Saturday February 13 2016

NRM pays opposition youth to defect

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala- About 200 people mainly youth have been gathered at J&M Airport Road Hotel in Bwebajja along Entebbe road, where they were expected to declare that they defected from the opposition to the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

The youths who spent Friday night at the hotel, according to our source, were drawn from different parts of the country with a promise of money if they defected from the opposition less than four days to the February 18 polls.

When Sunday Monitor visited the hotel following the tipoff, the place was heavily guarded by armed military police who denied anybody access without clearance from the organisers.

“Only people who slept here and have been cleared can go in,” one of the guard at the hotel said. The military police officers ordered all people who included the Sunday Monitor reporter to immediately leave the premises.

A source at the meeting told us that out of the over 200 people at the meeting, about 80 youths will be paraded with party cards ostensibly from opposition Forum for Democratic Change. They will be paraded before selected journalists who were invited to cover the event.

The meeting, according to our source, was organised by State Minister for ICT and senior NRM mobiliser Nyombi Thembo and Lt. Colonel Jacob Asiimwe, the special presidential assistant on political affairs.

Mr Nyombi received our calls but didn’t talk to us. He could be heard in the background addressing the people.

Accusations of voter bribery to entice defection have been rife from both sides of the political divide since the campaigns kicked off in November last year.