Sunday March 16 2014

Opposition female legislators protest money handout to NRM counterparts

By Olive Eyotaru & Marvin Kirunda


Opposition women legislators are planning to petition their umbrella body, Uganda Women Parliamentary Association to rein in on the conduct of their colleagues in the NRM party.

NRM women MPs last week reportedly received Shs500,000 and Shs5 million separately from the caucus secretariat as facilitation for Women’s Day celebrations and for endorsing President Museveni’s candidature in the run up to the 2016 elections respectively.

The opposition has criticised the move as a ploy by government to “divide” the women lawmakers.
“We are putting it on record that women of Uganda are being divided using money got from the Treasury,” Kampala Woman MP Nabilah Naggayi said.
Ms Naggayi said women have over the years been taken advantage of by politicians, which has in turn diverted their quest to front their interests.

“This government does not care about our interests. I find it unfortunate that our colleagues stealthily went and picked this money. Ugandans, especially the women, need an explanation on this. We shall challenge them at all costs,” she said.

However, during an earlier interview with the NRM Caucus treasurer, Ms Robinah Nabbanja (Kibaale Woman) about the cash handouts, she said the money had been given by President Museveni to facilitate NRM women who had asked for it to travel with other women leaders to Kumi District to celebrate Women’s Day.

“Each woman was given Shs500,000. Those saying I am giving out money just want to tarnish my name and this is very unfortunate. It is the women who requested for the money saying they wanted to travel with other women leaders,” she said.

But Ms Naggayi said receiving such money without knowing the actual source could cause problems for the women when accountability matters arise. “This is corruption that is eating our Parliament. NRM rarely accounts for monies sneaked out of Parliament for mobilisation purposes. The NRM is not a business and does not make any profits to be doled out as dividends,” she said.

She asked the Parliamentary Commission to investigate the source of the money.