Rival NRM youth factions yesterday met President Museveni for more than two hours at State House Entebbe, and their national chairperson Denis Namara told a hastily arranged press conference that they had reconciled.
“We want to remove the propaganda that the NRM Youth League does not support Mr Museveni. The youth league supports him as the supreme leader, revolutionary President and sole party President come 2016,” said Mr Namara.
He blocked other colleagues, including youth MPs Evelyn Anite (Northern) and Peter Egwang (Eastern) as well as pro-Mbabazi youth leaders from taking questions from journalists.
Yesterday’s meeting came a day after Mr Namara suspended three youth leaders, Mr Moses Kiwanuka vice chairperson (eastern), Mr Ibrahim Kitata (chairperson Lwengo) and Mr David Kabanda (Youth leader Sembabule) over drawing a wedge between President Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi by plotting an illegal delegates conference.
Without delving into specifics, Mr Namara said they had in the meeting with President Museveni resolved the “small, small” differences.
“NRM is a very strong party and we are moving ahead together, there are no factions,” Mr Namara said, before announcing an unconditional reinstatement of the sacked three youth leaders.
Mr Adam Luzindana, the NRM vice chairperson for Kampala, who attended yesterday’s meeting, said Mr Namara had misrepresented their position regarding the February Kyankwanzi resolution fronting Mr Museveni as NRM’s sole candidate in 2016.
Instead Mr Luzindana said: “We agreed that the issue of the flag bearer cannot be determined by the NRM Youth League. I told the President not to be deceived that he is still popular on the ground. I told him to address the real issues affecting the people; poor quality education, poverty and lack of service delivery for the masses”.
The mood at the start of the press conference was tense, with both NRM youth leader for northern Uganda Omodo Omodo and Mr Luzindana declining a prepared front seat, choosing instead to sit behind journalists. It took the intervention of State House aide Sarah Kagingo to persuade them to relocate.
MP Anite kept shouting; “Museveni oyee, Museveni sole candidate 2016 oyee,” every time she felt Mr Namara had hammered home a point of interest.
what NRM youth told president Museveni
A source that attended the closed meeting at State House Entebbe said the different youth groups traded accusations of each usurping the powers and undermining the other faction. Their problem was ‘ego,’ said the source that was not authorised to speak to the press.
The youth told the President that they wanted juicy jobs and complained that the Shs1 billion advanced for youth mobilisation for the 2011 elections outside the formal youth structures had not reached them.
The national youth delegates conference has been shifted to yet an undecided date in July.