National Unity Platform (NUP) president Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, is set to officially inaugurate 34 sub-regional offices across the country, Daily Monitor has established.
Insiders, who did not want to be named, because they are not authorised to speak to the media, say the party has mapped out 17 centres across the country, which will have operating offices, some of which were opened by the deputy presidents of the party and the flag bearers at constituency level.
A party official told Daily Monitor in an interview on Tuesday that each sub-region will host at least two offices while the other offices at district and constituency level will remain running under the care of the MPs, who had opened them.
"Opening an office means that the secretariat has to take care of the furniture and facilitate other office operations. That is why the opening will be restricted to a few offices," the official said. "This activity of opening offices is also aimed at creating an avenue for interaction with the locals at a personal level," they said.
The main offices at the regional level include central office in Mengo in Kampala led by Mr Medard Sseggona, eastern office in Mbale District led by the Manjiya MP, Mr John Baptist Nambeshe, western regional office in Kabale overseen by Ms Jolly Mugisha, the deputy president for the western region, and the northern regional office in Gulu District overseen by Dr Lina Zedriga, the deputy president for the northern region.
The sub-regions are West Nile, Acholi, Karamoja, Lango, Teso, Ankole, Kigezi, Sebei, Bugisu, Busoga, and Bukedi. Others are Rwenzori, Kampala Metropolitan, Greater Luweero, Greater Mpigi, Greater Masaka and Mabira stretch.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday at their party headquarters in Kamwokya, Bobi Wine said the process of officially opening their offices would begin next week but he was not specific on which region he would start with.
"We have moved a step, including unveiling of the flag bearers across the country. We now have to go ahead and introduce these candidates before the people. They will be reporting during our activities," he said.
Last week, NUP said they had named 427 flag bearers for the party in a phased regional process.
This is not the first time Bobi Wine has attempted to reach out to the public in regard to his aspiration for the presidency.
In January, Bobi Wine attempted to carry out nationwide consultations after his declaration to run for president. Police and other security agencies blocked the meetings in various parts of the country saying he had not notified them.
Bobi Wine yesterday told Daily Monitor that he intends to carry on with party activities that are permitted within Political Parties and Other Organisations Act.
"We have always been blocked by the police and other security agencies from doing our activities, this is the time to prove who they are; either partisan or non-partisan. If they continue to block us and yet other parties are carrying out activities, then they will expose themselves," Bobi Wine said.
Mr Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, said they would only allow activities that are on the Electoral Commission (EC)'s roadmap for the upcoming polls. "We as security agencies are guided by the EC during any electoral process to make sure that it is peaceful. If individuals or political parties are to carry out any activities, it has to be within the set roadmap. I am not sure whether these planned activities are within that programme, EC will guide us," Mr Enanga said.
NUP gets funding
Meanwhile, NUP also said they had received money from well-wishers in the diaspora and around the country to pay for their stranded flag bearers with the nomination fees. Mr David Lewis Rubogoya, the party secretary-general, said: "A few of our flag bearers were struggling with the issue of paying Shs3m for the nomination. We have received money through a fundraising drive and they will all be paid. So none of our candidates will fail to be nominated on that ground, just be ready now."