The National Unity Platform (NUP) party is on the spot for having devised means of using activism to send its members to the diaspora in order to earn money as migrant workers, or “kyeyo,” as is popularly known in Uganda.
One of its members, Samuel Obedgiu, aka Strike Machine, was able to acquire the Visa by involving himself in activism through a number of strikes and deliberately defying police orders that drew media attention towards him.
During his stay in the diaspora, he has been able to acquire an appointment as a NUP advisor.
Obedgiu claims he is an Environmental and Civic Human Rights activist, writer, Agricultural extension expert, and researcher, facts that are disputed by former colleagues.
He was also the Leader of Opposition of the 4th National Youth Parliament, September 2021–November 2022, and Deputy National Youth Coordinator and Regional Liaison Officer of the NUP, Northern Uganda, February 2020–November 2022.
However, sources dispute his academic qualifications and his sincerity in joining NUP.
According to Edison Olwedo, a former colleague of Obedgiu, he (Obedgiu) hails from a very humble background in Kitgum district and joined NUP to secure a visa to the diaspora.
“I grew up with Obedgiu in Kitgum; he was always disobedient. When I left the village for Kampala, I heard that he had been constantly in trouble with the authorities, getting himself arrested and starting trouble. I am very sure he did not study all he says he studied,” Olwedo stated.
Obedgiu is also known for being a violent and disorderly member of society.
“He was always stuck to Stella Nyanzi like a tick. She told him that being disobedient and disorderly would get him out of Uganda, which he did and managed to get the visa,” Olwedo explained.
Sombi Ibrahim Omondi, Daniel Kawuma, Susan N. Kimaswa, Brenda Nakato, Peter Ekakoro, Isaac Kasirye, and Elizabeth Nantezza Lubwama are among those from NUP who exploited political activism to obtain visas.
According to sources, several of these migrant workers have managed to elevate themselves to party advisors, including Milton Allimadi, Herman Ainebyona, Florence Nsereko, Saasi Marvin, and Samuel Obedgiu, dubbed Strike Machine.