Why NRM is popular among Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

By Milly B Babalanda

Members of the NRM youth league last week went to the polls and elected their flagbearers for the 2021 Parliamentary elections.

Kirabo Agnes won in Central region, Rugumayo Edson won in Western region, Ms. Nyamutoro Phiona won for National Female Youth MP, Benard Odoi Onen won in Eastern region while Boniface Okot won in Northern region.

I am happy for the winners and urge them to work with everybody including those they defeated for the good of NRM and the country.

Youth elections are a stronghold of NRM. It is expected that the victorious flagbearers will triumph in the general elections.

That is where their focus should now be and also campaign for Jajja, the NRM National Chairman and Presidential flagbearer, Gen. Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni

The Workers league also went to the polls and elected flagbearers as well as People With Disabilities (PWDs) who also elected their flagbearers. The Elderly also elected their flagbearers (this is a new electoral tier).

As with the Youths, PWDs and Workers, and I expect it will be with the Elderly, NRM is the clear favorite. For as far as I can remember, the yellow party has always won those seats with only one or two exceptions.

What could explain the love relationship between special interest groups and NRM? Put simply, it is that NRM tenderly cares for special interest groups and they in turn, appreciate it; it is that they find NRM’s politics favorable for their interests and they are not given to politics if populism. They go for issues and their interests.

For Youths, NRM has groomed the most impressive young generation ever; immunizing them, educating them, protecting them from instability and war, providing them with various pools of support for income generation, opening up the economy for investment t create jobs and so on and so forth. Because of NRM, Uganda is proud of its youths; Uganda is rich because of its youths.

With the workers, it is more of the same factors in play that make them find solace in NRM. The Ugandan worker can see where there sweat is going; the worker wants Uganda to remain stable so that their sweat does not go to waste. Yes, there are challenges and a need to improve working conditions, terms and benefits, but so far, so good and with NRM still in charge, we can cover more milestones to make the worker truly proud of his or her role in national development.

I pray for stronger trade unions which will adequately buy into the policy programs of NRM and advocate for them vigorously in order to have quicker effect.

For my PWDs, this hitherto vulnerable, neglected and abused segment of our nation found meaning and relevance under NRM. They take their role in national development seriously which is why they invest their mandate with NRM. They swear that never again shall they look back to times when they were treated as outcasts while one former leader is said to have ferried them to the source of the Nile and thrown them to the crocodiles because he hated them so much.

PWDs have proven the adage that disability is not inability true because of NRM’s sensitivity to their issues which has created for them a safe environment to work and to participate in decision making.

With the elderly, it is only NRM that treasures them genuinely if look you look at the narratives we have been having in our politics in recent times. NRM has always marketed the idea that being elderly is a gift that comes with wisdom and experience, giving us tested and trusted leadership. That is why NRM fronted removing the age limit from the Constitution on the Presidency, something that was vehemently opposed by our “friends” in the opposition; it is as if for them they never grow old or that they don’t have senior citizens in their vicinity.

So, the Elderly feel safe and accepted by NRM which is why I believe they will act accordingly now that they have representatives at legislative level. We want our senior citizens to stay relevant in their evening years and participate more noticeably in helping moderate policy, leadership and politics at large. Interestingly, once the interests of S.I.Gs are satisfied, everybody is satisfied! Recall that NRM is also unequaled when it comes to popularity among Women.

Elsewhere, as the election season progresses, NRM is registering straight success with many of its candidates passing unopposed within the districts.

In Namayingo district, for example, all, if not most, of the NRM candidates passed unopposed. In Rukungiri, supposedly an opposition stronghold, NRM took all the five seats for the district executive committee. The pattern is regular from many more districts and even at the Parliamentary level, happy returns were to be expected. Gaining the unconditional confidence of grassroots is sometimes more vital than scoring at the top level. Without grassroot support, the top is weak but for NRM, the base and the top are firm, forming a strong structure of coordinated leadership that Ugandans can count on.

Emerging unopposed at any level is a mark of the firm trust of Ugandans in NRM and appreciation of its service under the great leadership of NRM National Chairman, Gen. Y.K. Museveni and I thank voters at the various levels who have loudly spoken with their mandate.

The author is a Personal Assistant to the National Chairman, NRM

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