- East Africa
- Unusual - Demonstration - Election
Uganda: Museveni supporters protesting for money
A group of President Museveni’s supporters, mostly youths, yesterday stormed his campaign headquarters in Kampala asking for money.
According to one of the police officers at the scene, Henry Maba, over 400 members of the ruling party, National Resistance Movement (NRM), who also support president Museveni in his bid for a fourth term, demonstrated at the headquarters saying they were marginalized.
"They demonstrated while shouting that they are tired of working for people who do not appreciate them. They said they also want to share in the national cake. They said they want some money," Maba said.
The supporters, who enlisted as campaign volunteers, Maba explains, "want to be paid for the mobilization work to President Museveni."
One of the supporters, Jack Mbida, expalins that although they "have been campaigning for President Museveni for the last two months," they had not received any compensation.
In 2006, similar incidents spearheaded by a group of so-called volunteers led to a compensation from Museveni’s camp.
"Our money is being eaten by some individuals," says Jack Mbida, suggesting that money meant to compensate them for their work has been diverted by corrupt officials.
Mbida argues that supporters use the little money they have as well as their energy to campaign for Museveni, "but his agents are so selfish that they do not appreciate their work."
The volunteer campaigners, who by Tuesday afternoon were still waiting for their compensation, have now resolved not to leave NRM premises until they meet and talk with the president.
Police have deployed heavily to guard the premises and Kampala at large for fear that such a demonstration might trigger off bigger ones like those currently in Tunisia and Egypt ahead of the country’s February 18 presidential elections.