NRM forms youth group to counter People Power

Friday November 8 2019

Yellow camp. Some of the youth under NRM

Yellow camp. Some of the youth under NRM pressure group Generation 7 at a meeting in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By Derick Wandera

The ruling NRM party has formed a youth pressure group to counter Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine’s, People Power movement.
The NRM youth pressure group dubbed “Generation 7” has been sub-divided into seven layers of hierarchy countrywide and will be reporting to the party secretariat.
According to the plan, the pressure group will comprise a structure of seven members at national level, regional, sub-regional, district, sub-county, parish level down to village level.

A total of 497,105 coordinators will be appointed who will comprise a seven-member national steering team, 28 members at regional level, 133 at sub-region level and 938 leaders at district.
Others will be 11,697 coordinators at sub-county level, 58,702 at parish level and 425,600 in villages.
Sources in NRM told Daily Monitor yesterday that the team’s major objective is to counter the narrative by People Power that the NRM has done nothing developmental for the youth in the last 33 years the party has been in power.

The group is also tasked with promoting the NRM manifesto among the youth focusing on seven key areas; security, health, infrastructure, education, democracy, poverty eradication, and industrialisation.
The sources said they are wary that People Power is taking away the NRM youth support ahead of the 2021 elections, adding that the party cannot sit back and watch.

The Generation 7 national steering committee, which was named last week, includes Mr Gilbert Olinga as chairperson, Ms Maria Mirembe (head of Finance), Mr Steven Mukasa (spokesperson), Ms Winnie Apollo (secretary) and Mr Simon Peter Otukol (her deputy).
Others are Mr Jim Muzuni (chief operations officer), Mr William Katumba (transport master) and Mr Sam Osande (communications).
“We are here to work for the whole country and shall reach all the parts,” Mr Olinga said yesterday.

In one of the meetings held this week at Imperial Royal Hotel, the group said they will be pre-occupied with countering the strategies by People Power by empowering the youth economically, sensitising them and promoting democracy in the country.
“Our role is to show President Museveni’s work to the country and reverse the People Power wrong impression created in the public. We want everyone to know that we are a group that will keep the President in power,” Mr Mukasa said.

His view was reinforced by Ms Mirembe.
“We have formed this group to enhance service delivery to the youth. Some people have been saying they are taking the things President Museveni has given them but they do not reach the lowest person. That is why we are working towards showing the people about the good things,” she said.


Mr Osande said many youth have been crying to the President that they are marginalised.

“We are now going to be the ambassadors. Other pressure groups are thriving because they are with the people at [grassroots]. Now we are the conduit.”
Mr Katumba added: “Appreciating what has been done will mean we have to give the other opposing forces a run for their money. That is why we are here and we shall tell the people the truth.”
Asked whether the creation of the new youth group is a sign of panic in the NRM, Mr Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM secretariat spokesperson, said it is a way of tapping into the young people who are the majority voters.

“We are not in panic, we just want to show Bobi Wine that we also have the support of the young people. We need to increase our margin of votes to at least 70 per cent in 2021,” Mr Mulindwa said.
People Power and NRM have been in a fierce contest to win over the youth within the voting age of 18 to 35, who according to World Population Review figures, are estimated to be 10 million.

Last last month, President Museveni appointed musician Mark Bugembe, alias Buchaman, as special presidential envoy for the ghetto, fellow artiste Catherine Kusasira as presidential adviser on Kampala affairs and Ms Jennifer Nakanguubi, aka Full Figure for same purpose. The trio have been given security, car, and monthly salary and a steering team. On Tuesday, Bobi Wine unveiled a group of more than 200 student leaders in various universities who will canvass support for him in institutions of higher learning for his 2021 presidential bid.