In an effort to retain the Nebbi district LC5 seat, NRM has intensified its campaigns with new strategies, targeting both its supporters and undecided voters. A move that has threatened the people power camp who were planning to sideline with the Independent candidate in the race.
In order to avoid the Arua saga from happening again, NRM die-hards have advised Bobi wine and his people power supporters they referred to as “Hooligans and Chaos Lover” to stay away from the campaign to let NRM and FDC campaign freely.
The strategies include campaigning door-to-door. Richard Todwong, the NRM deputy secretary general, has pitched camp in Nebbi to help the flag-bearer, Emmanuel Orombi win.
Last week Allan Kajik, the NRM chairperson for Padyere County, who is a renowned crowd puller, took his campaigns to homes and villages, rallying support for Orombi.
Nebbi district goes to the polls this week on Thursday. The election is aimed at filling the vacant position following the demise of Esrom William Alenyo, the district chairman, in September last year. Alenyo, who was serving his third term as Nebbi district chairperson, died after being involved in a road accident.
Three candidates, including Orombi, the district’s NRM youth chairman, Vicky Onyai from FDC and George Othuba, an independent, are vying for the seat. According to Rogers Mulindwa, the NRM spokesperson, the new strategy is meant to deal with threats being posed by emerging political groups like People Power. He added that the seat was won by NRM and the replacement should, therefore, come from the same party.
“It’s our term, only that death took the chairman away. It would be unfortunate to give it to another person,” he said. He said Nebbi has been an NRM stronghold and the opposition is non-existent. Mulindwa, however, added that People Power, a pressure group associated with Robert Kyagulanyi, the MP Kyadondo East, is gaining ground.
“Nebbi has been our stronghold, it is only that voters are hard to predict these days, otherwise, we are confident that we shall retain the seat,” he said. Some voters have welcomed the strategy, terming it the best approach.
Jerry Kasamba, a voter and executive director of Nile Dove, a local NGO operating in Albertine Graben, said, “The political space in Nebbi, is changing rapidly and one needs such a strategy to win. In fact, the door-to-door approach is the best.”
Kasamba added that youth form the biggest percentage of the population and that most of them have registered.
“If NRM is targeting youth, then I would give credit to the one championing it,” he said. The NRM campaigning team is also holding meetings at every ward and parish with leaders, members of the NRM committee, area councilors and LC2 councils.
It is to help consolidate support. Mulindwa said the exercise was progressing well and effective in delivering the campaign messages to the voters. Since the general elections in 2016, NRM has contested in 16 by-elections for Parliament, winning nine of them and losing seven; five to independents and two to the Opposition.
The party has taken part in eight elections for women Members of Parliament for the new districts, winning seven and losing one to the Opposition. President Museveni is also expected to join the campaign trail.
According to Kajik, the President will have two rallies in the district before the election. “We expect our party chairman to join us and you know he is passionate about the youth,” he said.