NRM buys posh cars for top officials

Thursday April 30 2015

 

By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala.

The ruling NRM has unveiled new cars to be used by top party officials, sparking off speculation about the party’s source of funding.
According to NRM authorities, the party spent Shs3.1 billion to purchase an unspecified number of cars.

Some circles pointed to the funds the Electoral Commission (EC) recently released to political parties with representation in Parliament where NRM took the lions share (Shs7.9b out of the Shs10b) as having been used to buy the cars.

However, Dr Kenneth Omona, the NRM party deputy treasurer, in an interview with Daily Monitor denied the allegations, saying the party had so many sources of funding.

“We fundraise from very many sources, we have always had the funds. So the money which bought the cars is not part of what the EC gave us,” Dr Omona said.

“You know very well that this is a new team in the management of the party. We now have full time staff at the party secretariat who need to have smooth transport to do party activities,” he added.

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On why NRM was prioritising cars yet the party had failed to kick- start the construction of party headquarters, Dr Omona said the NRM focus was to win the 2016 polls with a landslide.

“We were appointed recently and our focus is to win the elections by a landslide victory after which we shall embark on other activities like building the headquarters,” he said.
The party has always come under criticism from the Opposition and civil society groups for living off State coffers.

Reports indicated that NRM spent Shs3.9 billion on the vehicles and Mr Ofwono Opondo, NRM’s deputy spokesperson, could neither confirm nor deny the figure. “I am not aware of the cost but I doubt if it is true. Why would the cost be so high if they were bought from the bonds here?” Mr Opondo asked.

But Dr Omona said NRM purchased more cars than what the media had so far seen at a cost of Shs 3.1b.

About the cars

The highly billed Toyota Land Cruiser V8 model vehicles were some of those procured. Each of the cars is said to have cost Shs360m. The party says its chairman and other funders bought them. They were imported from London.

sdkafeero@ug.nationmedia.com

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