Three National Resistance Movement-NRM mobilisers are on remand for obstructing the Presidential motorcade and endangering their lives. The trio including Florence, Mwesigwa Innocent, and Ainomugisha Manisur appeared Friday before the Entebbe Grade I Magistrate, Stella Okwong Paculal after spending three days in custody at Entebbe police station.
Prosecution alleged that on March 7th, 2023, the trio put their lives in harm’s way near State House Entebbe when they stood in the middle of the road in an attempt to stop the presidential motorcade. After hearing the charges, Nakayovu raised her hand in an attempt to explain that they had no ill intention to harm the President or themselves.
Okwong entered a plea of no guilt. Nakayovu later raised her arm to apply for bail but the magistrate explained she had not time to hear the application as it was getting late and there were other cases to handle. She remanded the trio to prison until April 12th, 2023 when they make their bail application.
Before they were charged, Nakayovu explained to URN that their ordeal stems from attempts to muzzle them after President Museveni gave them a donation rewarding them for mobilizing for him during the 2021 presidential campaigns but his handlers misappropriated the reward.
She said that the President first gave them an audience in November last year at Katabi when they stopped him to inform him of their grievances. That time they were eleven including Nambirige Robinah, Kobugabe Happy, Kemigisha Shira, Nanyonjo Hadijah, Chandiru Rose, Nakazibwe Shira, Isma Ssekiranda, and Ganja James. The President reportedly stressed they should not add any more people to their team and commended them for supporting him.
He asked them to give their small-scale business proposals to Maj. Betty Agaba to follow up with her. He also reportedly ordered those handling security that they should not subject them to any ill-treatment. However, as soon as the President left, they were reportedly taken off the scene and thoroughly beaten and some got hospitalized and sustained scars, which they showed to URN.
They were reportedly asked never to talk about it when they were released. When they got in touch with Maj Agaba, she kept promising them until she cut off communication completely. When they used unusual telephone numbers to trace her, she reportedly become hostile and told them never to call her number again.
“So we decided to seek an audience with the President again to ensure we get the things he promised and gave us but which have not received. That is why they arrested us and brought us to court. We are not rebels against the government.”
Ganja James, part of that eleven the President met in Katabi said they were part of a group dubbed “NRM youths with a mission” that operated around junctions and trading centres in Kampala and Wakiso districts, donning yellow overalls and dry banana leaves to counter opposition dominance in cosmopolitan areas.
Sometimes they enlisted protection from the military to survive opposition hostility but it is unfortunate the President’s handlers have treated them this way, which may force them to abandon the cause in future elections. Luganda
Our reporter was unable to independently verify the suspect’s claims and their role on the Museveni campaign trail.