 2021.
DP bloc principals Nobert Mao, Michael Mabikke, Dr. Abed Bwanika, and Walter Samuel Lubega have since suggested an opposition campaign strategy, ‘the One-on-one model’, which, among others, require other opposition parties to leave Buganda for DP to field candidates.
At a press conference recently in Kampala, FDC party deputy spokesperson John Kikonyogo said the party is determined to ensure that Kampala does not slip away from them.
FDC holds most of the local council positions in Kampala and also has the biggest representation at City Hall.