- This group started in 2015 being initiated by Ratib Buga the chairperson of the group.
- The members volunteered to mobilize people to vote for NRM and they were blessed by the elders from both the ruling and opposition parties.
- People willingly surrendered their party cards, T.Shirts and other identities.
- During elections, Museveni won in the district by 68 per cent votes.
By Elema Robert
Yumbe. The supporters from the opposition party in 2016 who defected to the ruling NRM party are now crying for Museveni to fulfill the pledges he made to them.
The members have said if the promises are not made, they will return to their previous parties after failing to reap from the benefits they expected from NRM.
At least 24,000 people from the different opposition parties in Yumbe crossed to National Resistance Movement party before the 2016 general elections.
The district coordinator of the defectors association, Mohammad Issa, said they were assured in 2016 that they would be assisted with some projects that could make them become economically independent. But to date, nothing has yielded fruits. “We were assured of the pledge and follow-ups have been made in state house. It has become difficult for us the executives to convince the members because they have alleged that the leaders of the association have embezzled the money.”
Majid Aniku the district NRM chairperson said one time the group met the president in Arua and surrendered many items of their parties to NRM but said he was not aware of what was pledged for them.
“I met this group and I told them to channel their issues through me as the NRM party chairperson so that I am aware of them but the biggest challenge is that this group ignored me and it’s their leadership following the matter and one time I recommended them to meet the president,” he said.
Ratib Wanipe one of the executive members said they thought of crossing to NRM because their parties are not strong enough and all the time their votes are always wasted. “During the campaigns, the president pledged to support us with projects but nothing has happened. If the pledge is not fulfilled, we shall go back to our previous parties,” he said.
Rukia Aliru said: “If we are killed by the members of the association, the government should stand responsible. Our motorcycle used for mobilization and the computer were stolen, our chairperson is in exile because of pressure from the members. This clearly indicates that we are in trouble but if the projects are given, it will give us strength to mobilize for the next election.”
Manase Wadia the Resident district commissioner for Yumbe said: “l am not aware about it but the pledge I know of is tarmacking of Koboko-Yumbe-Moyo-Atiak road, maintenance of Arua-Terego-Yumbe road and many projects for women groups, farmer groups, veterans among others. We are all defectors because NRM was not there in 1980,” he said.