Joseph Kabuleta, one of the eleven presidential candidates who participated in the January 2021 general elections has unveiled a party called the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue -NEED.
The party was first registered on 7th October 2005 under the name People’s United Movement Party-PUM. Kabuleta says he joined the PUM party two years ago before the presidential elections but chose to run as an independent for reasons he didn’t reveal.
While announcing the party at its headquarters in Bugolobi, Kabuleta said that the founders of the party led by now its former president Shadrack Ogemba approached him with a proposal to join the party and also spearhead it upon realization that they shared the same objectives. Kabuleta says, upon joining the party, it was also agreed that its name changes to NEED, a name under which he has been operating since declaring his intentions to contest for the presidency.
A delegate’s conference hosted at the party offices on Monday made amendments to the party constitution to adopt a new name, NEED and also elected Kabuleta as the party president. Kabuleta says the electoral commission shall soon be informed of the changes as the law provides.
Kabuleta says that the party’s main agenda is to empower people economically so that they can sustain themselves hence the party’s slogan “Money in Your Pocket”. He is of the view that Uganda is endowed with various resources such as good climate for agriculture, tourism destinations and minerals, all of which can be used to change the lives of the populace.
Kabuleeta says that what Uganda needs is good leadership capable of using the available resources to the benefit of the people. He says that economic empowerment is the only true form of empowerment something the current government has denied Ugandans, turning many Ugandans into dependents hence making them easy subjugate.
Kabuleta says the current government has exploited Uganda’s treasures to the benefit of a few individuals who are family and friends. The symbol for NEED is maize cob, chosen to depict agriculture as one of the key venues through which Uganda can improve the status of her people. The initial symbol of the party as PUM was cattle, which also symbolized agriculture.
Kabuleta urged Ugandans to join in the struggle to liberate their nation, stressing that they can create change if they raised to do so. To Kabuleta, the establishment in Uganda has already grown frail and while it portrays toughness in public, it’s secretly collapsing and hoping that when the end comes, it wiil not be as hard.
Shadrack Ogemba, who has been the PUM party president, says they consulted legal minds, members and God to guide them on their move to have Kabuleta lead the party. He says they have started a new journey with Kabuleta and committed on his behalf and colleagues their allegiance to the leadership of Kabuleta. He says they chose Kabuleta because they believe in his abilities to spearhead the party forward and achieve the main objective of the party which is economic empowerment.
Ogemba, who has now been elected as the head of the Party’s Council of Elders says, they shall always consult each other and build consensus as a party.
Kabuleta, like Robert Kyagulanyi who also joined the National Unity Reconciliation and Development Party and changed it to National Unity Platform-NUP party, has also been elected as party president for NEED. Kyagulanyi, who came to fame under the People Power pressure group would later carry the flag for the NUP party in 2021 election.
Kyagulanyi’s position has however been challenged in court with the party members led by the founder Moses Nkonge Kibalama accusing him of taking their party.