Masindi Go Forward Chairman Defects to NRM Top story

3767 Views Masindi, Uganda

In short
Before donning the NRM campaign T-shirt, Akweteireho described ex-prime minister and head of the Go Forward pressure group, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi as a comedian in a movie.

Jonathan Akweteireho, the Masindi district Go Forward Chairman has bowed out of the LC V chairperson race and defected to the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party. 
Akweteireho crossed to the ruling party during a campaign rally of NRM presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni at Boma Grounds on Saturday. Before donning the NRM campaign T-shirt, Akweteireho described ex-prime minister and head of the Go Forward pressure group, John Patrick Amama Mbabazi as a comedian in a movie. 

"Mbabazi and people in his camp behave as if they are playing a movie, from today I have joined the NRM party," Akweteireho said amidst applause from the crowd. Akweteireho, who has been an avid critic of Museveni and his NRM party, said he will now throw his weight behind the Masindi NRM LC V chairperson candidate, Cosmas Byaruhanga. 

His defection comes a week after Police dropped the charges it had slapped against him Roger Kanti, a candidate for the Masindi Municipality Parliamentary seat and Fredrick Banage. The duo was picked up in November 2014 when they embarked on the collection of 10,000 signatures to petition government over its failure to tarmac Kigumba-Kyenjojo road.

They were charged with inciting violence and computer misuse. Whereas Kanti and Banage stopped reporting to police in May 2015, Akweteireho has been reporting until January 20, 2016 when police stopped him. Akweteireho's defection has drawn mixed reactions from voters. While many residents believe that Akweteireho could have bribed to step down and support NRM, Jacob Bihamaiso, says it takes courage for one to act the way Akweteireho did. "A general knows when to attack and when to withdraw," he said.

Ivan Mugenyi, another resident of Masindi town, asks residents to respect Akweteireho's freedom to belong to a political party of his choice. Speaking to URN in an exclusive interview, Akweteireho dismissed speculations that he was bribed to quit the Go forward camp.  "Many think I have been bribed, it's not true, not even with a penny. I predicted the outcome of my actions, the wraths. I know it seriously hurts many, but soon this will end and we realize that actually this is in the interest of Masindi," he said. 

Adding that "I have never been against Museveni but service delivery especially the total absence of creativity by our local leaders that has put us where we find ourselves today." Martin Isaac Kaahwa, the chairperson Masindi NRM campaign taskforce has welcomed Akweteireho's defection, saying it is a big blow to the opposition.

"There are issues Jonathan has been passionate about like the Kigumba-Kyejojo road but now the road is under construction," he said.