signed by all District NRM chairpersons and NRM MPs from the Elgon region, the Minister of Energy and Minerals Irene Muloni noted that the group is opposed to Mbabazi’s aspirations.
signed by all District NRM chairpersons and NRM MPs from the Elgon region, the Minister of Energy and Minerals Irene Muloni noted that the group is opposed to Mbabazi’s aspirations.
signed by all District NRM chairpersons and NRM MPs from the Elgon region, the Minister of Energy and Minerals Irene Muloni noted that the group is opposed to Mbabazi’s aspirations.

Thousands of people have flocked the streets of Mbale town chanting pro- Museveni slogans in support of his sole candidature that was endorsed at the NRM retreat in Kyankwazi last year.

The demonstrations come in the wake of an impending visit to Mbale by the former Prime Minister John Patrick Amama Mbabazi tomorrow, and  people have been mobilized from all the surrounding Districts of Manafwa, Sironko, Budadiri, Bududa, Butaleja, and Palisa to protest against Mbabazi’s decision to contest against Museveni, the current chairman of the NRM.

According to a source that spoke to Eagleonline, the region’s prominent NRM leaders are gathered at the Mbale cricket grounds and these include Connie Galiwango, Woman MP Mbale, Simon Mulongo, (Bubulo East), Micheal Werikhe, (Bungokho South), Rose Mutonyi, (Bubulo West),  Yahya Gudoi (Bungokho North), Irene Muloni (Bulambuli Woman), and the LCV chairman of Mbale district Bernard Mujasi.

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The source further says there are also processions of people dancing around the whole town and shouting that Mbabazi should not travel to Mbale because they do not need to see or hear from him. Also, boda boda riders, taxi drivers and touts and some businesspeople have abandoned their work to join the anti-Mbabazi demos.

Mbabazi, who announced last month that he would compete in the party elections for presidential flag bearer, has declared he would tour the country to present himself to the electorate, starting in Mbale.

But the police say the ex-Premiers move is illegal, describing it as ‘early electioneering’.

And now in Mbale many of Mbabazi’s supporters are said to have crossed to Museveni’s camp, notable among them Muhamood Masaba, who has been one of the coordinators of Mbabazi’s task force in the eastern town. He now says he had ‘made a wrong decision and is back home’.

According to the source, people in Mbale are saying that Mbabazi’s structures that he had created in Mbale during his days as Minister for Security and Secretary General of NRM have been dismantled and his supporters have crossed over.

And reading a statement signed by all District NRM chairpersons and NRM MPs from the Elgon region, the Minister of Energy and Minerals Irene Muloni noted that the group is opposed to Mbabazi’s aspirations.

“We will not participate in any of Mbabazi’s activities when he comes to Mbale tomorrow,” reads the statement in part.

The Bungokho South MP Michael Werikhe said that Mbabazi and Museveni have worked together for long and that the former has not revealed what bad Museveni did to him.

“He should take his war somewhere else not in Bugisu,” Werikhe said with his Bungokho North counterpart Yahya Gudoi, concurring.

“We should go back home and tell the people that we don’t want to fight and that Mbabazi should not take his personal ego into fights in Mbale,” Gudoi said.

Not to be outdone Bubulo West MP Rose Mutonyi Masaba, said Mbabazi will know his fate tomorrow when he goes to Mbale.

“Let us say no to Mbabazi. Are we fools to allow him in Mbale?” Mutonyi asked. Simon Mulongo of Bubulo East wondered why Mbabazi did not start his countrywide tour from his home district of in Kanungu.

“Can he tell us why he chose Bugisu and Teso or he was chased from his home,” Mulongo wondered.

The Mbale LC V Chairman Bernard Mujasi, the unity and fruits of Museveni’s leadership are known, “so Mbabazi should not cause disunity in Bugisu,” Mujasi said while the State Minister for Trade, James Mutende Shinyabulo emphasized that the people of Mbale are comfortable with Museveni and that he is still loved.

In a related development the Director of Operations in the Uganda Police Force, Andrew Alex Kaweesi is in Mbale trying to ensure that security is not compromised although the crowds seem unruly. There is also heavy deployment of policemen in the whole town and business has come to standstill as people are running up down, the source says.

Meanwhile, by the time of filing this report it was not clear if Mbabazi would cancel the trip since he has always insisted that the police have no right to stop him from consulting since he is an aspiring candidate.