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Candidates, Supporters Abandon NRM Branded Materials For Safety Reasons

Madina Binti Ayubu, the Masajja A, Kibira A, and Ndikuttamada village NRM LC IV woman candidate, says she feels unsafe whenever she dons a yellow or NRM branded outfit They are concerned that the voters have become hostile towards NRM members and the situation has worsened following the detention of National Unity Paltform- NUP's presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu.
NRM members suspect opposition supporters are defaced the poster of an NRM candidate in Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality. Photo by Nelson Edward Kasimbi.

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Some National Resistance Movement-NRM party candidates and their supporters in Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality in Wakiso district have decided not to use their branded party materials for their own safety.



They cite the hostility directed at them by voters following the arrest and subsequent detention of the National Unity Platform- NUP presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu last week. The arrest was followed by sporadic protests across the country.

Now, NRM party members in Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality who often don yellow outfits including T-shirts, caps, scarfs and dresses with their party symbol of a bus or picture of their presidential candidate, Yoweri Museveni, say they are being targeted.

Madina Binti Ayubu, the Masajja A, Kibira A, and Ndikuttamada village NRM LC IV woman candidate, says she feels unsafe whenever she dons a yellow or NRM branded outfit.  She says that even before the pro-Kyagulanyi protests, the door to door campaigns she had so far conducted indicate that NRM is unpopular in the villages.

Our reporter found Binti who was campaigning in Masajja A village donning a black hijab and black veil with shades of yellow and green. Binti says that she has decided to campaign alone and try to convince voters on what she will do once elected into office.

“The challenge I have found while in the field is that  people don’t like the NRM, and putting on party t-shirts could be dangerous to candidates and supporters, but good enough people like me as a person," Binti said.

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Binti , who is a former woman councilor in  Nkikuttamada Village, has promised to help women set up income-generating projects  because most of them are single mothers. She the high youth unemployment has made them redundant and willing to engage in electoral violence because they have nothing to lose.

She says the only way NRM candidates can instil confidence in the electorate is by fulfilling their campaign promises once elected into office. For now, the "ground is rough and NRM candidates are facing the music,"Bintu said.

Adding that” But I'm confident that voters will not actually lynch us. They just want to show us they are disappointed by the government generally and want change. Kalule Mwesige, another NRM party member agrees. He says the protests have made the opposition more hostile to NRM supporters and candidates.

He says most candidates have halted their campaigns while others have abandoned branded party materials.

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He adds that security officers have been assigned to only presidential candidates and the rest of the candidates have to provide their own security. However, the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC's, Fredrick Musitwa, says NRM members must understand that voters want change.  

He, however, calls on change seeking forces to exercise restraint and simply vote for the candidates they believe will serve their interests.  Musitwa, who is running for the Masajja Division LC3 Chairperson seat, says it is unfortunate that NRM candidates feel unsafe in the municipality.  

“We are aware that the country is under the multi-party system and as FDC, we can’t do such evil acts,” he said.

Cissy Nabunya, an NRM supporter and resident of Bunamwaya, says that she was attacked by a group of youths chanting "NUP Everywhere", "Everywhere NUP" and "People Power" when campaigns kicked off on November 9th, 2020 while alighting from a taxi.

"These people accused me of being an obstacle to change because I was wearing a yellow outfit that day. But is it a crime to wear NRM party colours?" he asked.

Joseph Kasajja, a Boda boda rider in the municipality, says he and other NRM supporters are currently gripped with fear yet they should feel safe because it is their party that is in government.

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On Thursday last week, while campaigning in Kotido, Museveni warned  to deal with those attacking NRM party supporters, He noted that people attacking NRM supporters "will soon lose appetite" for violence because time will reach where people will fear even touching an NRM shirt on the roadside."