EXCLUSIVE: NRM On Fire, By-election Billions Stolen
The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s internal bickering has worsened with State House now revealing that billions of shillings earmarked for several by-elections was swindled by its own leaders.
In an exclusive interview with Chimp Investigations Desk, President Yoweri Museveni’s spokesperson, Tamale Mirundi, said NRM has lost three consecutive by-elections because money released by the party treasury ends up in some officials’ pockets.
“When money for facilitation is released, they divert it. That’s how we have been losing by-elections. We are not unpopular,” said Mirundi.
He cited by-elections in Jinja East Municipality where Nathan Igeme Nabeta lost to FDC’s Paul Mwiru, Luweero Women MP where the DP candidate emerged victorious and the recently concluded Ishaka-Bushenyi where NRM’s Nasser Basajjabalaba was defeated by FDC ironman Odo Tayebwa.
Mirundi said unless the theft of NRM funds is stopped, the party should forget all about winning by-elections.
He further stated the judges have ganged up with opposition to bring down NRM.
“It’s judges fighting government in by-elections. I saw Mbababali being removed from Parliament because he did not have academic qualifications. But does Nsubuga have papers? Which schools did he attend?” asked Mirundi.
“A by-election is as a result of court petition. When NRM money is stolen, the opposition, who are jobless, will come because they don’t have what to do and launch a smear campaign against the ruling party. That’s how they win,” added Mirundi.
The revelation seems to shed light on the President’s anger over the loss of three consecutive by-elections. The losses have hugely embarrassed the party and exposed its internal fights.
Speaking to NRM legislators on Monday night, Museveni reportedly blasted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Premier Amama Mbabazi whose ambitions are now splitting the party.
Museveni attacked the two officials for making decisions on his behalf without consulting him yet he is the head of intelligence, commander-in-chief and party chairman.
Mirundi’s revelations also come at a time when rebel NRM legislators Chris Baryomunsi, Wilfred Niwagaba and Theodore Ssekikuubo have chosen to form a government in-waiting as an alternative to Museveni’s failing leadership.
Mirundi yesterday said whoever defects will be kicked out NRM and lose his Parliamentary seat.
“I don’t think there is any serious NRM legislator who can defect. Those who are switching to defections should know they can’t work because the President has four more years to rule,” Presidential spokesperson Tamale Mirundi told Chimpreports.com news desk on Wednesday.
“It’s only in the Parliamentary democracy where defections can force a President to resign. In this presidential democracy, these defectors will simply make a minority party. Voters will punish them,” said Mirundi.
He said “those who are talking about defections are trying to incite Ugandans” against the President after failing to use Parliament to impeach him.
“These are people trying to undermine the President. When you defect, you surrender the party card and lose your MP seat. No one can take such a risk.”
The NRM is still stuck with the hair-raising comments allegedly made by Ssekikuubo and Baryomunsi during the Good Shepherd Ntusi Catholic Parish golden jubilee celebrations on Sunday that they were compelled to form a provisional government due to chronic corruption in government and poor service delivery.
“We will definitely not condone grand acts of corruption; we will ensure proper service delivery rather than insisting and relying on simple politics of survival in political offices,” Niwagaba reportedly charged.
SSEKIKUUBO SPEAKS OUT
Ssekikuubo confirmed his group’s readiness to put in place an alternative to Museveni’s government.
“What is of fact is that we are taking steps to always be ready for challenge. When all things fail and government fails to properly discharge its duties and you see time passing, it’s a call for preparedness.”
The fiery legislator, well known for fighting political battles with Premier Amama Mbabazi and Sam Kutesa, said his group is putting in place mechanisms “to succeed a system suffering from general malaise.”
“Why must we wait for a system to fail? While the President has prerogative over the front bench, we too should proceed and step forward when need arises. Even the President knows that there are eight evils eating NRM,” said Ssekikuubo.
Pressed to specify which issues were compelling his group to instigate a breakaway faction, Ssekikuubo hinted on Mbabazi, whom he accused of refusing to relinquish the Secretary General (SG) post as he promised when appointed Prime Minister last year.
“We are lacking sincerity among our leaders. It’s better to have a Secretary General as head of secretariat to provide necessary leadership. What we are seeing is shifting of goal posts. Mbabazi is unprincipled and undisciplined,” he said.
“Who is carrying out policy evaluation at the NRM secretariat? We must have functioning systems and institutions. I hear people say because Museveni is the party chairman and President, Mbabazi can as well handle the two tasks. But he promised in front of the NRM caucus that he would surrender the seat.”
The development underlines the widening split in the party and raises fears NRM could be headed for a split between legislators loyal to Museveni and Mbabazi on one hand and others who are bent on seeing the Premier removed as SG.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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