Mbale youth leaders blocked from patriotism training

Wednesday February 19 2020

A section of youth leaders protesting outside

A section of youth leaders protesting outside Nyondo Core Primary Teachers College in Mbale District after they were blocked from attending patriotism training on February 19, 2020. Photo by Yahudu Kitunzi  

By YAHUDU KITUNZI

At least 200 National Resistance Movement (NRM) youth supporters and leaders have accused the Office of Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mbale District of deleting their names from the list of participants to attend the ongoing patriotism training over their divergent political views.

The affected youth claim their names were deleted on grounds that they support the current Mbale Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Connie Galiwango Nakayenze.
Ms Nakayenze voted against the lifting of presidential age limit contrary to NRM party position, which was in favour of the constitutional amendment of article 102b in 2017 to pave the way for President Museveni to contest for another term of office in the 2021 general elections.

The seven-day ideological training which was organised by the office of the President in conjunction with Ministry of Finance started on Monday.
The training happening at Nyondo Core Primary Teachers College in Nyondo Sub-county, Mbale District has attracted about 1,500 youth leaders from all districts within Bugisu Sub-region.

Mr Yahaya Mwajje, the chairperson of Mbale District Youth Council and an ardent supporter of NRM party, said they got information that the RDC‘s office was put under pressure from the person who reportedly lobbied for the training, to delete their names. However, Mr Mwajje did not name the person who ordered deletion.
“You know the person. We will not name them but they should know that most of the youth leaders, whose names were deleted are all NRM cadres, Ugandans and mostly residents of Mbale District,” Mr Mwajje said.

Mr Mwajje said Mr Museveni ought to intervene and stop some leaders from their mass campaigns of demobilizing against the party.
“This person’s selfish mistakes will affect the party in the coming elections. We are young but we have been fighting for this party when some of the people who were killing it were not there,” he said.
The Mbale Municipality Youth Chairperon, Mr Yusuf Nsubuga, said it was unfortunate the RDC’s office was working on orders of a few but unpopular politicians.
The Mbale NRM District Chairperson, Mr Muhamood Masaba, said there is a tendency of some members of the party to try and personalise government programmes for their own popularity.

“Let them stop dividing the youth because this is a pure government programme. Why should a section of youth leaders be blocked from attending the training? This is wrong. Let them be allowed and attend for the good of the party,“ Mr Masaba said.
Mbale RDC, Mr Sulaiman Ogajo Barasa, acknowledged receipt of complaints from the aggrieved youth leaders but said he did not know why their names were deleted.
“I got the complaints from a section of youth leaders but as the RDC, I did my part. I handed in all the names youth leaders in the district and I gave it to the organizers, so what happened after that, I don’t know,” Mr Ogajo said.
Mr Ogajo, who is also the district patron patriotism, said the training is a government programme and it was supposed to be attended by all youth leaders.

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However, Daily Monitor learnt that the list that was sent by the RDC, was later edited by the deputy RDC, Ms Lilian Nakawesi with some top NRM leader. Those whose names were removed are associated with Ms Nakayenze.
When contacted, the deputy RDC, Ms Nakawesi, said some youth leaders were left out because the numbers were overwhelming.

“We left out many youth leaders because we could not bring everyone on board. The financial support we got was not enough to cater for everyone, “Ms Nakawesi said.
However, some of the youth attending the training wondered why the names of only those associated with Ms Nakayenze were removed.
“Besides, this training was supposed to be attended by only youth leaders but I can see some people here who are neither leaders nor youth. They are way older,” the source.

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