Saturday February 13 2016

NRM cash splits Ntungamo candidates

Residents of Kayonza Sub-county line up for the

Residents of Kayonza Sub-county line up for the NRM campaign cash onn Thursday. Photo by Perez Rumanzi 

By Perez Rumanzi

Ntungamo- Cash sharing has split Ntungamo district NRM candidates for various posts. The money was given to the district party branch for distribution to village councils.

The NRM is distributing 250,000 to villages in Ntungamo but the sharing of the cash has generated friction among party members in the district. The money is being distributed in other villages across the country by the NRM and is mainly shared by the locals of voting age.
While the money was to be distributed by officials on the NRM leadership organs, in some areas it has been given to party candidates for distribution, a scenario that has sparked rage among the officials on the party’s district structures.

“The party flag bearers are running around villages telling electorates that they sourced the money for them. The money has been provided by the President for voters in villages, how can they claim the money?

They are using it to campaign for themselves. The people are distributing the money illegally, they are standing as candidates and this is NRM money supposed to pass through the party structures,” said Mr. Frederick Rwabukwitsi, the Ntungamo NRM elders league chairperson.

The party leaders accuse candidates especially Mr Beijukye William Zinkurateire, for Ruhaama County MP, Ms Beatrice Rwakimari, for District Woman MP and Mr. Mwesigwa Rukutana for Rushenyi MP seat, of telling voters that they sourced the money for them.

Ms Regina Karibwende, the NRM district secretary for publicity, said the district executive was abusing the party money by campaigning for their candidatures.

Ms Rwakimari , however , said the money was meant to facilitate the electorate to campaign for President Museveni and party flag bearers.
Mr Namanya Kakyene Santurina, an independent contestant for Ruhaama county MP seat, said the flag bearers distributing NRM campaign money were violating election rules.

He said their actions are tantamount to bribing voters and possibly thrown out of race for the seats.

“If they have opted to it themselves, they also need to face the consequences, that is voter bribery and the electoral commission must be watching, they are violating campaign rules and is it because they are NRM flag bearers that they can’t be touched.” Mr. Kakyene told Monitor.

The Ntungamo Returning Officer Mr Robert Baine, however, says the electoral commission has not been informed of violations but if they get information with evidence, they will work on it and handle the situation especially if they find it tantamount to voter bribery.