The ruling NRM party has said it is not bothered about members who defected to Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine’s, in his new party National Unity Platform (NUP).
In an interview with Daily Monitor on Monday, the NRM’s communications officer, Mr Rogers Mulindwa, said the party already has loyal cadres who seek to replace the two MPs.
“We don’t wish to lose any member, but they should know that there is no single ray of hope where they have gone. If close members like Kassaino Wadri (Arua Municipality) and Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East) have not joined Bobi Wine who has fought for them, then they should know that there is nothing good there. We shall be ready to welcome them back when they return,” Mr Mulindwa said.
On Monday, five MPs, including two from the NRM and three independents joined NUP ahead of the 2021 elections.
The NRM legislators are Kasanda North’s Patrick Oshabe Nsamba and his Manjiya County colleague John Baptist Nambeshe.
The Independents are Mr Latiff Ssebagala (Kawempe North), Mr David Lukyamuzi Kalwanga (Busujju County) and Mr Francis Zaake (Mityana Municipality).
While unveiling the MPs, Mr Kyagulanyi said more will be unveiled within the week as they settle terms and conditions on how they will be working together.
“I want to welcome my brothers, especially those from the NRM and as I have always said, we do not doubt your resolve to join us. We shall not call you moles because we are not just opposing the President as Opposition, we are the options. We want him out of the seat,” Bobi Wine said. Mr Nsamba said he had left the ruling party for quite some time.
“I have always been out of NRM and now I am just waiting to be unveiled at NUP. The aspirations that the party stood for have since been forgotten and that is why some of us have been trying to oppose from inside but it is now time for us to move,” Mr Nsamba said.
Mr Nambeshe said: “We are fighting for a better Uganda, and we have seen that Mr Kyagulanyi and his party stands for exactly that. I have been independent after I fell out with the ideologies of NRM a long time ago.”
Mr Emmanuel Dombo, the NRM’s director of information and publicity, regretted their defection.
“Losing members of the family is not [something] to celebrate about. Even if one child is notorious for evil deeds,he cannot be wished away. Any responsible family member would continously pray that they may be rehabilitated,” he said.
Sources within NUP said other MPs from the Democratic Party (DP) are finalising talks with NUP before they are unveiled.
They include Ms Betty Nambooze (Mukono Municipality), Mr Emmanuel Ssempala Kigozi Ssajjalyabene (Makindye-Ssabagabo Municipality) and Mr Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West).
Sources said the MPs have been holding closed-door meetings with Bobi Wine and his camp before agreeing to the terms and conditions of the party.
Some MPs confirmed their decision while others chose to remain tightlipped until they are unveiled by NUP.
“I have heard some people saying that I am hiding behind supporters but my wish is to stand against DP president Nobert Mao. If Mr Mao had not closed the DP door to me, I would not have wished to leave,” Ms Nambooze said yesterday.
The Parliamentary Elections Act 2001 provides for MPs to cross from one party to another within a year to nomination for the next General Election.