WHERE ARE THE YELLOW BICYCLES?
Where are the yellow bicycles?
National Resistance Movement flagged off 68,000 bicycles last year on Sunday 16th August 2020 for all NRM Village Chairpersons countrywide. These bicycles were meant to mobilize and solicit votes for the ruling party ahead of general elections.
SecretsKnown has done a status check on these bicycles. According to an eyewitness, the yellow bicycles reached areas of Sebei, Teso, Lango, Acholi, West Nile, Bunyoro, Rwenzori, and Ankole sub-region. We found out that its only areas of Kigezi sub-region districts of Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu, and Rukungiri that have not yet received the bicycles.
SecretsKnown has established in parts of Lango and Acholi sub-region in districts of Kwania and Gulu during the distribution exercise by NRM district executives, village chairpersons who were purported of double standards were denied yellow bicycles, and priority was given to loyal cadres. In Gulu district, six villages; two from Bungatira Sub County, two from Owalo Sub County, one from Awach Sub County, and one from Pukony Sub County respectively did not receive the yellow bicycles according to Mr. James Achen Gulu district Chairperson as reported by Mega Fm.
Village chairpersons in Pader district who received yellow bicycles reportedly used them indirectly to mobilize and campaign for opposition and independents as revealed in an interview by NTV Uganda aired on December 16th, 2020 with Mr. Peter Okello NRM Chairperson laguti sub-county. NTV Uganda further reported that some district NRM executive officials distributed bicycles amongst themselves, which was contrary to president Museveni NRM party chairman directive.
In Central and Bunyoro sub-regions, the Village chairperson disparaged the yellow bicycles. A case in point is Mityana district where a section of village chairpersons contended that it was belittling for the NRM secretariat to send them bicycles at a time when the world is using motorized means of transport. This view was shared among others, a one Bbale Onesm, Village chairperson Katiko Ward-B as reported in the Observer newspaper of September 8th, 2020.
Lawrence Kubugu, Village chairperson for Busundo-A village in Mityana municipality said many elderly chairpersons do not have the energy to ride on bicycles. He argued that given the trust they command among the villagers; they should be given motorcycles rather than bicycles.
During an interview with SecretsKnown, Alu Zabibu Village chairperson of a police cell in Hoima district revealed that the yellow bicycles distributed are very weak and of poor quality. “These bicycles cannot even support domestic work at home like carrying their heavy stuff like food and other goods/items,” she added.