NRM Mobilizers reject shs350,000 registration fee demand by ONC Bosses
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
ARUA. The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party mobilizers in West Nile have outrightly rejected the demand made by officials from the Office of the National Chairperson (ONC) to have their pressure groups registered each at shs350,000.
The team led by Frank Sserubiri, the national chairman of NRM pressure groups network in the ONC faced a tough moment in the office of Arua Resident City Commissioner (RCC) mid last week as they attempted to convince NRM pressure groups in the region to pay the said amount of money as part of their registration requirement.
“I’m the one in charge of the preparation of the pressure groups. Yes, we are having pressure groups but each group has its own vision, aims, missions and others. But for Mr. Sserubiri also has his own visions and missions. It is me to organize the groups to be under his docket and there is no other way we can do it without money since we are not yet facilitated by the President,” said Prosy Nabagala, the NRM national pressure groups network treasurer.
“Yes, he is having a dream but it is we the pressure groups to facilitate the dream, there is no way we can facilitate this dream without money. Nothing can move without money, it is us to contribute some money for the preparation of our documents and our leadership, for him so that he can meet his goals,” Nabagala added.
She said the money will also help to facilitate the national team to move and meet the different NRM pressure groups across the country.
“An umbrella body may have 100 groups under it, now how can I go to meet those hundred groups without money, how can I prepare those groups to be under his docket without money? So, the technical team came up with a resolution that an umbrella body should pay shs350,000 for the preparation of the groups,” Nabagala said.
Nabagala was quickly supported by Sserubiri who said the money will help to reorganize the pressure groups so as to easily lobby for more funds from President Museveni.
But their demand didn’t go well with the different pressure group leaders in the region who insisted that they will not pay the money because they have ever been conned in a similar way.
“People from that side (Kampala) normally come here to take advantage of us. We are going to stand as West Nilers because we also belong to the nation. What I’m not okay with is contribution. Why should we contribute? If the President wants us to get votes for him, he has to support us. That idea of contribution to me, I’m saying no! Volunteers to contribute for what since we have nothing to give,” said Willis Wadris aka Raster Guy, the West Nile NRM Ghetto President, a pressure group in the region.
David Guma Angundru, another NRM mobilizer in Terego district recalled that when President Museveni came to Arua recently, there was a pronouncement that any group coming for mobilization should not ask for money from the locals.
He wondered why Sserubiri and his group are asking each of the pressure groups to pay shs350,000 to them.
“When the information reached to me about coming together and making the contribution, I was very hard on our chairperson NRM West Nile effort for Museveni. The reason being for almost 20 years let them find out how much we have spent on NRM and sometime back, the President gave us a pledge of shs2bn but up to date, we have never seen a single coin. Now knowing very well we are on ground you are coming again you want money from us for what?” Twaha Teller, the coordinator of the West Nile effort for Museveni in Koboko district asked.
‘For me I will never agree on that because it is around 20 years. 20 years somebody is working for you and you don’t recognize and again you are coming instead of bringing bread, you are bringing red pepper, that one will not work. You have to reconsider our previous effort. This is not the first time that people have come to take money away from us, a number of them have come in many styles like you have come,” Teller told the NRM bosses.
Despite the resistance, the ONC team still went ahead to collect shs350,000 each from the West Nile effort for Museveni and the Yellow Brigade SACCO members in Arua as part of their registration fee.
However, in his remarks, Charles Ichogor, the Arua Resident City Commissioner (RCC) didn’t comment on the money saga but promised total support to the pressure groups in the region.