Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) presidential flag bearer Maj Gen (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu has spoken out on the exit of Buganda Coordinator Pauline Margaret Namagembe from the party to NRM.
On July 13, ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party vice chairperson for Eastern Uganda Capt Mike Mukula welcomed Namagembe to the party.
In an event held at the NRM secretariat in Kampala, Mukula also welcomed about 40 members of the opposition who agreed to join the President Yoweri Museveni-led party.
Namagembe’s move marked the first defection from ANT, a nascent party that is just over a year old.
Muntu, its leader, left main opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) after losing an internal election to Patrick Oboi Amuriat at the end of 2017.
Namagembe herself was a member of the FDC. In the 2016 parliamentary elections, she contested was the party’s flag bearer for the Wakiso MP seat.
Before then, she was a Democratic Party (DP) leaning councillor in Wakiso District. Namagembe said she had seen the light.
Others who joined included former FDC Nakawa Division Vice Chairperson Peace Kansiime.
Kansiime also previously served as a member of the FDC Electoral Commission.
“I am mentally normal and from today onward, I am an NRM member. I have done it peacefully without being forced by anybody,” Kansiime said.
Mukula listed the NRM government’s achievements and blasted the opposition for painting a bad image of the country.
He welcomed the new members with a call on them to work to make the party better.
“Article 29 of the constitution says that every citizen has a right to belong to a political party of his choice,” he added.
“I am happy that the people before us have voluntarily decided to join the NRM.”
MUNTU SPEAKS ON NAMAGEMBE DEFECTION
On Namagembe crossing to NRM, Muntu noted that it was her right to choose where to belong because “our constitution guarantees ALL Ugandans’ right of association.”
The former army commander also wished Namagembe well but said her departure won’t stop the ANT plans.
“While her departure is not ideal, we respect Hon Namagembe’s decision and wish her all the best,” Muntu said.
“The Alliance for National Transformation will continue to work towards a Uganda that works for everyone.”