Kigezi, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Jasper Ayebare, National Unity Platform (NUP)coordinator for Kigezi sub-region has defected to National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, with only two days left to general elections.
Ayebare a resident of Hamurwa sub-county and also the Rubanda East County NUP flag bearer in Rubanda district defected on Monday afternoon together with 37 other NUP members after a short meeting with David Bahati, State Minister of Finance for Planning, Darius Nandinda the Kabale Resident District Commissioner and Reuben Mutabazi, Kabale District Internal Security Officer at the government’s National Teachers College(NTC) kabale in Kabale district.
Jasper Ayebare defected to NRM with 37 other NUP members from Kigezi sub region. However, out of the total, only 8 handed over NUP party cards to Nandinda and Mutabazi while others remained quiet when they were asked.
Ayebare first apologized for abusing NRM’s presidential flag bearer, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as an old, corrupt, tyrant, and long-serving leader. Ayebare says that he was compelled to join NRM after NUP failed to fund him. Ayebare also says that he was tired of harassment from security personnel. He says that whenever NUP supporters in Kigezi would get arrested, he would battle alone to advocate for their release without any help from the party. But he adds that he and other members have willingly defected to NRM without being paid any money.
Asked if he is not bothered by being called a traitor, Ayebare says that he doesn’t care because he realized that NUP presidential flag bearer, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and his party have no future.
Vicent Oworinawe, a resident of Rugandu village in Rutengga sub-county,Kanungu district who is also the NUP coordinator for Kanungu and Justus Nyehangane, a resident of Butambi village in Noozi parish, Rwamucucu sub county who is also Rukiga district NUP coordinator says that they were angered by Kyagulanyi’s decision to fly his children to the United States a few days to polling day, yet all his other supporters are being killed.
Bahati says that the defection of such NUP supporters including their regional coordinator is an indication that Kyagulanyi has completely been weakened in Kigezi. Bahati urged them to join emyoga association so that they benefit from Emyoga program funds.
After speaking to the Media, Bahati drove off while defectors went back into NTC conference hall where they closed themselves. Journalists were denied access to the hall.
Ayebare Jasper had crossed to NUP in 2019 from Justice Forum, commonly known as JEEMA where he was since 2016.