National Resistance Movement supporters in Soroti are split over the imprisonment of Mike Mukula, the former Junior Health Minister for corruption.
Irene Akankwasa, the chief magistrate of the Anti-Corruption Court convicted Mukula to four years in jail on January 18th after she found him guilty of embezzling 210 million shillings from the GAVI funds.
However, his imprisonment has split NRM supporters into camps. One camp supports the imprisonment of Mukula, while another group suspects that he is being persecuted for his intention to contest for the presidency in the next general elections.
The pro-Mukula supporters accuse President Yoweri Museveni of masterminding the arrest of Mukula, who is also the Soroti Municipality MP.
Members in another camp have thrown their weight behind Museveni saying that Mukula deserves to be punished because he misappropriated public funds, which was meant to save the lives of many children.
Mukula’s supporters say those who claim to support the imprisonment of the MP are liars and are looking for favors from President Yoweri Museveni. But Gabriel Etesot, the Soroti Municipality NRM youth chairperson will not have any of this. He wants government to punish all the corrupt.
Etesot urges all youths in Teso to shun people who have been inciting them to mobilize protests against the imprisonment of Mukula. He insists that the MP should suffer the consequences of his actions.
James Okwii Opepo, the chairperson of Soroti district NRM disciplinary committee says that because of the rival camps NRM is likely to lose the Soroti municipality seat should it be declared vacant.
Julius Okiring, a resident of Kengere ward in Soroti Municipality says that the jailed MP is very good mobilizer in the region. He demands that government arrests all the people who were implicated in the GAVI fund scandal such as Jim Muhwezi, the former health minister and his assistant Alex Kamugisha.