Published by Patra K on

NRM MPs-Elect receive UGX 4.8 billion

Some of the newly elected NTM MPs at the Kyankwanzi Retreat. (Photo courtesy of Kampala Times)

SecretsKnown has learnt that National Resistance Movement (NRM), the party in power cashed out UGX 20 million (USD 5405.4) as a take-home package to each of the 243 newly elected Members of Parliament (MPs) affiliated with the party.

The MPs-Elect had been participating in a three-week retreat at the National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi. This retreat was organized by NRM with the intent to ideologically re-orient new MPs on the foundation of the party, challenges, and opportunities for Uganda among others.

But what could have triggered NRM to facilitate the newly elected MPs with enormous amounts of money? SecretsKnown established that during the separate meetings held between President Museveni who also doubles as NRM party chairman and the new MPs-elect grouped based on sub-regions at Kyankwanzi. Some of the MPs took advantage of the meetings to inform the party chairman how elections left most of them financially crippled with some battling court cases that required money.

It must be recalled that President Yoweri Museveni has on notable occasions come out publicly to discourage the use of excessive money in politics for instance in 2018 during the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) meeting where he was quoted saying,

 “If you want democracy and stability, you should not tolerate electoral violence and money,”.

He also just recently in April this year re-echoed to NRM flag bearers from Kampala who lost elections who demanded a cash bailout of UGX 50 million ($14,000) each to help them settle their debts that,

“You cannot borrow to go and join politics. If someone gets to that level of asking you for money so they can join politics, do not vote for him. Money should be invested in business, not politics,” said Museveni.

Amidst such pronouncements made by President Museveni, one would wonder why the NRM Chairman did not walk the talk of discouraging the NRM party from giving MPs-elect such huge sums of money under his leadership. Does President Museveni preach water and drink wine? This needs to be further interrogated.

Though money is an important aspect in politics, it must not be used in a manner that creates a perception of politics as an enterprise where people join to make money and “eat” from.

This culture of giving the newly elected MPs huge sums of money just after elections being espoused by NRM must not be condoned because it sends a wrong message not only to politicians but also to voters who start thinking that indeed joining elective politics is a guarantee that good things will come.  

ACFIM calls upon the NRM party to desist from degenerating into a “cash and carry” party that makes its self-attractive to members because of the amounts of money it expends on them. NRM must be among the frontiers of ideologically oriented politics.

It’s imperative to note that if money continues to be the motivating factor of political participation in Uganda then democracy will not have a chance to flourish in Uganda.

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