Senior NRM leaders turned against each other last week after they disagreed on how to characterise the challenge posed by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to the party’s political ambitions.
This was during President Museveni’s campaign tour of the Bugisu sub region.
The row was first sparked off by comments attributed to the NRM National vice chairperson Eastern region, Capt Mike Mukula who discouraged youth from voting for Kyagulanyi.
Mukula described Kyagulanyi as a “mere MDD diploma holder” who knows nothing about governance issues.
The fires were further stoked by the former EALA MP Nusura Tiperu, while campaigning for Museveni in Sironko.
Tiperu said Kyagulanyi is an “Illuminati” (devil worshipper) who should not be allowed to lead the country.
But the hundreds of NRM supporters gathered for the meeting shouted, “Nooooo!” in response to Tiperu’s less than charitable comments on Kyagulanyi.
Some shouted her down as she tried to labour her point.
Tiperu asserted that Bobi Wine was the coordinator of musicians during her tenure as the interim youth chairperson of the National Resistance Movement so she knows him well.
“I actually realised that he could not sing well…for him to think that as a first timer in parliament he is now good enough to govern this country is like taking Uganda for a joke,” she said.
She assured her audience that Kyagulanyi has no support in the north adding that the crowds that accompanied him on his campaign trail in the region were just his music fans.
“My people are saying we are not going to vote for a child, a baby in diapers,” she said.
But Umar Muzi, an NRM cadre and councillor in Mbale condemned the attack on Kyagulanyi as a miscalculation on the part of NRM.
He said by attacking Kyagulanyi, Tiperu wanted to prove to the president that she is working.
“Bobi Wine is not a comedian. We have capacity to appeal to the young people without attacking our opponents even if they call him a homosexual, a common person does not listen to that. What we need is to get to the drawing board and see how to counter our opponents without blocking their rallies,” Muzi said.
He said the technocrats at the districts and in ministries have failed most of the well intended government programmes meant to uplift the common person.
The Mbale NUP coordinator, Abbas Wetaka, condemned the verbal attacks on the NUP president by NRM leaders describing it as far fetched and below the belt.
Wetaka said such verbal attacks will only make the NUP candidate more popular.
“It is unfortunate that our leaders can stoop so low to become abusive and malicious,” said Wetaka.
“To term Bobi Wine as illuminati is so far fetched. Everyone knows him (Kyagulanyi) as a musician who has been earning a decent living from his labour.”