Uganda: Gulu, Omoro Sub-County Leaders Complain Over Unfulfilled Pledges

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) party sub-county chairpersons from Gulu and Omoro districts have appealed to President Museveni to deliver on pledges he made to them in 2016.

During the 2016 elections, President Museveni while in Omoro promised to give each of the 16 NRM sub-county chairpersons in Omoro and Gulu districts Shs10m, and a pair of oxen in appreciation of their efforts in building the party.

The chairpersons, however, are yet to receive the pledge four years later.

The party chairpersons from the 16 sub-counties of the two districts, led by Bandage NRM chairperson Christine Olok say if the pledge is not fulfilled within a month, they will exit the party.

"We regret to inform our party chairman President Museveni that we have not yet received the pledges he made to us in 2016 when we visited him at his home in Rwakitura," Ms Olok said.

"... . If we are not given our package immediately, we will leave the party and disown all the NRM leadership structures in Acholi sub-region because we believe they are the ones who have been blocking this process," Ms Olok added.

Mr Denis Kidega, the party chairperson for Koro Sub-county, said their several attempts to cause the party leadership in Omoro and Gulu to follow up the pledge, have been futile.

"We are frustrated with the leaders who are not responding. We met MP William Nokrach who showed us a copy of a letter that was written by the President authorising our payment in September 2019," Mr Kidega said.

Mr Kidega said the letter authorised the State House Comptroller to effect payment meant to fulfil the pledges the President made to the chairpersons.

However, Mr Nokrach, in a press briefing, admitted that he met the chairpersons but noted that the letter written to him from State House did not ask him to go and receive the pledges but only to follow up.

"Last September, I received a letter from the office of the private principal secretary to President advising me to follow-up the pledges. That was when I called these chairpersons and briefed them about it," Mr Nokrach said.

"I have never collected any money on their behalf and no one has been told when the pledge will be ready. As members of the ruling party, it's unwise for them to act against the system. They have been very impatient, indisciplined and too desperate," he added.

In the letter written and signed by the former president's Principal Private Secretary, Ms Molly Kyomukama, a copy of which this newspaper has seen, Mr Nokrach was asked to closely follow up the pledges made to the chairpersons, youth, church and women in Amuru District.

While meeting the chairpersons at his country home in Rwakitura in 2016, Mr Museveni promised to give Shs10m, a pair of oxen and a plough to each of them as a reward for their support that enabled his victory in the area.

While commissioning a church built by MP Nokrach at Olwal Trading Centre in Lamogi Sub-county in 2018, the President promised to give Shs300m to the Diocese of Northern Uganda, Shs30m and Shs20m to the women and youth groups in the district, respectively.

Our attempts to speak to Mr Sam Engola, the NRM regional vice chairman for North, were futile by press time.

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Mr James Ocen, the Gulu District NRM chairperson, said he was aware of the plight of the LC3 chairpersons but blamed the delay on the party's central executive committee (CEC) whom he said have deliberately declined to advise the President over the pledges.

"Our biggest problem is with CEC and we are so bitter with them because they don't care about these pledges and have never followed matters of districts one by one as it needs to be," Mr Ocen said.

Mr Ocen said he had written to the President and Dr Kenneth Omona, the President's principal private secretary, over the pledges but is yet to get a response.

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